Happy New Year! It’s that time of the year again. Have you come up with your resolution? Did you know that the most common resolutions are related to eating better and weight loss? Did you also know that at least 80% of resolutions do not work or people do not continue with? Part of that has to do with the diet mentality and the idea that to maintain a healthy weight you must start a diet.
Fad diets are not new, in fact it was known that in 6th century BC athletes talked about fasting and fad diets. Also, one of the first fad diets was started by Lord Byron in 1820, when he encouraged people to eat only potatoes drenched with vinegar for weight loss. Then through the years, you have had “the tapeworm diet” in the early 1900s (tapeworms were ingested to help with weight loss through vomiting and diarrhea), “the reach for a Lucky diet” in 1929 (encouraged you to reach for cigarette instead of food), “the grapefruit diet” in the 1930s (where you ate a grapefruit before meals), and “the sleeping beauty diet” in the 1970s (where you were sedated for days to prevent eating).
Although most of us can admit that these diets sound extreme and unhealthy, there are still diets out there that people are willing to try that are not healthy for our bodies. For example, the low carbohydrate diet has been around for a long time just going by different names: Atkins, South Beach, etc. This diet promises fast weight loss results, but unfortunately it does not advertise the negative results, which include that it can be hard on muscles and organs and that it does not promise long term healthy weight maintenance.
Many of these fad diets are not realistic and cause eliminations of foods and food groups that our body needs. Then, when our body doesn’t get enough of that food or group, cravings can increase. This increase in cravings and urges to binge or overeat as well as a change in metabolism usually will result in weight gain after the diet is stopped. So this New Year, don’t look for a fad diet, treat your body with love and respect and practice moderation of all foods and regular physical activity that will help increase mental and physical well-being.
If you're looking for ways to love your body and treat it right try out some of the following new year’s resolutions devoted to self care and well-being:
-Go to sleep 30 minutes earlier each night
-Devote time at least once a month to volunteering
-Try a new activity... rock climbing, hiking, ballroom dance, any type of fun and joyful movement!
-Meditate. There are lots of cool apps for this!
-Call a distant friend or relative once a week to re-connect
-Journal each evening before bed
-For picky eaters or those stuck in a rut, try a new food or recipe once a week!
Resolutions don't have to be WEIGHT focused to increase our health and happiness.