I’m sure the ads for diet services and “new!” products have already popped into your inbox, social media feeds, and maybe even friendly conversations. This is the diet industry’s favorite time of year to convince you something needs to change! (I’ve already marked a few diet product ads as spam! It feels so good!)
A quick reminder: Diets and weight-loss products make up a 72 BILLION (yes, Billion!) dollar industry. And that’s an increase of TEN BILLION dollars since the early 2000’s. Nothing has changed, but they’re making a lot more money by convincing you there are “new” fixes to the same problem they’ve created.
(If I may, Christy’s Harrison’s book, Anti-Diet, is a great read if you’re curious about this sneaky, harmful, and ineffective 72-billion-dollar industry.)
Even if you aren’t getting inundated with diet industry ads, my guess is that you’re still noticing the tendency to look for a diet or new exercise regimen this January. It’s a cycle as familiar as pool days in the summer and school supplies in the Fall! These conditioned thoughts just come with the season.
The GOOD news? You can save your money, time, and mental energy this year, by setting a diet-free goal or resolution!
Here are three ways to set a diet free resolution or goal:
1. Set a goal that makes you feel good!
Chances are pretty good that you have tried a diet in the past that made you feel good. I’ve heard that a lot! The kicker is that the diet—eliminating foods, restricting calories, tracking everything, low-this or that—didn’t feel sustainable. If you just try it for a few weeks and it feels good, but doesn’t feel like something you could do for a few months or a few years, then it’s not a great solution for you. And that’s OK! It’s very normal, actually. And when we “quit” something, it usually doesn’t feel good.
So, this year, maybe try setting a goal that makes you feel good and feels sustainable, too. A few ideas:
Drink an extra glass of water per day.
Try a new recipe each week or month.
Add a short afternoon walk to your schedule.
Try a new fitness class that seems fun.
Train for a race with a friend or running group.
I’m curious: when you think about a daily, or weekly, health behavior that makes you feel good, what comes to mind? Share in the comments below!
2. Resist a quick fix!
As I alluded to above, most diets are not sustainable long-term. And guess what? The diet industry knows that! They purposefully sell you the idea of the quick fix. It’s way more enticing than something we might have to do for a long, long time. It’s more gratifying, in the short term. The diet industry is GREAT at providing an intoxicating quick-fix—3-day “cleanse”, 30-day detox, 6-week weight-loss, etc. But the diet industry is not known for long-term results. Research on intentional weight loss diets (often calorie-restrictive diets) show that most people gain the weight back within 1, 2, or (at most) 5 years. That quick fix often creates a longer-term cycle of weight and/or diet fluctuations.
So, this year, resist the quick fix! Take a look at those ads and messages, and remember, it’s more of a distraction than a solution.
3. Try adding something in, instead of taking something away!
Diets are often built on the basis of restriction and elimination. So, let’s just do the opposite of that! Add something into your daily or weekly routine—something you enjoy, and get excited about. See the list above! Add a new recipe, a new food you want to try, a meal with a friend, a walk to your afternoon routine, a glass of water to you daily liquid intake, etc. Think about adding to your life, instead of taking things away.
As you think about these three tips for a diet-free new year resolution or goal, what comes to mind for you?
I love hearing about what you’re working on and what’s feeling good for you!