You don’t have to make a New Year’s resolution, but there’s a good chance you already did. And a recent study by the University of Scranton reveals that half of the top 10 most-common resolutions have to do with improving your body. With that in mind, we consulted Craig T. Hunt, a nutritionist, registered dietician and adjunct instructor at Eastern Washington University and the University of Washington Department of Family Medicine, Spokane for some pointers.
RESOLUTION: To convince my body that the past three weeks of over-eating never happened.
Another word for this is “detox.” Hunt advises the consumption of high fiber foods for detox. “There’s two types of fiber that help clean your body out. One acts like a scraper, the other acts like a sponge. So it’s kind of like when you’re doing your dishes you want to use your scraper and your sponge,” he says.
Scraper foods include broccoli, zucchini, asparagus, kale and bok choy, among many others. Sponges are foods that contain soluble fiber to absorb toxins, bacteria and bile acids. You’ll find this type of fiber in whole grains; fruits like prunes, plums, apples and bananas as well as in nuts and beans. And of course, when you detox, drink plenty of water.
RESOLUTION: To lose 80 pounds
According to Hunt, if you want to eat healthfully the first thing you need to do is to lower the bar. “Try something ridiculously easy,” he says, “like ‘I’m going to have one more cup of water a day.’”
Instead of 80 pounds, focus on losing half a pound to two pounds per week. You also have to know your body. What works for your friends and family might not work for you. And those food apps that help monitor your intake — for some they might not be helpful at all.
“I think it’s helpful for some people to keep an eye on their calories, but for other people, that kind of backfires on them. They start thinking about food all day long. They start obsessing about food,” says Hunt.
He says to avoid “sneaker foods,” like nuts. Having a few is fine but don’t put a bowl out in front of you. That contributes to mindless eating and weight gain.
RESOLUTION: To get rid of this hangover and to never, ever feel this way ever again.
The best way to never feel as if your mouth is lined with waxed cardboard and your skull is rimmed with a Jamaican steel drum is to never drink on an empty stomach. Personally, I never get hung over when I eat sushi. Hunt suggested that this sushi phenomenon can be attributed to the carbohydrates in rice and the protein in fish.
“Alcohol lowers blood sugar so the rice should help keep your blood sugar up,” Hunt explains. “And the protein will help stabilize it.”
Once the hangover hits, though, it’s all about fluid and electrolytes. So basically any beverage that ends in a misspelling of the word “aid” is probably a good choice.
RESOLUTION: To quit smoking without gaining a ton of weight.
I quit smoking four years ago and gained a ton of weight. No kidding. It was like after that last puff my metabolic rate said, “To hell with you, if you won’t feed me nicotine then I am not working for you anymore.” Unfortunately, there is no metabolic-rate-increasing food. According to Hunt, my metabolic rate was actually saying that it needed some more activity.
“It can be stretching, or yoga or Pilates. It doesn’t have to be a zumba class,” he says.
To keep up a high metabolic rate make sure to eat at least three to five meals a day. Consume those detox foods, they are helpful for anyone quitting a toxic activity.
RESOLUTION: To gain weight
Yes, there are those who want to increase their mass. Trail mix and caloric beverages are the best way to keep weight on without feeling bloated or heavy.
RESOLUTION: To look as if you’re brimming with vitality.
It’s the time of year when most Spokanites begin to look a little pasty. The sun hasn’t been out in weeks and our pallor is similar to that of the fallen snow. The natural, edible cure lies in food full of carotene. Colorful fruits and vegetables, like carrots and deep green leafy vegetables, improve skin tone but not to a Veruca Salt extreme.