New Year’s Resolutions Losing Their Shine?

This is the time of year when New Year’s resolutions start to lose their shine. People who vowed to follow fad diets are getting discouraged, finding it harder and harder to stick to them.

Take advantage of this time to re-energize your clients, students, or employees with practical, science-based messages about healthy eating. Here are three ideas for helping individuals or groups move on from unhealthy, unrealistic resolutions:

  1. Start Over with the Best:  If you kicked-off the new year with a restrictive fad diet, start over with U.S. News & World Report’s top-ranking diet. The Mediterranean diet is number one overall, easiest to follow, heart-healthy, and plant-based. It’s also visually appealing – something that’s captured in our Mediterranean Diet Class PowerPoint Show. The beautiful photographs of foods, herbs, spices, and prepared dishes will have everyone’s mouth watering.
  2. Buckle Down with the Basics:  When it comes to nutrition and healthy eating, misinformation is the rule rather than the exception. When you’re confused, it’s time to go back to the basics, bootcamp-style. Our Nutrition Bootcamp PowerPoint Show provides the knowledge needed to ditch the fads and focus on what really works.
  3. Reset with New Goals:  Do you start every year off with big goals that you never achieve? Stop, step back, and reset your expectations. Our Getting Started PowerPoint Show puts you on track to a new, practical way of looking at nutrition and diets. It starts with setting realistic goals and moves on to other secrets to success, like following a sensible, simple eating plan (MyPlate) and teaming up with others for support.

Hollis Bass, MEd, RD, LD

 

Get Their Attention with Food Photos

It won’t be long until people start thinking about New Year’s resolutions. Ads for weight loss programs will show up in social media feeds. Health and nutrition influencers will tout their magic bullets.

When you stick to science-based recommendations, it can be hard to compete. How can you get your clients’ attention away from the flashy fads and quick-fixes?

We have just the answer! Our collection of MyPlate Food Photos can help you stand out while promoting a healthy, plant-based eating pattern based on the MyPlate concept.

Use these beautiful, professional photographs of real food to get your message across. Here are just a few ideas:

  • Inspire your social media followers with beautiful photos of plates that follow the MyPlate guidelines. Kick off 2021 by posting a MyPlate meal of the day for the first 15 days of the year.
  • Motivate your readers with a blog series on healthy choices from each food group. With our pictures, you won’t have to add many words to make your point.
  • Guide your students through the important topic of serving sizes with a presentation that features pictures of appropriate portions of real food.
  • Instruct everyone about what makes up a healthy eating plan with photos showing how many servings of each food group you need every day.
  • Remind your clients what healthy eating looks like by sending them pictures of real food in emails or text messages.

Remember, a picture is worth a thousand words!

Hollis Bass, MEd, RD, LD

MyPlate & New Year’s Resolutions

While everyone is prepping for the holidays, it’s time for nutrition and health educators to think about what comes next – New Year’s resolutions.

Year after year, people make – and fail to keep – diet-related resolutions. They usually vow to completely change how they eat, often by following a fad diet that is overly restrictive, thus setting themselves up for failure by February.

How can we set them up for success in 2020? By showing people how to make diet resolutions that are simple, science-based, and realistic. Diet resolutions they can keep for life! And we think MyPlate is the perfect place to start.

As a MyPlate National Strategic Partner, we’re proud to offer an amazing collection of MyPlate posters and other materials. Here are two that you can use to start a conversation about New Year’s resolutions:

  • The Healthy Plate poster is unique and sure to get people’s attention! Instead of the traditional MyPlate graphic, it uses beautiful illustrations to show the MyPlate concept. And it comes with a downloadable handout that has the traditional MyPlate graphic with tips on one side and a quiz on the other side.
  • Our MyPlate Photo poster includes the MyPlate graphic along with photographs of real food for each group. It also comes with a downloadable handout full of tips.

Just in time for the new year, USDA is launching Start Simple with MyPlate. This new campaign has some great resources to help with MyPlate-style New Year’s resolutions. Here are just a few of our favorites:

  • MyPlate Plan: Get personalized food group targets by entering your age, sex, height, weight, and physical activity level. There’s also a Spanish version. (Note: MyPlate Plan isn’t quite perfect yet. For us, it worked fine on Chrome, but not on Safari.)
  • MyPlate Plan Widget: Share MyPlate Plan with your clients and readers by embedding a widget on your website.
  • MyPlate Quizzes: These online quizzes are perfect for teaching the MyPlate concept. There’s one for each food group!
  • MyPlate Email Updates: Stay up-to-date on all things MyPlate by signing up at ChooseMyPlate.gov/GovDelivery.
  • MyPlate App get the link on this page and use the MyPlate app to stay on track all year!

