Why Limit Resolutions to a Year? How to Make Diet Resolutions Last a Lifetime

I recently read You Can’t Screw This Up by Adam Bornstein, which presents some great research on diet resolutions, why they don’t last and how to make them work for you. There are many wellness experts who are great at providing that dopamine rush to get you to try their food fad or something that worked for them. It’s easy for an influencer to forget their own process…telling you to cut out certain foods, be motivated and take time to exercise. Healthy people don’t start with perfect habits, they develop them gradually and through a much slower process than what they post on social media.

There is sound research to support every diet (if you search hard enough) that works for someone, somewhere. Much of the information on social media and recommendations made by the food industry make you feel like you are not qualified to know how to eat. There are a plethora of diets with conflicting opinions, new trending superfoods each month, and buzz words for every new fad. How can you actually feel confident that you’re doing the right thing for your body with all the noise? 

Most diets often provide restrictive, unrealistic plans that may get you some progress initially, but the results have expiration dates. Very few people actually keep the weight off or prevent illness long-term. Sure, you’ll find some exceptions, but the majority of people on diets don’t sustain their results in 5, 10 or 20 years. 

The biggest mistakes people make when it comes to successful health changes are:

  • Making goals that don’t take your schedule into consideration
  • Striving to be better than others instead of mastering your own body 
  • Connecting your value and self-worth to your weight (positively or negatively)
  • Not planning for failure. Change has setbacks, they are inevitable.
  • Believing that a single food or group of foods is the cause of health or sickness
  • Losing weight quickly, which slows down your metabolism (to adjust to smaller energy needs)

So, how do we make changes that will last?

  • Don’t follow rigid diets, have a flexible structure to eating that is balanced with your schedule. If eating a carb or breaking a fast is going to create more tension or make your plan fall apart, it’s not sustainable. Shift from “never eat this food” to “have it once or twice per week.”
  • Generally – eat more plants, more fiber, and less saturated fat
  • Bonus – eat more protein and less processed foods (when you eat less of these foods, your brain reduces your cravings for them)
  • Develop healthy habits without giving up your “comfort” foods (limiting desserts to special occasions or choosing healthier options on takeout nights)
  • Choose foods that nourish your body, protect your sanity and avoid guilt
  • When you have a bad day or a bad meal, keep moving forward. Don’t let inevitable mistakes allow you to abandon your whole plan.

Find what works for you, which is far more valuable than social media likes or popular opinions. 

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