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Feature Articles: Holidays

Making Good on Your New Year's Resolutions

Karma Metzgar, C.F.C.S. Former Northwest Regional Nutrition Specialist in Nodaway County, University of Missouri Extension


How are you coming on your New Year's resolution? Making progress? Or, is it history already?

You can make resolutions anytime during the year-then put a plan into action. What is important with resolutions or goals is that we make a commitment and monitor our progress towards those goals. These resolutions also need to be reasonable!
Unreasonable goals include losing 100 pounds, saving or making a million dollars, keeping the house spotless, or having a clean desk!

Reasonable goals are those which are reachable in small footsteps. As you reach one small goal, you set another goal. Here are some possible New Year's resolutions for you to consider related to your health.

  1. Count nutrition on your fingers! Set a goal that most foods you consume are rich in at least one nutrient. If a food has 10 percent or more daily value for Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Calcium, Iron, Protein or Fiber, raise a finger. Make sure most foods have at least one finger up.
  2. Choose foods low in fat and high in nutrients. Follow goal 1, however, if the food has 10 percent or more daily value from total fat or, if there is more than 200 calories per serving, you loose a finger. Any fingers up?
  3. Control your helpings! Our helpings do not equal the suggested serving sizes for many foods (most of the time). Challenge yourself to count the number of servings you get from each food group. Many food labels contain the Food Guide Pyramid visual with the recommended number of servings. Here is a guide for some foods.
    • Medium whole fruit or vegetable is equal to the size of a tennis ball or a computer mouse.
    • Serving of pancake, waffle, slice of bread is similar to the size of a Compact Disk (CD).
    • 3 ounce serving of meat, poultry or fish is similar to the size of a deck of cards or a cassette tape.
  4. Monitor the "fluid" calories. Reaching for a drink often means something with calories--juice, soda, drinks, ades, etc. They quench the thirst for sure, but we need to watch the helping size! Set a goal to not exceed so many ounces of these wet, often nutrient-free, beverages.
  5. Drink plenty of water. Water is the "forgotten nutrient" but is vital in the proper function of our body. Healthy individuals need at least 64 ounces daily of this clear beverage. Log how much water you drink and set a goal of 64 ounces in 24 hours.
  6. Honor your hunger. When you are hungry eat. If you are not hungry, don't eat! Simple. However, many of us eat unconsciously--which means we eat out of habit, not because we are hungry. Whenever you start to take a bite--STOP--ask yourself if you are hungry. If you are, eat it. If not, put it down until you are hungry. Becoming a conscious, intuitive eater is the goal.
  7. Enjoy movement. Exercise isn't something "extra" to do in your day. Exercise should be something you enjoy and are energized from. Perhaps it's a brisk walk, a swim, a workout at a fitness center, or a trip on your treadmill. Whatever "mix and match" of activities you enjoy, they are a part of your active lifestyle. Make them a regular, necessary part of your day.
    Wishing you a healthy and active year!



Last update: Tuesday, May 05, 2009








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