Are you making any New Year’s resolutions for 2015? Have you made resolutions in the past? Have you ever had success?
Many people (roughly half of us) make New Year’s resolutions. How many of us actually keep those resolutions? Only about 8%! Not exactly a resounding success. And this is why, I, a registered dietitian, am urging you not to make any dietary resolutions this year.
I know that a lot of people resolve to: lose weight, stop eating chips, eat less, give-up chocolate, etc. The number one resolution for 2014 was to “lose weight”. Usually these resolutions are made stoically following holiday eating and drinking extravaganzas. We’re left feeling tired, deflated, and sometimes gross after parties, turkey and stuffing sandwiches, and seemingly bottomless stockings crammed with chocolate oranges. It’s a Brand New Year. What better time to turn over the proverbial kale leaf and dive into a sea of green smoothies? Well, actually, pretty much any other time of year is better and we can’t survive on green smoothies alone (or has Rob Rhinehart finally perfected soylent?). Winter, at least in Canada, can be one of the hardest times of year. We see little sun, it’s cold, icy, snowy, rainy. The perfect recipe for baked macaroni and cheese, you know the one, oozing with three kinds of cheese and buttery bread crumbs on top. It’s not exactly the time of year that screams fresh salads.
It should go without saying that I want you to be healthy and happy. I want you to eat a healthy diet, exercise regularly, and get enough sleep. It’s because I want all of these things for you that I don’t want you to resolve to do them tomorrow. Resolving implies a certain level of gritting your teeth and forcing yourself to go through with something that you don’t really want to. Part of living a healthy life is being happy. How happy can you be if you’re forcing yourself to do things you hate and avoid things that you love? Why not wait for the glitter from New Year’s Eve settle and then starting figuring out how you can make the best, and the healthiest, choices for yourself.
Some of us, yeah, that 8% might be able to choose resolutions that we’re able to stick with. Maybe you’re part of that 8%. If you are, kudos. But let’s just pretend that you’re not. What are you going to resolve this year?