Every January millions of us set the resolution to lose weight. Whatever the reason, we begin our journey eager to find the secret to dropping weight fast and easy. In the past, I have been guilty of this spending unnecessary dollars on diet pills and weight loss plans that promised to “lose up to 19 pounds in 19 days” and give me the perfect “beach body.”
However, we are all focusing on the wrong thing and setting ourselves up for failure! Instead of obsessing over losing weight, you should be focused on becoming a healthier version of yourself. Then the weight will follow.
What is the secret to being healthy? Well, I hope you’re not disappointed, because becoming healthier isn’t about a miracle diet or a “Superfood”. Food is much more than simply GOOD or BAD!
Some so-called experts want to sell you their diet plan or product that will “instantly improve your health” and make you “lose weight fast”, which may be true at first. However, studies show fad diets may not be sustainable and most weight loss products are a waste of money.1,2 When we restrict our diet too much, we start to associate guilt and shame with eating. This may lead to an unhealthy relationship with food and more harmful side effects in the long term.3,4
What many in the nutrition realm are starting to realize is that becoming healthier is a lot more difficult than a meal plan. Changing your diet means changing habits! That’s not an easy thing when you’ve been eating the same way for years. What we eat is more than a diet plan, it’s our daily lives, our traditions, and our culture.
How do you become healthier without sacrificing these customs? Instead of setting one resolution this year to lose weight, resolve year round to make better lifestyle choices. Recognize unhealthy habits and set realistic goals. Ice cream may be ok for a date, but not every night before bed. By setting small resolutions, or goals, throughout the year we can set ourselves up to achieve the healthier life we have always envisioned.
HOW TO SET SUSTAINABLE GOALS AND ACHIEVE THEM 1 DAY AND 1 MONTH AT A TIME.
- Every Month, set 1-3 weekly goals that you feel you can maintain. They can be small and simple
- Examples of goals for starting out
- Track the foods you eat for at least 5 days each week.
- Eat at least two servings of fruits and vegetables each day
- Eat out only 2 meals per week
- Exercise 3 days per week for 30 minutes.
- Examples of goals for starting out
- Each month build on your goals. Don’t forget to track them each week. This is important to hold ourselves accountable, which is vital if you truly want to make changes.
- Keep setting and tracking goals each month, and by the end of the year you will have a whole bunch of new healthy habits! You may also see benefits such as weight loss, decreased cholesterol and better blood pressure.
WEIGHT LOSS TIP! When it comes to losing weight, I have one big piece of advice. DON’T WEIGH YOURSELF EVERY DAY. Weight fluctuates too much throughout the day and from day to day. Weight yourself once per month, if that. Use your compliance to your goals as your measurement of success rather than your weight! If you begin to make better choices and build habits, your weight will trend to a healthy range.
Need more guidance? Follow my journey…
Personally, I have been implementing this method of setting small sustainable goals in various forms for years. One of the first goals I set for myself was to run a 5K. From there I went on to run a 10K, and eventually a Half Ironman (along with countless other runs and triathlons). Although I don’t run as far as (or as fast as) I used too, running is a habit I have continued to incorporate into my routine to this day!
As for next year, 2018 is starting out stressful, and I want to set myself up to succeed. Therefore, I have decided to choose only one resolution to focus on for January. I wanted to choose something I know I can sustain over the next 4 weeks. Also, if I choose an activity to reduce my stress, I will hopefully be able to focus on more goals next month. Therefore, my first resolution will be to start doing yoga, stretching, or meditating in the morning for at least 15 minutes, 4 days per week.
Remember! A healthy lifestyle is multi-dimensional and addresses both your physical and mental health!
By sharing my journey, I hope to inspire you along yours! Keep following me to see how I do and for more advice and tips on how you can set sustainable goals for a healthier life.
What is your first resolution of 2018 going to be?
Leave me a comment with your goals!
- Popular weight-loss diets: from evidence to practice. Malik & Hu, 2007.
- Dietary supplements for improving body composition and reducing body weight: where is the evidence? Manore, 2012.
- The clinical basis of orthorexia nervosa: emerging perspectives. Koven & Abry, 2015.
- Orthorexia Nervosa: A Review of the Literature. Costa et al, 2017.
Check out The Better Health Channel for a great resource on how to spot fad diets and how to follow a balanced, diet-free lifestyle