10 tips for nutrition sanity in 2012

Is there some nutrition sanity in that box?

By next week, we’ll be thinking of New Year’s resolutions, and most of us will predictably be resolving to lose weight and/or eat healthier food.  Diet plans and diet book publishers will be waiting to sell us products, so we at least feel like we’re making an effort.  At some point everyone will go back to their same old habits.

I’d like to suggest a better plan: nutrition sanity, something completely in your personal control, and it costs nothing.  In fact, it probably saves money.  It’s a gift you give yourself, and here are my tips on how to accomplish that:

  1. Don’t buy any more weight loss books.  Where is the evidence that any of these fad diets work?  There isn’t any evidence.  If they worked, we’d all be thin.  So save your money and your sanity.  Buying diet books may make you feel good for a few days, but when you inevitably fail to stick to the plan du jour, you feel like a failure.
  2. Don’t buy miracle diet pills or weight loss supplements.  There is no such thing as miracle weight loss.  There is no such thing as fat melting off your body.
  3. When you hear some fad diet promising that you can lose weight without unpleasant exercise, think “Liars.”  Physical activity is a key part of any healthy lifestyle.  You don’t need an expensive gym or trainer or fancy exercise clothes or equipment.  Go for a walk, walk for transportation, climb the stairs, etc.  All of that counts.
  4. Stop obsessing about numbers.  Don’t define your diet success by some number on a scale.  Don’t define yourself by some number on a scale.  Your healthier diet is forever, not just until you reach some target weight or dress size.
  5. Stop blaming your unique fat-storing genes.  We ALL have the fat gene.  All 6.5 billion of us.  If a person eats more calories than he or she burns off everyday, that person gains weight.  That’s physics and human metabolism.
  6. Stop thinking of yourself as an overweight, or “fat”, person.  Think of yourself as someone who is switching to a healthier diet and lifestyle, permanently.
  7. Don’t talk about yourself as being “on a diet”.  You’ve permanently changed your food and lifestyle habits, it’s your business, not everyone else’s.
  8. Food is not the enemy.  It’s also not your friend.  It’s just food.
  9. Food is not the road to perfection or ruin.  It’s just food.
  10. If there are people your life who sabotage your efforts, distance yourself from them, or recognize the sabotage and work around it.  From doughnuts in the break room, to poor choices in the vending machines to friends and family who are always indulging in tempting snacks and treats, learn to say “no thanks” or “I’m not hungry”.  The more you practice this, the easier it gets.

In short, nutrition sanity is a state of mind, created by you, for your own lifelong benefit.  It’s about making healthier choices, making time for physical activity and pushing poor food choices out of your personal environment, and enjoying the food you eat.  It’s rarely perfect, and always a work in progress.  You’ll feel both mentally and physically better for it.

Merry Christmas, Happy 2012, Happy Hanukkah and all the other celebrations and holidays you can think of, including Happy Birthday when applicable.  Let 2012 be your year of Nutrition Sanity.

Copyright: All content © 2010-2018 Nutrition Strategy Advisors LLC. Photographs © Donna P Feldman, unless otherwise attributed. Reproduction or use without permission is prohibited.