7 Tips For A Non Diet New Year
It’s almost National Dieting Month (aka January). It’s the time of year where most people set resolutions focused on dieting and weight loss. When 95% of diets fail, why do we continue to set the same resolutions year after year? We secretly hope that this time it will be different. This time I’ll be in the 5%. This time I’ll have enough willpower to succeed.
How has that worked for you in the past?
When you’ve set goals to manipulate your body through diet and exercise in the past, how did that turn out? How long did it last?
I used to joke with my girlfriends each January that we need to stay away from the gym and return in February. Each year, January rolls around and you have to stalk people to their cars to find parking, wait to get on a machine, and there’s a sea of new faces. Then February rolls around and it’s back to normal.
We usually blame ourselves or our lack of self control. “If only I had more willpower, I would have been able to stick with it.” The truth is that it has nothing to do with you and your motivation, willpower or self control. The diet is the problem!
If you’re someone who usually sets a weight loss or dieting goal each New Year, I want to challenged to to make a new goal this year. Set a goal to NOT micromanage your weight, food intake or gym time. It can be so liberating and can actually improve your overall health, both physically and mentally.
7 Non Diet New Year’s Resolutions to Make Instead
#1 Stop Using “Diet” Vocabulary
So you find yourself saying things like, “I shouldn’t eat that,” or referring to foods as being “good” and “bad”? Instead, replace those things with: ” I may eat this,” “I can eat that, ” and “it’s OK to eat this.”
#2 Diversify Your Social Media
It’s time to clean up your social media feed. Unfollow, block or unfriend any accounts that make you feel bad about yourself or trigger diet mentality. That means all those people who constantly post before and after pictures, their sweaty workout pics or are constantly talking about dieting.
Two minutes a day on social media can change the way you feel about yourself. I don’t know about you, but I spend way more than 2 minutes a day on social media. So if we’re constantly being triggered about not being good enough, then we start feeling pretty crappy about ourselves.
Follow more body positive accounts and people who aren’t only promoting diet culture.
#3 Make Time For Daily Self Care
Self care is the number one way to take care of your mental, emotional and spiritual health. It’s not always a mani/pedi, massage, or a vacation. It’s the little things we can do every day like going to bed 15-20 minutes earlier, calling a friend, or listening to uplifting music. I love the #boringselfcare on Instagram. It can give you some great tips for self care like doing the laundry and flossing your teeth.
#4 Eat More Variety
If you’re someone who is still stuck on labeling your food as either “good” or “bad,” start eating a bigger variety of foods. Start to eat those “off limit” foods. Start slowly, one at a time.
#5 Stop Comparing Yourself to Others
I struggle with this one. I’m always comparing myself to others and wondering if what I’m doing is good enough. I think as women we struggle with this.
Harsh dose of truth: not everything you see on social media is reality. It may appear that your friend has the “perfect life.” Kids always put together and the perfect adoring husband, and not to mention… how the heck does every selfie look like a professional took it?
#6 Cultivate More Gratitude
This is something I don’t do enough. Gratitude is a great way for us to manage stress and it’s a simple form of self care. When take the time to reflect and connect to our experiences though out the day, we are much happier people. I like to end my day by writing down 3 things I’m thankful for. Look for the small things. It can be a good cup of coffee, time spent with your sister, or your child’s laughter.
#7 Create a Tool Box of Coping Mechanisms
Having a toolbox of strategies you can use to help you manage stress is so important. My only coping strategy used to be food. And it’s OK if food is one strategy, but shouldn’t be the only strategy. Using food to cope can become a problem if it’s your only strategy or it doesn’t work. I don’t want you to slip into “using food to cope is bad” because it isn’t. You want to have several coping skills to deal with stress, sadness, boredom, etc. Want help doing this? Check out my 7 Day Emotional Eating Plan. It will help you set up your strategies.
As we end 2018, take some time to reflect on the past year. What wen’t well? What do you want to change? If you’ve spent time dieting, restricting and trying to manipulate your body, ask “how has that affected me?”
Now, set new goals for 2019. Think outside the box. Reject the diet mentality and start to focus on things that create more freedom with food and body.
What is your New Year’s Resolution for 2019? I’d love to hear from you.