New Year Resource Rundown

Lots of people choose the new year as a time to start fresh. Here are some great links to help you offer your clients everything they need to make 2015 the best year yet!

New Year’s Resolutions:

General Health:

Exercise:

Weight Management:

Resources for You:

And, of course, there’s more in the store!

Resolutions for 2017

Early each year every website, television newscast, and magazine at the grocery checkout offers advice on New Year’s resolutions. Most of these involve eating a better diet and getting or staying healthy. It’s almost obligatory that I post about making a new start to a healthier lifestyle in the New Year.

But, do you really want to read more about what you should or shouldn’t do, eat or drink?

Most people already know, or they won’t be making those resolutions. Our local newspaper projected that only 8% of all resolutions are kept.

The real key to resolutions is how to make them stick. If I ask in a month, will you still be “working on them?”

The experts say that in order to turn good intentions into long-term actions, you need to set small goals that you can keep. These small changes can add up. Other suggestions include making the goals specific. Don’t choose vague goals like “eat more fruits and vegetables” but instead choose something that is measurable and concrete, “cook one vegetable each night for dinner.” Another key to keeping resolutions is to write them down.

It may also be useful to change the title.

Instead of “New Year’s resolutions,” make them “Resolutions for the Year.” Think about of doing one new thing each month. Then, at the end of the year you’ll have 12 new habits and a more healthful lifestyle. Develop achievable goals based on the changes you’d like to make for yourself.

Here’s another tip: instead of making one long list, write a goal on the first day of each month on your new calendar or in your phone. That way, you’ll see it at the beginning of each month. Do something new each month, but don’t forget to keep going on the goal from the previous month(s).  You’ll just keep “adding on” each month.

Simple changes and goals can go a long way to making a big difference in your health.

Next year at this time, if someone asks whether you kept your resolutions from last year you’ll be able to say, “yes, 12 of them.”

By Cheryle Jones Syracuse, MS, Professor Emeritus, The Ohio State University

Motivation Tip: Use a Reward Chart

Reward Chart Poster

One of the most popular tools in my nutrition educator’s bag of tricks is a good reward chart. It helps with motivation, makes it easier to celebrate important milestones, and adds a sense of fun to a new endeavor.

That’s why I created the Reward Chart poster. I wanted a resource that would help people focus on important health goals, and it has been flying off the shelves since its introduction to the store.

Today, because I love ya, I’m giving away the handout that comes with this poster, for free.

Yes, you read that right!

In order to further boost motivation, the Reward Chart poster comes with a simple handout about selecting rewards and the evaluating the impact of healthful choices. I’ve copied that information below and slipped in a free downloadable PDF of the handout too…

Choosing Rewards:

When it comes to choosing rewards for your achievements, it’s important to choose options that will encourage your efforts. Skip food or drink rewards. Instead, try one of these options…

  • High FiveHand weights
  • Resistance bands
  • Yoga mat
  • Swim goggles
  • Running shoes
  • Movie passes
  • New cooking equipment
  • Sharp knife
  • Colorful cutting board
  • Nonstick skillets
  • Fresh herbs
  • New spices
  • New workout clothes
  • iPod or other digital music device
  • A deposit in a savings account for a vacation
  • A trip to a museum or art exhibit

The Benefits of Your Decision:

There are tons of benefits to good health.

A balanced diet and exercise plan will reduce your risk of…

  • Family JogDiabetes
  • Heart disease
  • Stroke
  • Certain cancers
  • Metabolic syndrome
  • Obesity

At the same time, making healthful diet and exercise choices will provide the following benefits…

  • Increased stamina
  • Better sleep
  • Improved mood
  • Increased flexibility
  • Stronger bones
  • Higher energy levels

Congratulations on starting down the road to good health.

You can do it!

And, as promised, here is the PDF handout that’s (usually) only available to people who already bought the Reward Chart poster. I hope you like it!

Reward Chart Handout

Last but not least, we have some other great resources in the Nutrition Education Store — they’re sure to give your clients a motivation boost!

Save Calories with 7 Simple Steps Poster

Reward Chart Sheet

Poster: How Much to Work it Off?