11 weight control resolutions for 2011

Are you dredging up the usual diet resolutions for 2011?  You know the drill:

  • lose 25 pounds in January, another 25 in February
  • go from a size 16 to a size 2 in time for bikini season
  • work out at the gym for 2 hours every single day
  • never ever eat ice cream (cake, doughnuts, candy, chocolate, pastries, cookies, chips, etc) again.  Never ever.
  • Go from beer gut to six-pack by spring
  • Give up: everything white, all meat, all fried food, all sweets, carbs, fats, fast food, all of the above

How did that work out for you in 2010?  2009?  1995?  If those resolutions have never inspired success, here are 11 suggestions for ‘11:

  1. Stop being on a diet.  The very word screams “Deprivation!  Foods that taste bad!  Hunger!”  Even worse, it screams “Temporary!” because a diet is something you go on and then go off.  Usually because you were “bad” and slipped up by eating something prohibited.  Leaving you feeling guilty.  See the Big Picture?  Diets are guaranteed to lead to failure and guilt and rebound weight gain.  Stop dieting.
  2. Resolve to eat healthier, permanently.  Make better choices whenever possible.  Eating healthier is something you can start today.  It doesn’t depend on some number on a scale or some long term time frame for success.  It’s today.  Anyone can do it, regardless of body size.
  3. Whenever you read an ad or headline touting “magic fat burner”, “lose weight without exercise”, “eat whatever you want and still lose weight”, “special diet/pill that melts fat” and so forth, think FALSE.  False promises of quick weight loss distract you from the goal of eating healthier.  Think about this: if any of those products worked, do you think the whole world wouldn’t have noticed by now?
  4. Have at least 4 meals/week that are vegetable-based: a big salad with some meat or cheese for protein; a vegetable stir fry with meat or tofu; a chunky vegetable soup; a bean and vegetable casserole or stew.
  5. If you dine out frequently, be pro-active about side dishes.  Are your choices french fries or greasy garlic bread?  Demand a healthier alternative.  Many restaurants are improving choices, but eventually customer demand will drive changes.  Stand up for your health.
  6. Move More.  If exercise sounds like drudgery, define it as Moving More.  And stop making excuses about why you can’t be active.  Everyone is busy.  Everyone has a demanding life.  No one has time.  The people who faithfully exercise make time. Even former aerobics queen Jane Fonda has to make time.  Walk for transportation, climb stairs, join activities that involve movement, such as a hiking club, dance class or recreational sport.  For those days when it’s too cold or dark to exercise outside, buy some exercise videos with fun routines.  Mix it up.  Focusing on only one activity is a recipe for burn-out.
  7. If you weigh yourself every morning, and the number on the scale makes or breaks your day, stop weighing yourself every morning.  You are not a number on a scale.
  8. Forget sticking to a perfect diet.  Your goal is to eat healthier, not healthiest.  Eating 85-90% healthy leaves room for some indulgence: on your birthday, at social events, when dining out or for the occasional evening when all you want is a cheeseburger and fries.  If you feel like you over-did it one day, just go back to Healthier the next day.
  9. Eat real food.  Fake low fat, low sugar, low carb, artificially sweetened and other chemically altered edible products are not real food.  Eat real food in small portions, and enjoy the flavors.  Gorging on fake stuff isn’t healthy eating.
  10. Don’t feel guilty about not cooking.  Healthier eating isn’t dependent on cooking.  You can find plenty of healthy prepared food  in grocery stores and restaurants.  Use them to make healthier eating easy and convenient.
  11. Say “no thanks”, when offered food you’d rather not eat.  Doughnuts and candy at work?  Chips before dinner?  A big dessert?  Just say No Thanks.  You don’t need to go into a big explanation or make excuses.  If someone is trying to sabotage your efforts at healthy eating, offering an explanation gives that person an opening to argue with you about why you should accept that doughnut this one time.  So practice: “No thanks.”  Any further discussion is unnecessary.
Copyright: All content © 2010-2018 Nutrition Strategy Advisors LLC. Photographs © Donna P Feldman, unless otherwise attributed. Reproduction or use without permission is prohibited.