By Erin Gilbert, RDN, CSO, LDN
Champagne popped, the ball dropped & the New Year is officially here! Now that 2023 is in full swing, you may find yourself being asked “What’s your New Year's resolution?”
According to Statista Research Department, the most popular resolution for 2022 was “living healthier”, with “losing weight” not far behind. While January 1 can be a great opportunity to reflect on what positive improvements you want to make in your life. However, it can also feel difficult to navigate or that there is pressure to hop on a diet or start a new fitness routine. If you are working hard to break free from diet culture here are 5 things you can do to have an “Anti-Diet New Year”:
1. Remember that living healthier ≠ weight loss
Louder for the people in the back! If you want to work on your health this new year, we support you, but we want to remind you that health is separate from weight. So if you want to set some health oriented New Year’s resolutions, think beyond changing your weight. Staying in eating disorder recovery, incorporating joyful movement, eating more fruits & veggies, drinking more water & learning to cook and/or trying new recipes are all examples of weight neutral resolutions you can set.
2. Avoid fad diets & rigid fitness routines
It’s important to take a critical look at the messaging & advertisements that occur this time of year promoting false promises of changing your body size & life. Truth is- diet culture is a billion dollar industry with an incentive to sell diet plans & gym memberships, not worry about your wellbeing.
More truth– 95% of diets ultimately fail & there is no “quick fix” to changing your body size or magic wand to improve your health (without consequence). If a diet plan recommends cutting out foods/food groups or rigidly counting calories/macros, it likely won’t be sustainable. Fad diets & rigid fitness routines just lead to burn out, discouragement & potentially disordered eating & exercise behaviors.
If you are interested in building skills to eat for wellness & longevity without diets, check out our dietitian services here.
3. Consider alternative resolutions
If you love the idea of setting a resolution for 2023, but feel like a fitness or food related goal could be triggering, consider setting a different kind of resolution. A reading goal, learning a new language, learning a new hobby, incorporating self care or connecting with loved ones are examples of positive resolutions that don’t require you to change your eating or movement habits.
4. Don’t feel pressured to set a resolution at all
It’s also completely okay to NOT set any kind of resolution at all. January 1 doesn’t have to be different from any other day. You don’t have to change yourself, just because it’s time to change your calendar. It can be equally, if not more rewarding, to find peace & acceptance with yourself just as you are.
5. Celebrate your successes!
Whether you set a resolution or not, don’t forget to celebrate your “wins” as they come. Anti-diet wins may look like saying “yes!” to going out to eat with friends, ordering dessert because you want to & not feeling guilty about it, skipping a workout because your body needs rest OR finding a new type of workout you really love for how it feels (not how many calories it burns). There are so many measures of health & self improvement that have nothing to do with a number on a scale. Take some time to explore what these may look like for you & celebrate them!
At Balanced Nutrition, we are here for you this January (& every month of the year!). Learn more about our mission of providing strength-based, non-judgmental, flexible approaches to nutrition and healing here!