Becoming a Healthier You in the New Year

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With the new year coming up, a lot of you are probably planning to make some major lifestyle changes or begin some strict crash diets and detoxes.  Before you torture yourself, you might want to consider the fact that detoxes and strict diets have shown to be less likely to give you long lasting results! So if they are not likely to get you to where you want to be long term, what alternatives can? How do we make a realistic New Year’s resolution for lasting results?

First of all, you have to understand that if you truly want to lose weight or be healthier, it is a lifelong commitment.  You can’t expect that following a diet for a short period of time only to return to your previous lifestyle and eating habits will get you to where you want to be in the long run! This is why most diets don’t work and people usually regain the weight they lost and sometimes even more as they have mentally deprived themselves so much that they find it hard to practice the same level of control that they had when they started dieting.

If you have made the same New Year’s resolution every year for the last five years with little to no success in staying on track, it might be time to change your approach. Avoid the well known trap:

” If you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you’ve always got.”

The secret is to make small changes that you know you will be able to maintain:

For example, perhaps you typically skip breakfast and pick up a baked good with your coffee on your way to work.  You could make a resolution to eat eggs for breakfast at home every morning.

Instead of just making a resolution to lose weight, you have to make a plan as to how you will do it. You have to expect that you will be tempted to follow your old habits as they are always going to be the comfortable thing to do.  Maybe the reason you don’t like to eat breakfast at home is because you don’t have time in which case you could wake up five minutes earlier, or even prepare something the night before!

Once you have developed a new routine where you are eating a healthy breakfast at home before leaving the house and feel comfortable doing so, add another goal!  For example if you typically get a sugary treat in the afternoon as a pick me up, you might set a new goal could be to swap the treat with a piece of fruit.  Try this for a week and once you feel comfortable and no longer have urges to get your afternoon treat add something else! Maybe try cutting out soda.

Before you know it it’s February and you are already eating a healthy breakfast at home, eliminating your afternoon pastry run and no longer drinking soda! You’ll also have lost weight.  You’ll feel healthier and happier overall!  If you think about it, you haven’t really deprived yourself excessively at all!   You might even want to start adding in a walk after dinner!

Always remember, strict diets and detoxes are not sustainable ways to lose weight! Even though they can sometimes be beneficial in resetting or breaking bad diet habits they are typically not something you can maintain in the long term. If you want to lose weight and keep it off, you have to change your lifestyle permanently.  In order to do that, the changes you make need to be ones that you are okay with keeping for life.  It’s okay to indulge every now and then! What’s most important is consistency in your plan. So what are you waiting for!?

What small change can you make to start yourself on the path to health and happiness? This is your year!

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