Kiss Diet Resolutions Goodbye in 2018!

Jodi Schaeffer, MPH, RD, LDN

As we enter the New Year, many people feel they have eaten way too much over the holidays. Their clothes may not fit the way they want and a diet seems like the perfect easy fix.  But the truth is you should probably skip the “diet resolution” this year!  Statistics show that many dieters give up before the first week is even over, others quit before the end of the month and nearly everyone has abandoned their goal by the end of the year. “Diet resolutions” are often unrealistic and cause us to develop unhealthy relationships with food. Remember, food is not our enemy!  The truth is, nutrient-rich food keeps us alive, gives us energy and helps shape cultures and traditions.

One of the biggest challenges with most diets is that they focus on what not to eat instead of what to eat. If your goal is losing weight or just changing your habits, focus on which nutrient-rich foods you can add to your diet to replace some of the less healthy options.  A good goal is trying to live by the 80/20 Rule.  For 80% of the time, focus on fueling your body with whole grains, lean protein, fruits, vegetables, dairy and water, as well as getting in exercise. Then 20% of the time, you can include foods that maybe should not be consumed every day of the week.

So instead of “diet resolutions,”shift your focus and try “lifestyle changes”!  Check out this handful of ideas:

  1. Eat breakfast every day. If you are in a rush, grab a container of low fat milk, granola bar, a string cheese or some yogurt filled with whole grain granola and fruit.
  2. Add a piece of fruit to your and your children’s brown bag lunch.
  3. Drink water throughout the day.
  4. Add color into your day with produce. Maybe Mondays are yellow with squash or a banana, while Tuesdays are purple with a plum and eggplant. Get creative and try new fruits and vegetables.
  5. Get moving at least 30 minutes a day. Go for a walk, give the car a good scrub or whatever gets the blood pumping!
  6. Get enough sleep; it helps the body stay healthy and cope with stress.

Have a Healthy, Happy New Year!