Stay on course with nutrition resolutions Print E-mail
Thursday, 06 March 2014
By lst. Lt. Britain Seaburn
Special to GUIDON  

Millions of people develop resolutions every year to ultimately help them lose weight and get in better shape in the new year.

Approximately 45 percent of Americans make New Year’s resolutions, but only 8 percent successfully achieve their New Year’s resolution goals, according to the University of Scranton.

By now you might be finding that the excitement of the New Year has worn off, and your motivation toward achieving your New Year’s resolution is quickly fading too.

So the question is, how can you achieve a weight-loss or other health-oriented resolution?

The key is to set specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and time-sensitive or SMART goals.  

Setting goals is extremely important when it comes to actually achieving results. When people fail to set goals, they often lose sight of what they are striving towards.

The issue for most people with goal setting is that they set vague or very lofty and unobtainable goals.

For example, instead of having just a general goal to lose weight this year, a more appropriate goal would be to lose 1 pound per week, or 3-5 pounds per month.

After setting a goal, you then have to determine what steps to take to reach the goal.  

When making changes, you should think about what has prevented you from achieving your goal in the past, and then develop a game plan for how you will deal with these issues in the future.  

This plan should include realistic strategies that can be used continually to maintain success.  

The greatest barrier to successful weight loss for many people is their love for sweets and desserts.

A small serving of dessert one to two times per week will not completely derail your progress, and may prevent you from gorging on this item in the future.  

Changing portion size and frequency is an essential move in a resolution to lose weight.  

Eating the right-sized portion is often a struggle because many people eat until they reach a certain level of comfort. They’re “full.”  

The following tips may be helpful when trying to decrease portion sizes:

— Slow Down: It takes 20 to 30 minutes for your stomach and brain to communicate that you are eating, which means you have to give your body a chance to realize you are full when it happens.  

— Eat low-calorie, high-fiber foods: With foods like fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, your body is getting more food and less calories, which will help you feel full without eating too much.  

— Decrease plate size: The majority of people fill their plate to a certain percentage. By decreasing plate size to an 8- to 9-inch plate, many will subconsciously decrease the portion they serve themselves.  

Research shows that people who regularly eat breakfast generally have more energy, eat less throughout the day, and also weigh less when compared to those who skip breakfast.

Start with one small, simple change like eating breakfast, limiting sweets and desserts, increasing fruits and vegetables, exercising for 30 minutes daily, or slowing down when you eat.  

These slow and steady changes lead to healthy habits that not only assist you in achieving your New Year’s resolutions, but also in maintaining and building upon that success for the rest of your life.  

For more nutrition information or assistance in reaching your health goals, please contact the Nutrition Care Division at 573.596.1762.

(Editor’s note: Seaburn is the chief of nutrition education at General Leonard Wood Army Community Hospital.)
Last Updated ( Wednesday, 19 March 2014 )