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“New Year, New You”

How to make changes into 2019 last for a lifetime

When you think of the holiday season, you no doubt think of family, football and food! What else may come to mind is the overindulgence of all your favorite holiday treats. We hear it all the time: “I am going to cheat today,” “I was good all year,” “I deserve this.” The list goes on and on of phrases to justify over-eating. There seems to be a nationwide view of the holidays as a time of not just indulgence, but weight gain. The average American believes they gain anywhere from 5 to 10 pounds from Thanksgiving to New Year’s. However, studies have shown that is far from the truth. The average American (with a body mass index of 18-24.9) gains an average of just 1 pound over the holiday season! Nevertheless, the New Year is the perfect time to start new ways of thinking, eating and moving.

Ditch the Guilt

The justifying phrases listed above over the holidays only lead to guilt phrases after the fact: “I was so bad over the holidays,” “I way over-ate this year,” “I can’t believe how much I ate at Christmas.” This way of thinking is a cycle that is hard to break. When you allow your mind to feel guilty about what you ate the day before it will lead to extreme decisions on dieting or restrictions that are often unrealistic and land you back to justifying a binge at the next holiday season and doing it all over again. This year, skip the guilt and simply move forward from the holidays into the New Year with a happy heart and a full stomach.

Stop Skipping Meals

If you listen closely you can hear the adults of your childhood saying: “Breakfast is the most important meal of the day.” It has become a nutrition cliché, and yet time and time again it is proven true. Breakfast helps kick-start your metabolism and may reduce cravings and/or binges throughout the rest of the day. Beyond breakfast, the rest of the day’s food choices are also important. Eating a small snack between meals is a great way to help reduce over-eating or making less-than-desirable decisions at meal times. Also, having three meals and two snacks helps keep your blood sugar at a steady level. Below you will find an example of one day’s healthy food choices:

Breakfast: Boiled egg on whole-wheat toast with avocado spread and a glass of milk Snack: Apple with peanut butter Lunch: Chicken Caesar

salad with green tea Snack: Hummus with carrots and celery Dinner: Turkey tacos with a side of mixed fruit.

Keep All Food Groups in the Mix

Since we are ditching food-related guilt in 2019, we can also ditch the idea of eliminating total food groups out of your diet – unless, of course, you have a medical reason to do so. If not, eat up! Recognize that every food group has important contributions to make toward a healthy diet! Carbohydrates are your brain’s preferred energy source and provide fiber that lets you stay full and reduce your risk for heart disease. Protein helps keep muscles, bones and cells strong. Fat helps maintain your core body temperature and retain fat-soluble vitamins. These are only a few of the many amazing things all these major food groups do for your body. Rather than shying away from any one food group, try instead to make small changes. Choose whole grains and add fruits and vegetables to meals whenever possible. Choose lean proteins such as fish, turkey and chicken. Lastly, choose liquid fats such as olive oil and sunflower oil to provide you with essential fatty acids. Creating an overall healthy relationship with food is a goal that will carry you through the next holiday season and help you avoid a cycle of dieting and bingeing.

Find Enjoyment in Movement

There is good reason the American Heart Association recommends 150 minutes of aerobic exercise each week. It has been associated with lowering your risk for not only heart disease but also diabetes, obesity and osteoporosis. This does not mean you necessarily have to go out and buy winter running gear or even a gym membership. Find things that get your heart rate up for an extended period of time that you enjoy. When you find something you enjoy doing it will not only help your mental attitude toward the activity but also will make you more likely to stick to a regular activity routine. Some off-the-treadmill ideas include: dancing, Zumba, yoga, playing tag with the children in your life, gardening, pickup basketball or soccer games, taking the long way to the bathroom at work – and the list goes on.

Reach Out to Your Local Hy-Vee Dietitian

Each Hy-Vee within the metro area has its own dietitian in-store! These dietitians offer a multitude of services including nutrition counseling sessions, nutrition store tours, kids classes, freezer meal workshops, meal kits and so much more! Go to Hy-Vee.com to find your local dietitian today!


Humor your sweet tooth without the extra fat and calories.

Yield: 1 serving

Prep time: 5 minutes

All you need:

1 5.3 oz container Two Good Vanilla Lowfat Greek Yogurt **Dietitian Pick of the Month

1 tbsp creamy almond butter (or other nut butter)

¼ tsp cinnamon

1 tsp shredded and toasted coconut

1 tsp mini chocolate chips

Pineapple chunks or spears, and strawberries (for dipping)

All you do:

1. Mix yogurt, nut butter and cinnamon together in a bowl.

2. Sprinkle coconut and chocolate chips on top.

3. Serve with fruit for dipping.

Written by:

Alexis Tebben, RDN, LDN

Located at Robbinsdale Hy-Vee

Email her for more information about Dietitian services at atebben@hy-vee.com


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