Tag Archives: #newyearsresolutions

5 No-Diet New Year’s Resolutions

It’s a new year, and a good time to renew your commitment to healthy eating. Here’s my advice about how to do just that, without taking drastic steps that will derail your vows in a few weeks, or less. As always, think progress, not perfection.

Do. Not. Diet.

Let’s face it: diets suck.

Fad diets are tempting, but ignore their false promises, and focus instead on improving your eating pattern for longterm success. You’ve done it before, so you know that quitting every favorite food will not fly in the long run.

Food is fuel, and you must eat to survive. The best way to eat is one that you can live with, and doesn’t require “cheat days” to sustain. As my colleague Shelley Real so aptly puts it, “Eating isn’t cheating.”   

Read about one thing that can lead to a longterm healthy relationship with food. 

Eat to burn more calories.  

We nutrition experts encourage eating whole grains for their fiber, and other nutrients. But did you know that whole grains are also metabolism boosters? Whole grains include cereals, breads, grains, and popcorn. Eat at least three servings daily, or even better, make all of your grains the whole kind.

Don’t play the numbers game.

Consider ditching the bathroom scale and the tape measure. Constantly taking stock of your weight can be a downward spiral, especially when weight loss doesn’t occur as quickly as you like. Focus on overall health instead.

Stop the shaming.

So you overindulged during the holidays. So what? Punishing yourself for past transgressions is pointless, and shame is a useless and harmful emotion. Good health isn’t an all-or-nothing endeavor.  Some days, weeks, and months are better than others when it comes to eating and exercising. Each day is a new chance to make better choices.

Discover how to get more Body Kindness.

Ditch the trash talk. 

There are certain phrases I never use, including “fat” (as it relates to body weight), “skinny,” and “clean eating” because they have negative connotations that contribute to a disordered relationship with food. “Guilty pleasures,” “cheat days,” and “detox” are not on my vocabulary list, either. Hopefully, if you stop using these useless phrases, you’ll improve your point of view about eating.

What are your non-diet goals for 2018?

 

A Better New Year’s Resolution

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It’s that time of year when thoughts turn to self-improvement. Americans typically vow to eat better, exercise more, and quit smoking on January 1. That’s why I was struck by the results of a recent Marist poll that found the majority of those asked said being a better person was their top goal in 2017.

I’m not sure what being a “better” person actually means to the people who were polled. Maybe they intend to be more considerate of friends, family members, and co-workers, donate more time or money to people in need, or resist the urge to be rude when they’re in a bad mood. The meaning really doesn’t matter, however. The fact that people have a desire to live a more purpose-filled life or be kinder to their fellow human beings fills me with hope, and puts a new spin on new year’s resolutions.

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Being a better person is full of possibilities, unlike most January vows, including swearing off all of your favorite foods and going to the gym seven days a week when you don’t really want to.  Punishing resolutions sap your energy, and can leave you feeling frustrated when you don’t live up to your own drastic expectations.

Of course, there is nothing wrong with efforts to eat better, exercise more, and give up the cigarettes.  There is evidence that people who make resolutions at the beginning of the year to do something positive are more likely to stick with those vows six months later. All I ask is that you be forgiving of yourself along the way, because slip ups will happen (nobody is perfect!).  As my friend and colleague Rebecca Scritchfield, author of Body Kindness says, it’s important to have compassion for yourself on the journey to better living.

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Seems that you can’t go wrong with being generous with your time and money, or simply being kinder every day. Research shows giving back stimulates the reward center in your brain and relieves stress.

Doing good benefits your body and brain while helping others.  Sounds like the perfect resolution to me!

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