A healthier, more vibrant and energetic you may be part of your New Year's resolutions — and that’s great! Now the question is where to start and how to avoid pitfalls when it comes to maintaining this. Top of this list includes rejecting four detrimental health messages that may be holding you back on your progress.
Scroll on to learn what these are and to determine how to bring in the positive in with the new year.
1. Shift Focus From Losing Weight To Seeking Mindfulness
This idea might go against everything that you’ve ever thought about. However, I am here to tell you, as a nutrition professional, that weight loss does not equal health. We need a shift in the wellness paradigm. The focus needs to move from weight loss to weight-neutral outcomes that don't erode self-esteem and body image.
Health outcomes to focus on instead include, eating more mindfully, stressing less about food, not using food to cope with emotions, increased stamina, becoming stronger, exercising for fun, being more in-tune with your body when you are hungry and full and increased confidence. Focus here and see how good things will come.
2. Avoid a “Quick Fix” — Attempt Maintainable Habits Instead
There is no quick fix or hack for good health. (I know, it’s not what I wanted to hear either!) Your health is a complex state of physical and emotional wellbeing and, as with anything, there is no simple answer or hack.
Instead, focus this year on moving your body in a way that you enjoy. From there, the ability to maintain the habit — and even have fun while you’re doing it! — will be much easier.
3. Health Fads Don't Have All The Answers — Set Your Own Trends
This past year, and even into 2020, there have been many health fads appearing all over the internet. Take for example, the celery juice trend. While celery does provide us with vitamins and minerals like folate, potassium, vitamin C and vitamin B6, the issue lies in the fact that many see this drink as a cure-all. And there are many similar ones like this.
Instead, I’d ask you to re-shift your thinking as you tackle your resolutions. Ask yourself “do you enjoy [doing XYZ]?” If so, then go for it! If the answer is no, then I explore other solutions that work better for you.
4. Everything Doesn't Have To Be Tracked — Approach With Flexibility
With technology like Fitbit and Garmin watches, it’s easier than ever to track health metrics from steps a day to how many hours you sleep. And while this technology does have its place, we can easily become too reliant on these metrics.
Think about it this way — have you ever thought, “this walk is a waste because I don’t have my Fitbit on to track my steps?” We can become too attached to what’s on our wrist and the data in our phone that we forget to dial into how our bodies are feeling.
If you’re choosing a New Year’s resolution that focuses on tracking your health, pick one that is sustainable and flexible with your goal in mind (after all, we’re all for spontaneous workouts!).