I realize that the New Years diet resolution is as predictable as paying taxes and dying, but I’m here to say don’t do it! Not this year. And here’s why:
1. It sets us up for binge eating.
Its that whole idea of I’m never going to eat cookies [or insert your favorite food] again, so I may as well eat as much as I can now!
We’ve all been there. I have admittedly eaten half a pie due to this type of thinking. Get those negative, restrictive thoughts out of your mind and prevent overeating. Instead, focus on your family, friends, and spirituality.
2. They don't work in the long run.
It’s funny how we keep setting the New Years diet resolution, yet time and time again, it does not work. These types of “diets” slow metabolism, increase anxiety and depression, make binge eating more likely and keep out minds preoccupied with food, as well as typically make us gain back the weight.
What can we do now that will lead to a successful New Year?
1. Focus on weight maintenance versus weight loss.
Most people gain weight during the holidays, so maintaining is a huge success. Depending on your circumstances, the holidays may not be an ideal time for weight loss. It’s important to keep goals realistic so we do not set ourselves up for failure.
2. Be physically active each day.
The holidays often throw us off our routines, but exercise needs to be mandatory. Schedule it in your calendar as if it’s a meeting with your boss and stick to it or grab a family member as an accountability partner and get out and walk or jog together.
Exercise will relieve stress (and we’re all stressed) help to regulate your appetite and ultimately help burn off some of those extra holiday calories. You'll thank yourself later!
3. Stay hydrated.
It's easy to mistake hunger for thirst, which makes us much more vulnerable to succumb to those tasty holiday treats we have laying around. It is also very dry outside, but because its not hot, we often don’t think about hydrating the way we would in the summer months. We are also very busy and it can slip our minds, so carry a reusable aluminum water bottle with you at all times as your constant reminder to hydrate. Remember, water is your number one weight loss mechanism!
4. Maintain perspective.
Food is a big part of the season, but it does not have to be the main focus. It’s important we remember balance and moderation. We also need to give ourselves permission to overeat or have some treats once in awhile.
Overeating a time or two throughout the holidays will not make or break our eating plans or cause us to gain weight. If you do over-indulge, put it behind you. Trust yourself to go back to your regular eating plan without guilt, depression, and despair.
Remember what truly feeds us are open and honest relationships, exercise, spirituality, and creative outlets. Feed yourself an abundance of these things this holiday season to stay balanced and get the most out of the season and start your New Year off the right way.