LIW January 2020 Digital Edition

Page 12


by Felissa Allard

Making Your Diet Resolution Succeed


t’s safe to say that most people like starting the new year by making resolutions. Whether it’s trying to lose weight, getting fit, or starting a new routine, January 1st represents the chance for a fresh start. But according to US News and World Report, 80 percent of those resolutions fail by February. Of the top ten New Year’s resolutions, diet resolutions rank pretty close to the top of that list. But if so many resolutions fail, is there a way to make this one stick? “There are about as many diet resolutions as there are people,” shared Randi Realson, Ph.D., LCSW, who practices on Long Island, “Some common resolutions are no snacking between meals, not eating at certain times, specific food restrictions like cutting out carbs, and on and on.” In addition, there has been the rise of trendy headline diets such as Keto, Intermittent Fasting, going back to The South Beach Diet in 2003. “Diet culture has convinced us that the new year means new diet resolutions,” said Long Island-based Marissa Sherov, LCSW, INHC, “We typically give ourselves permission to over-indulge from Halloween until New Year’s Eve knowing, that come January 1st, we are “back on” or “fully committed” to some diet culture belief.” And that may part of the problem–big or unrealistic changes or changes in current habits. “Most resolutions fail because they are too open-ended and require too much of a drastic lifestyle change,” said Linzy Ziegelbaum, MS, RD, CDN, “Diet resolutions can stick by making smaller, realistic, and more measurable goals. For example, instead of saying I am going to diet and lose weight, try setting a smaller realistic goal that can be measured.” Some examples of this are adding water into every meal, cutting back a few times a week on dessert, bringing lunch to work several days during the week, or trying to cook healthier meals once or twice a month. Most people, in general, don’t do well when they look at something as a restriction or limitation. “Most resolutions If so many fail because they are considered as some form of restriction resolutions with a definitive start date, like January 1st or Monday, rathfail, is there a er than as a process that never starts or stops but evolves and changes over time (like life),” Realson shared. People way to make shouldn’t look to give up something cold turkey that they this one stick? love, such as meat, caffeine, or sugar, because the odds are they’ll miss it pretty quickly and will fall back to old habits. 12 • Long Island Woman • january 2020

“Another thing to avoid when making a resolution is you don’t want to make a resolution that will be a huge lifestyle change, such as to avoid an entire food group,” said Ziegelbaum. Instead, Ziegelbaum said to ask this, “Is this goal something that I can realistically keep for more than 1-2 months? Is this resolution healthy? For example, will I be able to feel my best while working on my resolution?” Sherov agreed, “Rebel against traditional diets. Consider making the resolution to learn instead to listen to and navigate your own body. Figure out what foods support your body’s well-being. Rediscover the joy that comes from eating food.” In other words, people should pick one realistic goal or habit and stick to it. Several studies suggest that it takes between six and eight weeks for a new behavior to become a habit. Don’t spread the focus over too many different goals that will make it hard to stick to it. “Eliminate the all or nothing thinking and try not to yell at yourself when you don’t do well,” said Realson, “Learn from those experiences what went wrong and resolve to learn better ways of coping on those kinds of occasions that drive you to eat when you are not physically hungry.” Committing to the right resolution is also crucial. “Avoid believing in the myths that diet culture perpetuates,” advised Sherov, “Instead, you can work towards confronting those myths and creating a new set of beliefs around health and wellness. We can believe that: Skinny doesn’t always mean healthy, and that fat isn’t always bad, gross, or unhealthy.” Sherov also added that it’s time to stop judgResources Marissa Sherov ing. “The most effective way to make changLCSW, INHC es in our lives is to really dig down deep and figure out what our true intentions or mo516.661.2122 tives are for the change,” she added, “When we act on decisions based on emotions, they Randi Realson are often impulsive and full of judgments or LCSW, PhD expectation. And we all know how that goes. Any time we set expectations, we are almost 516.487.3981 always inevitably let down.” Ziegelbaum concluded, “Don’t put too Linzy Ziegelbaum much pressure on yourself! Use the New MS, RD, CDN Year as a time to do something for yourself. Registered Dietitian And remember that skinny does not always 516.350.0848 equal healthy!” l To advertise: 516-505-0555 x1 •