Happy New Year! I say that because I am pretty sure that it's been a whole year since January started. So I guess it's appropriate. In light of the new year, there are so many goals of "new year, new me" which I personally think is an amazing thing. The new year does feel so exciting! There are so many possibilities and so much potential for greatness! Sounds cheesy and I know not everyone shares my enthusiasm for the new year but I think it is a wonderful thing that everyone feels that it is a chance to start again on the path to who they want to be.
Three of the most common new years resolutions are,
1. Diet/Eat healthier
2. Exercise more
3. Lose weight
All of those goals are so amazing! So many people striving to live healthier, more active lives feel better, and more confident.
Unfortunately, On the radio the other day, I heard the saddest thing.
There was a study done on over 800 million people who make new years resolutions and they concluded that most people "give up" on their new years resolutions by January 19th.
19 DAYS into the new year and a majority of people have already "given up" on their goals .
This just makes my heart break, but it also makes me furious. Although not for the reason you may think.
No, I'm not upset that some people don't have the will power to never eat sugar or carbs again.
I'm not mad that people can't work out seven days a week.
I'm not angry that they weren't able to lose 10 pounds in those 19 days.
I'm frustrated that in our society we have let this toxic diet culture that has perpetuated this belief that health and wellness is "GO BIG OR GO HOME". Where it is either you succeeded or you failed.
95% of people who diet "fail". Where else in the health care field is there a procedure that has a 95% fail rate and is still so widely used and accepted by the general population? NO WHERE.
Cause that is just nuts. Can you imagine if getting your appendix out meant there was only a 5% chance of it being effective?
So with a 95% fail rate, would it not be fair to say that its not the people who are doing the failing but the diets?
PEOPLE DON'T FAIL DIETS, DIETS FAIL PEOPLE.
So why is it that dieting is so common? and what about dieting is so hard that 95% of people fail it? and how is a person supposed to lose weight if they shouldn't diet?
Now, what I am about to say is very contradictory to what I've been preaching this whole time. But stay with me ok? ok.
Dieting is so common because..... it does work. For a VERY short time. It does work. People begin their newest fad diet, and BAM just like that they start to drop the weight. They lost 20 pounds in two weeks can you believe it?? Yep. and you want to know why?
THE CALORIE DEFICIT.
The calorie deficit is the difference between the number of calories consumed, and the number of calories burned. (more on this in future posts)
Every fad diet "works" because you are restricting either entire food groups which limits how much a person can eat and causes there to be a significant difference in calories consumed vs calories burned.
So, If they work, then what is wrong with them? And why are they so hard?
Because, they're not sustainable!
What, you're never going to eat carbs again? You're not going to have dessert or eggs, or gluten or whatever the newest fad is for the rest of your life? No.
When you see a new fad diet and that all of these people are trying it and seeing results, before you try it think to yourself-
"is this something I could do for 6 days, 6 weeks, 6 months, or 6 years?" and if you say no, then don't do it.
The smaller the changes the more likely they are to last.
So, if you are ready for lasting change, here are some tips to help you on your way.
• If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is
• There are NO good and bad foods, just amounts
• Do your own research before making major diet changes (from reliable sources that end in- .org, .gov, .edu, etc.)
• Focus on small, simple lifestyle changes
• It is a slow process, healthy weight loss is one to two pounds per week, but your body will notice changes within a few weeks
And remember, the most important thing,
PEOPLE DON'T FAIL DIETS, DIETS FAIL PEOPLE
Take a look at your current habits and find one small thing you can work on, then just go with that until it has become a habit and then pick something new.
Don't be so hard on yourself. It's okay to indulge on a holiday, or special occasion, or the occasional Tuesday because you are feeling it. Don't feel like you messed up, just recognize that it is a lifestyle and that your lifestyle must be flexible.
Start TODAY. Don't wait for Monday, or for the first day of the month, start where you are, and start now.
And just think, this time next year, you could be the healthiest you've ever been and you will have gotten there in a way that allows you to maintain your progress.
Cheers to the New year!
**This blog post in in collaboration with https://www.guilt-freecooking.com - be sure to check out and subscribe to Emily's blog for more posts on health & nutrition!**