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New Year’s Resolutions: Ready, Set … no WEIGHT!

January 12, 2021

Guest blog: Caitlyn G. Freeman, Registered Dietitian
Clinical Expertise

Caitlyn Freeman, RD, LDN, dietitian at Siskin Hospital.

The beginning of the New Year always brings a time of reflection; for many, it’s a time to set goals and desires for the year to come.

How many times have you told yourself, “This is the year I will lose 30 pounds,” “This is the year I’ll fit back into those jeans,” or “This is the year I’ll finally take control of my eating habits”?

Unfortunately, too many Americans have similar thoughts. Although resolutions may be made with good intentions, the days turn into weeks, weeks turn into months and the next thing you know you are stuck in the same old habits of previous years.

This is your reminder that diets don’t work.

You may be thinking, “I’ve gone on diets before and they have worked!” However, if they truly worked, then why would you need to go on another one?

You didn’t fail the diet; the diet failed you. Diets and plans are designed for short-term fixes. If you want something that will last for the long term, ditch the diets!

This New Year, challenge yourself to start practicing sustainable approaches to nourishing and respecting your body well. You won’t be able to make good choices for your body if you do not love and respect everything it does for you. If you constantly tell yourself everything you are not, the motivation will eventually dwindle. Find reasons today why you are thankful for your body. Maybe you are the head of the household and your body goes to work five days every week to provide for your family. Perhaps you are a mom who cooks meals and makes your house a home. You could be the friend who offers hugs and a helping hand! What are you thankful your body accomplishes? Once you find reasons to be thankful for all that your body is currently able to accomplish, then you will be able to make healthy, lasting changes for yourself!

It is important to focus on how you feel and how you care for your body overall rather than a number on the scale. Fueling your body with nourishing foods such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins as well as practicing regular exercise will have such a greater impact on your long-term health than completing “that diet” and dropping weight too fast.

Looking for ways to move forward? Here are some examples of realistic, sustainable goals that will help you reach health goals in 2021:

  • One meal a day, half of my plate will be made up of fruits and vegetables.
  • I’ll set my alarm 5 minutes earlier to stretch before starting my morning routine.
  • I’ll drink at least 5 cups of water every day.
  • I’ll work toward getting at least 7-8 hours of sleep each night.
  • I’ll exercise 3 times a week by walking or some other activity that I enjoy.

Notice – not one of these goals identifies foods to remove from your diet. Research shows that when individuals try to remove or restrict items from their diet, often times there is an accompanying loss of self-control and psychological distress. Make peace with those “bad” foods and be ok with allowing them in your diet in moderation.

Hoping in this New Year you make peace with your body, with all foods and become the healthiest version of yourself for years to come!