Industry News | December 12, 2008

Tips for Keeping New Year's Resolutions

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Every year after the winter holidays, many resolve to make major changes in their lives. Diet, exercise and better general health are usually high on New Year’s resolution lists. However, one study on resolutions found that 60 percent of those who set a New Year’s goal gave up within three months.

“It’s important to approach personal goals in the same way you would a business goal,” says ARAMARK Registered Dietitian and Senior Director of Nutrition Program Development, Jenifer Bland-Campbell. “Start with defining your success and then develop a plan to get there.”

Bland-Campbell suggests the following tips on how to make New Year’s resolutions last all year.

1. Set realistic goals. When deciding on New Year’s resolutions, make sure they are achievable. Making unrealistic or inflexible resolutions is one of the top reasons that so many people abandon their plan before the year is out.

2. Create a step-by-step plan. Resolutions are merely a starting point. Breaking a resolution into small, manageable steps that can be repeated year-round is one key to success. Focus on day-to-day behaviors that will help you achieve your long term goal. Choose simple activities that you can track each day or each week.

3. Share your goals with friends and family. Enlist the support of friends and family. Sharing goals can help you feel more accountable for your behavior and therefore more motivated to achieve your goals.

4. Stay flexible. Flexibility is another key to success. Expect that plans will change. When there are occasional setbacks, be willing to make adjustments as needed to get back on track.

Some of these adjustments may include menu planning. ARAMARK concept development chef and registered dietitian, Dana Gollotto suggests reevaluating the meals you regularly prepare during the winter months.

“Hot, hearty winter comfort foods help to warm us up in January, but they can also weigh you down with lots of fat and calories,” Gollotto adds. “To make your winter favorites part of a healthy diet, keep the following simple tips in mind.”

Soups: Keep soups naturally lower in fat. Load them up with beans, veggies, and whole grains, but skip the cream, butter and bacon. Make sure to trim the fat off any meats and use chicken breast rather than thighs. Choose favorites like minestrone, vegetable, split pea, chicken noodle, winter squash, black bean or beef barley for a healthier way to warm up.

Casseroles: A few simple adjustments to some traditional favorites are all that is needed. Try sweet potato casserole without adding butter or use mushroom barley soup in green bean casserole. Lighten up macaroni & cheese by using lower fat milk.

Stews: Give chili a health lift by using ground turkey or make it vegetarian with tomatoes, pinto beans, and corn. Beef stew is another cold weather favorite with good-for-you ingredients. Make sure to use lean meat and simmer the stew with lots of carrots, mushrooms and other vegetables to make a nutritious, hearty meal under 500 calories.

Entrees: Cut up to half the fat from your favorite meatloaf recipe by replacing ground beef with turkey. For flavor with less fat, grill beef top round or sirloin with a hot mustard rub, or top your roasted pork loin with cranberry glaze.

“New Year’s resolutions don’t need to be difficult,” Bland-Campbell adds. “A few small changes can lead to long term results.”

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