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!
We have a new category in our poster library: Health and Humor. We have collected our most fun and funny posters and included them in one collection for you to see. Here are just a few:
Research suggests that humor produces psychological and physiological benefits that help students learn.
Zak Stambor, Monitor, American Psychological Association June 2006, Vol 37, No. 6, Print version: page 62
There are 12 different posters in this gallery. Imagine the delight when your staff, clients, patients, or students read about a “see-food diet” or try to outrun their fork (our newest poster)! They will stop reading their phones and start talking to each other. And they might remember some of your important lessons!
Here is a fun handout you can use now – it is about putting on your eating lights.
One of the most important things we learned while making the Math of Movement poster is that time is precious. We only have 24 hours in a day and we spend two thirds of it working and sleeping. There is precious little time left getting ready for work, commuting in traffic, nurturing ourselves and our relationships, and being active.
But there were four more lessons along the way.
Doing anything at all burns at least double the calories as compared to sitting. Sitting only burns 76 calories while doing even the most mundane chores like sweeping or vacuuming burns a minimum of 150 calories. Of course vigorous exercise is even better and it burns 400 or more calories on average.
Brisk walking is so easy and it helps induce an energy deficit that is not countered by hunger. We likened that to walk more and eat less!
There are three kinds of exercise and they are classified by what they strengthen: heart, muscles, or bones. Aerobic exercise or cardio is what strengthens the heart while lifting weights or using resistance training will strengthen muscles. Bones are strengthened by weight bearing exercise such as walking or running. Swimming for example will strengthen your heart and some muscles but it won’t help strengthen your bones. It is important to mix it up a little and do a couple of activities.
It is easy to get enough exercise if you count up your minutes per day and each week. There are 168 hours in a week and you only need to spend 2.5 to 5 of those hours working out in moderate to vigorous activity to gain health benefits if you are an adult. That is like 2.5% on average. Make a motto to “keep moving” or employ standing at work instead of sitting.