All across the internet inevitably you’ve been seeing articles about New Year’s resolutions; some that speak affirmingly and some that speak about them negatively.
Frankly, I’m unbothered when someone tells me they have a fitness New Year’s resolution. Statistically it’s no different that setting a fitness goal any other time of the year. Many fail, that is true. What’s also true is that it’s the approach that makes the difference. That said, instead of the typical laundry list of positive tips you often see, I want simply suggest one general idea to help you as you resolve to get your health on the right track this year:
You don’t have to go on a diet.
Often times any issue a person has with their diet is less “what” they eat and more “how.” “Going on a diet” can mislead someone to think they have a sense of control over their intake, when this isn’t necessarily the case. The issue is that diets make the rules when it should be the person making the rules. A way to combat this diet mindset is being more mindful of how you eat. This can include reacting to stress differently other than comforting with food, not eating in front of a phone or television, having purposeful snacks that help with hunger instead of mindless snacking, and having more consistency in your pattern of eating.
Diets require rigidity where mindful eating behaviors welcome flexibility, whether or not you are tracking macros or have a meal plan. Building healthy habits are slower and more difficult to master, but it is the foundation that makes your diet and health more robust and makes the person more relaxed and unwavering in their commitments.
If you’ve tried many New Year’s resolutions in the form of a specific diet and they haven’t worked, then it’s probably time to try something that will. Diets don’t address your needs; only individually-tailored nutritional choices and behaviors will.