Turn on the TV this month, and you will be sure to hear: “Eat this, don’t eat that.” “Join a gym.” “Subscribe to this miracle diet program.”
Don’t let anyone tell you different – you are beautiful just the way you are.
Ignore the ads
It’s no wonder why the diet industry is big business – 70% of U.S. adults are overweight or obese. The result? A $70.3 billion industry.1
But your desire to live a long and healthy life shouldn’t be about what an ad, a product or a celebrity tells you everyone should look like or do.
Aim to be the best you that you can be.
Check in with your doctor!
You know you’ve been putting off that trip to the doctor for way too long. The first step to a healthier new year? Get a physical.
Sure, stepping on that over-sized scale is intimidating, but you can’t get where you want to go without knowing where you are. And when it comes to your health, what you don’t know, really can hurt you. Go get an honest and objective assessment of your health.
Know that most diets are designed to fail
Paleo. Mediterranean. DASH. Volumetrics. Like most of us, you’ve probably tried them all. And maybe they worked – for a while.
Most diets fail within the first few weeks.2 Even when successful, most people gain the weight back – often more than they lost. A new study even suggests that the reason dieters put the weight back on is because their bodies are fighting against them! 3
Find success in health gains
We know what you’re thinking – ‘diets don’t work, my body is fighting to keep the weight, and no matter what I do, my waist is never going to be as tiny as a Kardashians – it’s time to throw in the white flag!’
Not quite. But maybe it is time to think about changing your approach and how you measure success:
Don’t view food as ‘Good vs. Bad’
We’ve all seen that kid whose parents never let them have sugar – you know, the one in the corner sneaking candy in their pockets. One of four “parental feeding styles” identified by nutritionists, the authoritarian style typically backfires.4 So, if deprivation doesn’t work for your kids, why do you think it will work for you?
Food is fuel, period. If you fill your tank with sugar and processed food, is it going to run optimally? No, of course not. But neither will it if you fuel up only on carrot sticks. If most of your choices are nutritious, give yourself credit for eating a healthy, balanced diet.
Stop obsessing over numbers
You are crushed to see that the numbers on the scale didn’t budge (or worse yet, ticked up!) despite being so “good” all week. After walking every night for a month, dammit, you’re squeezing into that size 12 even if it kills you! If that’s your approach, you’ve set yourself up for disappointment.
But how would your perception change if you measured how you feel instead? Relish the sense of accomplishment you feel from meeting your steps goals for the month. Enjoy the extra energy you have from eating better and moving more. Appreciate the way your pants feel like they fit better, and more importantly, the stronger, healthier person in the mirror.
Instead of focusing on smaller numbers, think bigger. Instead of wanting to lose 20 lbs. before your daughter’s wedding, how would your perception change if you thought ‘I want to feel healthy and energetic, so I can dance all night at the wedding’? Rather than a smaller size, what if your motivation was ‘I want to keep up with my active grandchildren and be able to play with them instead of having to watch from the sidelines’?
Measure your success
The fact is, most people work better when they have a goal and a plan to get there. So go ahead, measure your accomplishments. Grab a Fitbit and measure your steps – did you walk 5,000/day this week? Aim for 7,500/day next week, and when you meet that goal, shoot for 10,000 the next. Vow to try something new and active this month – take a tai chi class, try yoga, buy one of those weighted hula hoops, take up pickle ball – and give yourself a gold star for each new experience.
Make it fun
Google healthy recipes and make something new this week. Have the kids pick a color before you go into the grocery store and buy a fruit or vegetable that color to try. Have the kids join you on your evening walk and see who can walk backwards or hop on one foot the longest. Have a snowball fight. Go sledding or have a snowshoe relay race. Set up an outdoor scavenger hunt.5
Remember what really matters
Remember that doctor’s appointment we told you to make before you embarked on your 2019 journey to better health? The most important numbers to meet are the ones identified by your physician – cholesterol levels, blood sugar, etc. – and to continue to monitor them. We all want to be happy when we see the numbers on the scale and to feel beautiful when we put on that new dress, but ultimately what matters most is being the best you that you can be so you can live a long and healthy life.
Health Mart. Caring for you and about you.
Nothing herein constitutes medical advice, diagnosis or treatment, or is a substitute for professional advice. You should always seek the advice of your physician or other medical professional if you have questions or concerns about a medical condition.
- SAGE Business Researcher: “The Diet Industry: Will it adapt to changing attitudes?” Available at: http://businessresearcher.sagepub.com/sbr-1946-105904-2881576/20180305/the-diet-industry Accessed: 12-17-18
- Psychology Today: “Why Diets Fail” Available at: https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/fighting-fear/201310/why-diets-fail Accessed 12-17-18
- Metro: “Study explains why people who lose a lot of weight often pile it back on again” Available at: https://metro.co.uk/2016/05/04/study-explains-why-people-who-lose-a-lot-of-weight-often-pile-it-back-on-again-5858651/?ito=cbshare Accessed 12-17-18
- CNN: “Of the four parental ‘feeding styles,’ only one is good for kids’ health, experts say” Available at: https://www.cnn.com/2018/10/04/health/parenting-food-drayer/index.html Accessed 12-18-18
- Canadian Living: 10 Winter Family Games Available at: https://www.canadianliving.com/life-and-relationships/family/article/10-winter-family-games Accessed 12-18-18