Successfully Set And Achieve Your Weight Loss Goals


As the pumpkin pie, holiday cocktail and sugar cookie memories begin to fade, we’re reminded that the time has come to set or “re-set” our goals. Popular New Year’s resolutions — to lose weight and/or stay fit — resurface with a bang year after year.

You’ve probably heard people say, “Those who lose weight eventually gain it back.” Don’t give up hope! Many people who successfully maintained a substantial weight loss for more than a year have done it on their own.

Registered dietitian Tara Gidus, also known as the Diet Diva, knows it can be a struggle to set goals and stick to them. “Prime weight loss season is upon us, and the need for realistic, achievable and tasty ways to make healthy lifestyle changes is as important as ever,” said Gidus. “An exercise and healthy eating focus, along with a positive attitude and the right tools, can lead to a happier and healthier you — a new you.”

Help yourself to successfully achieve your weight loss resolution with Gidus’ tips.


Photo courtesy of Family Features

Baked Chicken Tenders

• Think of You — Take “me” time to rest, relax, shop or exercise for stress relief. Stress hormones have been tied to weight gain.

• Break it Down — Have an ultimate goal, and then break it into mini goals that are easily achievable. This makes the road to success seem easier and allows you to celebrate along the way.

• Flavor it — Calorie moderation doesn’t have to mean boring. Use Hidden Valley Original Ranch Salad Dressing & Seasoning Mix to add a punch of flavor without compromising calories. It’s especially great to use in dips and other game day snacks.

• Keep Track — People who keep track of what they eat can lose up to twice as much weight as people who don’t. Jotting down how much you ate and how you were feeling can also help you connect food to energy and mood.

• Get Your Zzz — Snooze your way to weight loss. Getting enough sleep is critical to keep the hormones that control your appetite in check.

• Flex Your Muscles — The more muscle mass you have the more calories you burn while you are sleeping. Stay fit by doing strength training twice a week.

• Don’t Multitask — Turn off distractions like the TV and computer while eating or you could lose track of how much has gone in. Tune in to your body’s hunger and fullness cues to know when to eat and when to stop.

For great eating ideas using Hidden Valley products, check out these recipes, or go to

Weight Loss Profile

People who have successfully achieved long-term weight loss tend to have common characteristics:

• Eat breakfast every day

• Monitor their weight weekly

• Watch less TV (i.e. less than 10 hours/week)

• Daily exercise (i.e. 30 to 60 minutes/day)

Baked Chicken Tenders

Preparation time: 20 minutes; chill time: 6 to 24 hours; cook time: 16 to 18 minutes; makes 8 (3-ounce) servings

1, 1.1 ounce packet Hidden Valley Original Ranch Salad Dressing and Seasoning Mix, divided

2 cups non-fat Greek yogurt

1-1/2 cups low-fat buttermilk

1, 20-ounce package fresh 99% fat free chicken tenders

1 cup whole wheat bread crumbs

1/3 cup sliced almonds

1 teaspoon garlic powder

1/4 teaspoon pepper

Olive oil cooking spray

Combine half a packet Ranch Dressing and Seasoning Mix with yogurt; refrigerate.

Combine remaining Ranch Dressing and Seasoning Mix with buttermilk; refrigerate.

Rinse chicken and thoroughly pat dry on paper towels.

Combine chicken and buttermilk mixture together in a food storage zipper bag.

Refrigerate 6 to 24 hours.

Heat oven to 425 degrees.

In a food processor, combine breadcrumbs, almonds, garlic powder and pepper.

Coat chicken in breadcrumb mixture.

Set a wire rack on baking sheet and coat with cooking spray.

Lay chicken pieces on wire rack and spray with more cooking spray.

Bake 16 to 18 minutes until no longer pink (internal temp at least 170 degrees).

Use yogurt mixture as a dipping sauce.


Photo courtesy of Family Features

Original Ranch Spinach Dip

Original Ranch Spinach Dip

Preparation time: 5 to 10 minutes; chill time: at least 30 minutes; makes 12, 1/4-cup servings

1/2 packet Hidden Valley Original Ranch Dips Mix (0.5 ounce)

1 cup plain non-fat Greek yogurt

1 cup light sour cream

1, 10-ounce box frozen chopped spinach, thawed and well drained

1/3 cup chopped walnuts*

Combine Ranch Dips Mix, yogurt, sour cream, spinach, and walnuts.

Chill 30 minutes or until just before serving.

Serve with whole-wheat crackers and raw vegetables.

*Pecans or water chestnuts can be used in place of walnuts.

