23 December 2014 Time for 2015 New Year’s Diet Resolutions

Will you soon be writing up a new set of diet resolutions for 2015? Or do you recycle the same old goals every year: lose an unreasonable amount of weight in an unreasonably short time? Never eat sugar? Have 5% body fat? Did those work out in the past? If not, maybe you need to re-imagine your goals.

Unrealistic resolutions typically combine some number with a specific time frame. I don’t recommend them because, when the impossible goals aren’t achieved, you give up completely on your weight loss efforts out of frustration. Here are some examples:

1. I’m going to lose X pounds the first month
2. I’m going to fit into X dress size by my birthday
3. I’m going to have a perfect bikini body by May
4. My body fat will be Y % in 2 months
5. My glucose/cholesterol/blood pressure/etc will be under control in 3 months

In most of these examples, just removing the time frame goal will help a great deal. Getting your blood glucose under control or fitting into a certain dress size eventually are fine goals, but you may take two to three times as long to achieve them than planned. That doesn’t mean they aren’t worthy goals. You could re-write the resolution to say “I plan to lose X pounds”, and then track your weight loss over time with a graph so you can see your success.

Specific diet and food resolutions can also be tricky. Unless you plan to eat exactly the same thing every single day, your food intake will naturally vary. Resolving to never eat more than 1200 calories a day is a set up for failure when you inevitably eat more. Same goes for resolutions to limit fat, sodium or sugar. If you must make resolutions about numbers, go with ranges instead of strict limits.

Resolving to stick to a certain diet plan? You may dive into a low carb plan on January 1st, but by January 10th you find it isn’t so easy to stick with. A better set of food and diet resolutions might include:

  • avoid foods with added sugar
  • eat more vegetables and fruits
  • eat 3 small meals/day
  • stay hydrated
  • keep tempting junk foods out of the home or office
  • be active every day

If following some specific diet plan for awhile helps you achieve these goals, so much the better. But you haven’t linked your success to that diet, so if you drift away from it, you can still pursue your healthy eating goals.

What resolutions do I have? As we age, weight maintenance and fitness require more work, so that’s where my focus lies. For 2015, I plan to:

1. Keep up protein intake. Why this? I don’t eat a lot of meat, so paying attention to high protein foods is important.

2. Be active every single day in some way. Making time for exercise isn’t always a priority, so this means I sometimes have to push myself to get moving.

3. Eat significant amounts of fresh fruits and vegetables every day. Sometimes, when very few fruits or vegetables are in season, this means getting creative with what is available.

4. Cook more meatless meals. Plant-based diets are known to be healthier. This means experimenting with more whole grains and legumes.

5. Limit sweets and treats. Occasional indulgence in treats that taste fabulous should be enough. Mindless daily consumption of mediocre junk is a really bad way to treat your body.

Here’s another resolution tip: make some resolutions that have nothing to do with food or diet. Don’t focus all your mental energy on your weight. There are other fun and important things in life.

Happy New Year to MyNetDiary readers and best wishes for a healthy and fit 2015.

Donna P. Feldman MS RDN

Nutrition journalist at Radio Nutrition

Co-host: Walk Talk Nutrition podcast.

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Disclaimer: The information provided here does not constitute medical advice. If you are seeking medical advice, please visit your healthcare provider or medical professional.

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Holidays / Parties/New Year's Weight Loss/Goals & Monitoring

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