8 Weight Loss Resolutions Not to Make:
- Unrealistic goals: like “I want to lose 50 lbs”: Instead focus on realistic, approachable goals – “I want to lose one pound per week”. Healthy weight loss at a rate of 1-2 pounds per week is achieved through an ongoing lifestyle that includes long term changes in healthy eating and exercise routines.
- Fad Diets: They may promise big results fast, but the truth is fad diets don’t work! “Deprivation diets” are not healthy, and don’t help you keep the weight off long term. In fact, people often end up gaining more weight back when they resume their “normal” eating patterns again. A better goal is to eat a variety of properly portioned foods making sure your diet is rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, healthy fats and lean protein.
- Restricting calories to lose weight: Severely restricting calories will result in weight loss, but is not a sustainable or healthy way to achieve results – and won’t last. Instead, try meeting with a Registered Dietitian to develop a healthy eating plan. Make your calories count by eating healthy foods with fiber and protein to give you energy and help you feel full longer.
- Juice-Only Cleanse: This may seem like a good idea after an indulgent holiday season, but will ultimately fail without a healthy nutritional balance. Instead, try a fresh vegetable juice full of nutrients with lunch or a protein shake for breakfast balanced with a healthy dinner. Be careful of sugary juice blends that can be extremely high in non-satisfying sugar calories.
- Daily weight-ins: Weighing yourself daily isn’t a great measure of weight loss due to the fluctuation in water retention, bowel movements, and hormones which can vary by a pound or two daily. And it can be discouraging. Instead, go for weekly weight checks and remember lasting progress is often slow and steady.
- Say No to Junk Food: Instead of swearing off junk food completely (which will never last), let yourself indulge occasionally in the things you love. If its mom’s apple pie, for example, enjoy a small slice of the real thing occasionally; just make sure your dinner plate is well balanced and properly portioned to balance.
- Exercise More: How many of us resolve to exercise more each January? Instead of making a general fitness promise, aim for more specific activity goals like “I’m going to exercise for at least 30 minutes 3 times per week” or “I am going to attend 3 fitness classes per week”.
- No More Dining Out: Instead of totally swearing off restaurants, learn how to order smarter. Many restaurants offer lighter fair options, or will prepare entrees in a healthy preparation (minus heavy or sugary sauces) when requested. Also, keep in mind that restaurant serving sizes tend to be more than a single serving.
Julie Fortenberry, RD, LDN is a registered dietitian at Touro Infirmary. She obtained a Bachelor of Science degree in Nutrition and Dietetics from the University of Southern Mississippi. Julie believes that lifestyle changes and wholesome nutrition are obtainable, and brings real-life understanding to wellness and nutritional counseling.