Cheesy Ranch Popcorn

Preparation time: 5 minutes; cook time: 3-1/2 minutes; makes six, 2-cup servings

1, 3-ounce bag reduced-fat, low sodium butter-flavored microwave popcorn

1/4 pack (0.25 ounce) Hidden Valley Original Ranch Salad Dressing and Seasoning Mix

3 sprays from olive oil mister

3 tablespoon grated Parmesan cheese

Pop popcorn according to package directions. Immediately open the bag and pour the popcorn into a large serving bowl.

Spray the popcorn with three sprays from the olive oil mister, toss with Ranch Salad Dressing and Seasoning Mix and then toss with the Parmesan cheese. Serve immediately.


Photo courtesy of Family Features

Hidden Valley Salad Kits

Introducing Hidden Valley Salad Kits

Just add lettuce! The makers of Hidden Valley introduce Salad Kits — four prepackaged kits containing tasty ingredients sure to liven up everyday salads.

To learn more about new Hidden Valley products, visit

Jenny Harper, Consumer Test Kitchen Project Manager for the Nestlé Test Kitchens, agrees New Year’s resolutions can be tricky to keep sometimes, especially when it comes to eating healthier. For a lot of folks, that means eating more salads and veggies sticks — which can get boring after a while. But the good news is that there are plenty of wonderful ways to use healthful ingredients to make recipes you’ll really enjoy.

Here are a few of the ways she has found to add good-for-you foods:

Fruit — Whole and cut-up fruit adds dietary fiber as well as vitamins to your meal. Canned fruit is fine, just make sure to use fruit canned in 100 percent juice or water, rather than syrup.

• For breakfast, top some creamy, low-fat Greek yogurt with sliced strawberries, peaches or whole blueberries. Add a little drizzle of honey for a touch of sweetness.

• Jazz up a salad with mandarin oranges, pineapple chunks or halved grapes.

• Instead of a rich dessert, try baked apples or pears, or a refreshing fruit salad.

Vegetables — Eating vegetables with a wide range of colors gives your body more nutrients, such as fiber, folate, potassium and vitamins A and C. So have fun eating a rainbow of veggies such as sweet potatoes, corn, spinach and eggplant.

• Make a veggie pizza topped with green peppers, onions, tomatoes and mushrooms.

• Add shredded carrots or zucchini into meatloaf or pasta sauces.

• Plan some vegetable main dish meals. Stir-fries, soups, and veggie lasagnas are just a few ways to have a hearty meal with healthful benefits.

There are plenty of ways to enjoy eating well. This recipe, for example, uses whole-wheat tortillas to make quiche cups instead of piecrusts. And by using lowfat evaporated milk instead of regular milk, you double the calcium and protein, making even your parties healthier.

For more recipes to help you have a delicious new year, visit


Photo courtesy of Family Features

Whole-Wheat Spinach Ricotta Quiche Cups

Whole-Wheat Spinach Ricotta Quiche Cups

Preparation time: 10 minutes; baking time: 30 minutes; makes 10 servings

Nonstick cooking spray

1, 10-ounce package whole-wheat 6-inch tortillas

1, 12-ounce can Nestlé Carnation Evaporated Lowfat 2% Milk

1 cup egg substitute or 4 large eggs

1 cup chopped baby spinach leaves

1/2 cup part-skim ricotta cheese

1/2 cup (2 ounces) shredded Swiss cheese

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray 10, 2-1/2-inch muffin cups with nonstick cooking spray. Soften tortillas by heating in microwave on HIGH (100%) power for 10 seconds. Press tortillas into muffin cups to form quiche crusts.

Whisk evaporated milk, egg substitute, spinach, ricotta and Swiss cheeses, salt and pepper in medium bowl until blended. Spoon about 1/2 cup of mixture into prepared quiche bases, dividing evenly. Stir mixture frequently to evenly distribute ingredients.

Bake for 30 to 35 minutes or until knife inserted near centers comes out clean and tortilla edges are lightly browned. Cool in pan for 5 minutes. Carefully remove quiches. Serve warm.


A 1/2 cup finely chopped ham maybe added to the milk mixture.

Quiche cups can be made ahead and frozen. To reheat, place on baking sheet and bake in preheated 325-degree oven for 25 to 30 minutes or, place in 2 to 4 quiche cups on microwave-safe plate and microwave on MEDIUM-HIGH (70%) power for 2-1/2 to 5 minutes or until hot.

Sources: Hidden Valley and Nestlé From Family Features


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