The new year is already here and as your family gets ready to hit the ground running with school activities and busy schedules, you might have questions about how to fit in a New Year’s resolution of losing weight. Not to worry- you’re not alone in your goal to reach a healthy weight; according to the U.S. government’s official web portal, USA.gov, the most popular New Year’s resolution is to lose weight, followed closely by the resolutions of “get fit” and “eat right”.
Let the expert’s at Dayton Children’s guide you and your family in your quest to get fit this winter.
Things to keep in mind while trying to achieve a healthy weight….
- Losing weight is hard work, made even more difficult by feelings of hunger and deprivation. Fight off feelings of hunger by eating regularly scheduled, small meals and snacks. One of the biggest culprits we see derail healthy eating efforts is skipping breakfast. You can start the year off on the right track by making everyone in your house starts their day with something healthy in their tummy.
- Best breakfast picks include whole grain (low-sugar) cereals, low-fat milk, reduced-sugar yogurt, fresh and canned (in light syrup/juice) fruit, whole grain toast, and eggs or egg whites.
- Remember those fruits and vegetables! Incorporate a serving of fruits and/ vegetables at every single meal. In the winter months when fresh produce is hard to come by and more expensive, opt for frozen or canned (low sodium and in fruit juice) to get the most nutritional bang for your buck.
- Don’t drink your calories. We see countless patients who could easily reach a healthy weight just by cutting out juice, soda pop, energy drinks, and sports drinks.
- Drink water throughout the day and when thirst strikes, continue with water, calorie-free beverages, or skim milk.
- Don’t skimp on the protein when trying to lose weight. In a study led by researchers at Purdue University and published in the Journal of Obesity, it was found that a lower calorie diet that contained a higher amount of protein helped overweight women retain more lean body mass (such as muscle) while losing weight compared to women who consumed the same amount of calories but ate less protein. What does this mean for you and your family? Try to include protein at each meal and snack. The best sources of protein include lean meat, skinless poultry, eggs, low fat dairy, fish, soy products, and legume (such as kidney beans and pinto beans).
- Stay active during the winter months. Just because it’s cold outside doesn’t mean it’s time to sit on the couch! Take advantage of playing out in the snow when it’s available and, if you are able, get your exercise by shoveling. If you’re stuck inside all day, stay active with dancing, jumping jacks, push-ups and sit-ups and more. For more ideas about ways to stay active, visit our website.
- Remember, it’s not always about the number on the scale; it’s about your health. By making simple changes to improve your diet and by becoming more active, you can reach that New Year’s Resolution of “get fit” and “eat right”. And that’s a HUGE accomplishment!
About our Expert Pamela M. Nisevich MS, RD, CSSD, LD
Pam has been a clinical dietitian at Dayton Children’s since 2006. She is currently the director of The Body Shop and is the primary clinical dietitian for the 3E General Pediatrics unit and metabolic disorders. Pam received her BS in Dietetics from Miami University and completed her MS and dietetic internship at The Ohio State University. She has completed an American Dietetic Association Pediatric and Adolescent Weight Management Certificate and is currently working on a certification in sports nutrition. She is very involved in the Sports, Cardiovascular, and Wellness Nutrition (SCAN) Dietetic Practice Group and is interested in sports dietetics, food marketing, nutrition communications, teaching, and writing. Pam is a talented marathon runner and triathlete who dreams of becoming a professional athlete in an endurance sport.