Starting a Diet In The New Year
Author: guest writer Jason Gordon
January 17, 2017
What Works and Doesn’t Work When Starting a Diet In The New Year
There’s a good chance that you or someone you know has made a New Year’s resolution to get in shape by dieting, only for February to roll around and the diet dreams go up in smoke. “Maybe next year,” you think, not realizing that the cycle is inevitably bound to repeat itself. A New Year’s diet can be successful; you just have to plan it correctly.
What doesn’t work: Being vague with all-or-nothing resolutions
What works: Be specific and realistic about your goals.
Making a resolution to “diet” or “lose weight” is a self-fulfilling prophecy that’s bound for failure. Why? Because it’s such a broad resolution. You could order a salad at lunch every day for a week, declare that you’re dieting, then get upset when you don’t magically drop a whole pants size and inevitably go back to your old eating habits.
Instead, you need to make goals pertaining to your diet that you can stick to. It will mostly likely need to be a gradual rollback of bad eating habits, which will be much easier for you and your body to handle, compared to deciding to eat healthy starting January 1st. You aren’t going to look like an Instagram fitness model in two weeks, but you know what they say, Rome wasn’t built in a day.
What doesn’t work: Treating a diet like a temporary decision
What works: Making it a lifestyle change
Many people think of going on a diet the same way they think of going on vacation: it’s just a break from normal routine until you “come home” and go back to not watching what you eat. You just need to lose these 10, 20, 30, etc. pounds and then you can get back to living your life, right?
No, you aren’t doing yourself any favors by acting like a diet is something you complete by a certain date. You need to realize that to be healthy, you have to commit to the change for good. Otherwise, you’ll just fall back into your old ways and the cycle will repeat itself. Suppose you called a professional due to a leaky roof. He fixes the leak and tells you about a remedy you need to treat the roof with regularly to prevent it from leaking again. If you don’t follow his instructions, you’ll get another leaky roof. That’s why you need to stick to your diet for good.
What doesn’t work: Going on a diet like you’re going to the gallows
What works: Having a positive attitude about things
Having a positive attitude makes anything better, and diets are no exception. If you think that going on a diet entails starving yourself and being unable to eat anything remotely appetizing, then you’ll be lucky to make it through one day.
Unless you’re eating Twinkies dipped in mayonnaise for three meals a day, a healthy diet isn’t bound to be a completely radical shift in your life. Research ingredients and meals that are healthy and delicious that you would like to eat. Chances are you’ll enjoy the change of pace that a New Year’s diet brings to your life.