New Year’s Resolution, Anyone?

2012-08-04-20.41.41It is that time of year again. You may be thinking of how 2013 went for you and what you hope to accomplish in 2014. It is the time for reflection and fresh beginnings. One of the top New Year’s resolutions is weight loss – whether it be to go on a particular diet, avoid white flours, eat only organic, eat “healthy”, you have the goal in mind to lose weight. If that was your resolution last year, how did you do? If you are like most people, you did not accomplish your resolution. Looking back, what went wrong? What stopped you from reaching your goals?

One of the major problems I see is that people are too black and white with their attitude towards eating. They are either being really “good” with eating, or are really off their plan and are being “bad”. When someone is being “good”, they are making the best food choices for their particular eating plan and they are super conscious about how and what they are eating. When someone is being “bad”, they may have eaten one food item that was not on their plan, and then they feel they “blew it” so they might as well keep going and then the eating becomes out of control and they start eating everything and anything. Then they get that out of their system, and go back to being “good”. It is a viscous cycle, and is very common.

I recommend trying to aim for a grey attitude with eating. Eating is not black and white, it needs to be flexible, fluid and well, grey. So perhaps your resolution this year can be to cut yourself some slack and try to develop an eating pattern that is flexible and intuitive. This means, stop setting unrealistic, unattainable goals. Stop overeating and binge drinking on New Year’sEve (or any Sunday night) because the next day is the beginning of your new diet or of being “good”.

Make small changes toward being grey with eating. This starts with ditching the dream that there is a diet out there that will work for you. It starts with examining your thoughts about different foods and any unspoken rules you may have about eating. It also begins with being aware of your behaviors with food – do you plan your meals and snacks? Do you eat 2 servings of fruits/veggies at each meal? Do you eat without distraction? Do you reward yourself with food? ┬áDo an honest evaluation and pick one component of eating to change on New Year’s, not a complete overhaul of your eating. After you have successfully accomplished that one goal, you can set up another one. So the focus is not setting a resolution for weight loss, but yet to improve a specific component of your eating or your relationship with eating and food. ┬áThis in the end may lead to weight loss, but it will definitely lead to sustainable, year long (even life long) positive changes.

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