As the pumpkin pie, holiday cocktail and sugar cookie memories begin to fade, we’re reminded that the time has come to set or “re-set” our goals. Popular New Year’s resolutions — to lose weight, stay fit or both — resurface with a bang year after year.
You’ve probably heard people say, “Those who lose weight eventually gain it back.” Don’t give up hope! Many people who successfully maintained a substantial weight loss for more than a year have done it on their own.
Registered dietitian Tara Gidus, who runs the website dietdiva.com, knows it can be a struggle to set goals and stick to them.
“Prime weight loss season is upon us, and the need for realistic, achievable and tasty ways to make healthy lifestyle changes is as important as ever,” she said. “An exercise and healthy eating focus, along with a positive attitude and the right tools, can lead to a happier and healthier you — a new you.”
To help you achieve your weight loss resolution, Gidus offers these tips:
- Think of you — Take “me time” to rest, relax, shop or exercise for stress relief. Stress hormones have been tied to weight gain.
- Break it down — Set an ultimate goal, and then break it into smaller goals that are easily achievable. This makes the road to success seem easier and allows you to celebrate along the way.
- Flavor it — Calorie moderation doesn’t have to mean boring. Use low-calorie condements to add flavor without compromising calories.
- Keep track — People who keep track of what they eat can lose up to twice as much weight as people who don’t. Jotting down how much you ate and how you were feeling can also help you connect food to energy and mood.
- Get your sleep — Getting enough sleep is critical to keep the hormones that control your appetite in check.
- Flex your muscles — The more muscle mass you have the more calories you burn while you are sleeping. Stay fit by doing strength training twice a week.
- Don’t multitask — Turn off distractions like the television and computer while eating or you could lose track of how much has gone in. Tune in to your body’s hunger and fullness cues to know when to eat and when to stop.
WEIGHT LOSS PROFILE
People who have successfully achieved long-term weight loss tend to have common characteristics: - Eat breakfast every day - Monitor their weight weekly - Watch less television (i.e. less than 10 hours per week) - Daily exercise (i.e. 30 to 60 minutes per day)
Baked Chicken Tenders
1 packet (1.1 ounces) Hidden Valley Original Ranch Salad Dressing and Seasoning Mix, divided
2 cups nonfat Greek yogurt
1.5 cups low-fat buttermilk
1 package (20 ounces) fresh 99 percent fat free chicken tenders
1 cup whole wheat bread crumbs
One-third cup sliced almonds
1 teaspoon garlic powder
One-quarter teaspoon pepper
Olive oil cooking spray
Combine half of the dressing and seasoning mix packet with yogurt; refrigerate. Combine remaining dressing and seasoning mix with buttermilk; refrigerate.
Rinse chicken, and thoroughly pat dry on paper towels.
Combine chicken and buttermilk mixture together in a food storage zipper bag. Refrigerate for six to 24 hours.
Heat oven to 425 degrees.
In a food processor, combine breadcrumbs, almonds, garlic powder and pepper. Coat chicken in breadcrumb mixture.
Set a wire rack on baking sheet and coat with cooking spray. Lay chicken pieces on wire rack, and spray with more cooking spray.
Bake 16 to 18 minutes until no longer pink (until the internal temperature reaches at least 170 degrees).
Use yogurt mixture as a dipping sauce.
Makes eight servings.
Cheesy Ranch Popcorn
1 bag (3 ounces) reduced-fat, low sodium butter-flavored microwave popcorn
One-quarter packet Hidden Valley Original Ranch Salad Dressing and Seasoning Mix
3 sprays from olive oil mister
3 tablespoon grated Parmesan cheese
Pop popcorn according to package directions. Immediately open the bag and pour the popcorn into a large serving bowl.
Spray the popcorn with three sprays from the olive oil mister, toss with Ranch Salad Dressing and Seasoning Mix and then toss with the Parmesan cheese. Serve immediately.
Makes six servings.
Original Ranch Spinach Dip
One-half packet Hidden Valley Original Ranch Dips Mix
1 cup plain non-fat Greek yogurt
1 cup light sour cream
1 box (10 ounces) frozen chopped spinach, thawed and well-drained
1/3 cup chopped walnuts, pecans or water chestnuts
Combine dips mix, yogurt, sour cream, spinach and walnuts.
Chill 30 minutes or until just before serving.
Serve with whole wheat crackers and raw vegetables.
Makes 12 servings.