It’s almost that time of year where we say goodbye to exuberant holiday fan-fare and hello to new diets and new promises. I’m not sure what percentage of people actually make New Year’s Resolutions, but I’m willing to bet that most of them fall into a self-improvement category. More than likely it’s a new diet or other weight-loss plan.
While I think goal-setting is an important part of any weight loss program, falling prey to fad diets and quick gimmicks won’t get you to where you need to be. Weight loss is about eating less, moving more, and practicing intuitive eating skills.
Unfortunately, we tend to gravitate towards low-carb diets, cookie diets, and master cleanse programs because they promise quick and effective weight loss. While I don’t doubt that you can quickly lose ‘weight’ (I use that term lightly, as you are not shedding pure “fat” with any of these plans), I also don’t doubt you will gain it back as quickly as it went away. Why? Well for one, very few of these infomercial plans are backed by any real science and studies. That’s important because while weight loss research may seem complicated, there is no magic food that is just going to come in and zap your love handles away. Not even grapefruit or cabbage soup! The main reason these plans don’t work is because they don’t teach you how to actually eat. Eating 3 cookies a day might seem easy the first few days, but what happens when you get tired of the them? Fad diets don’t teach you what to do when the diet is over. Maybe that’s why most people have tried more than one “diet” over their lifetime. Lose a bit here, gain it back, and then try the diet your best friend’s sister is on.
If you are considering a cleanse diet for the new year, check out my post on detoxing and cleanse diets. I can’t help but find some of these plans comical; as if there are all these poisonous compounds running a-muck in your body which will be removed by fasting for three days.
If your resolutions include incorporating more whole, plant-based foods into your diet, good for you! Making meaningful changes over time is better for long-term weight loss and health.
And lastly, If you need help in making changes, seek out a registered dietitian for their services. Be wary of those who claim to be a ‘nutritionist’ and/or sell you supplements for weight loss. You don’t need any education or credentials to call yourself a nutritionist, and I wouldn’t trust my health with those who get their information off the internet.
Here’s to a happy and healthy new year!