Resolve NOT to make a New Years’ resolution in 2018
You might find that odd advice from a health and wellness coach. Don’t get me wrong I am all for setting goals, using a vision board or whatever method you like for planning and achieving goals for the new year. However, inevitably New Years’ resolutions revolve around losing weight and “becoming healthy.”
Let me know if you can relate…it’s New Years’ Day – the last day you are going to eat ______(insert sugar, bread, alcohol, meat, gluten or whatever else it is you are going to give up to finally get healthy). You spend New Years day eating all the above because it’s the “last” time you’ll eat it for however long. You might clean out the refrigerator or pantry in preparation and you tell everyone about the “diet” you will be starting. You have the best of intentions and even might have a plan of joining this group or that program. Did you make this same resolution last year???
I know this because this was me for years…EVERY New Years’ it was the same, I was going to lose weight and 364 days later I was in the same boat. I am sorry to say but none of those things will work for the short term. Why?
Any program that has you removing food groups (insert no carbs, low carbs, no sugar, high fat, low fat, no fat, no bread; OR plans that have you eating 6 meals a day, eating 3 meals a day, eating only whole foods, adding fiber to your food or wine, tracking your food, etc. I could go on and on…these programs have one flaw…you cannot maintain them long term. It’s not you or lack of willpower – you are human and you will eventually fall off the wagon. You might lose weight initially but once you end whatever program it is; the weight will come back.
We have to eat to live so you will always be confronted with temptation. Same goes for exercise, unless you love working out, eventually your interest will wane. So what to do? Hold on because I’m going to let you in on the secret to finally be free of the New Years’ resolutions to lose weight.
True lasting weight loss has three components…
1) A balanced view of food (90/10 rule for weight loss, 80/20 rule for weight management)
2) A balanced exercise lifestyle (strength training to build and maintain muscle, a cardio component for a strong heart and a stretching/mobility component)
3) Consistency (not starting and stopping)
Let’s talk about #1
To LOSE weight you need to be compliant 90% of the time. If you eat 3 meals a day that is 21 meals a week. That means 2 meals a week can be out of compliance. What is compliance? That is where you may need to consult a professional to help you determine your personal needs.
Once you reach your desired weight then you can move into 80/20. This will become your lifestyle for the rest of your life – no more New Years’ Resolutions! Here is the key, it only happens with consistency over time.
True health involves #2 as well. Guess what, you never get to the point where you are healthy enough to stop exercising. Sorry to break it to you. You lose muscle as you age, strength training is the only way to ensure you maintain your muscle mass. Consult a professional if you are unsure why you need muscle mass. Find a program, that you like which incorporates strength training and cardio and stick with it. This will help bridge the gap with weight loss and maintenance and finding a program that you like means you will continue with it (consistency). Stretching and mobility is important to repair your muscles from working out and to maintain flexibility and balance as you age. Consistency is key here too!
Sounds like a lot right? Sure it is, that’s why so many of us are making resolutions to lose weight every year. It’s not complicated but you may need a professional to help you. Think about all the professionals you pay to do your taxes, cut and color your hair, teach your children a sport or to sing or act. You are not the expert in those areas so it’s ok not to be the expert in nutrition, exercise, accountability and motivation. Ask yourself why wouldn’t you hire a professional to help you live a longer, healthier life?
If you have been setting the same resolution year after year I’d love to be able to speak with you about creating and achieving your health and wellness goals.