THIS YEAR, DON’T GO ON ANOTHER WEIGHT LOSS DIET – TRY ONE OF THESE RESOLUTIONS INSTEAD
Lots of people are making it their New Year’s resolution to become healthier in 2019. Which is totally awesome!
However, in the minds of many people, losing weight and becoming healthy is synonymous. I totally get that – it’s a very dominating discourse in society today.
But here’s the thing: Losing weight and getting healthier is not the same thing. Pursuing intentional weight loss is actually associated with long term weight gain and worse health outcomes. Yo-yo dieting, causing your weight to jump up and down over time is not good for your health.
There’s no shame in wanting to change your body – of course you do, living in a society that’s so fixated on bodies and thinness as the ultimate achievement. But thin = happy & healthy is an illusion. You don’t have to buy in to the illusion.
So this year, why not try something different?
Ditch the weight loss diet, and focus on doing something good for your health.
For inspiration, here are resolutions that don’t center around weight loss
- Reconnect with a form of movement your enjoyed as a child
- Learn new recipes and ways to add vegetables to your meals
- Just because it’s a new year with lots of opportunities and hope, you don’t need to achieve all your goals immediately. Pace yourself.
- Replace other drinks with water (at least sometimes)
- Wear sunscreen every day (when relevant, depending on where you live)
- Find 5 new people to follow on Instagram that makes you feel good about yourself (or unfollow 100% of those who don’t!)
- If you use screens in the evening, install a program (lots of devices have a built-function with a timer now) that filters blue light emission. Exposure to blue light at night can suppress melatonin secretion and thereby mess with your sleep patterns. Melatonin is a hormone that helps your body regulate your circadian rhythm – basically feeling alert during the day and tired during the night.
- Meditate regularly
- Implement a sleep routine where you wake up and go to bed at roughly the same time every day (a good night’s sleep is very important for your overall health).
- If you have uterus and haven’t been tested for HPV in while, book an appointment for a pap smear.
- Get outside during daylight hours every day. For the same reason lots of light is bad at night time, it’s good at daytime = it makes you feel more alert.
- Quit smoking (if you smoke, this is the #1 thing you can do to improve your health, without comparison)
- Get a health check from your doctor.
- Implement mindfulness in new areas of your life
- Reconnect with old friends
- Try a form of exercise that’s completely new to you
- Floss (as my dentist kindly reminds me every single appointment)
- Keep a gratitude journal
- Take your meds/supplements as prescribed (if relevant)
- Go for a walk every day. It doesn’t have to be long.
- Be mindful of how much time your spend on social media. Social media can be a wonderful place (I can’t deny I spend a lot of time on there) – but mindlessly scrolling through everyone’s glossy feeds can easily catch you in a comparison trap and make you feel inadequate (it happens to me more often than I’d like to admit!)
- Replace clothes in your wardrobe that doesn’t fit your right-now body (if you’re not ready to donate it, at least pack it away)
- Delete a social media app from your phone
- Stop separating foods into either good/clean/healthy or bad/unhealthy/fattening. This black-or-white thinking isn’t helpful (and inaccurate).
- Take steps to take better care of your mental health (this can be so many things – you’ll be the best judge of what that means for you).
- Or take up a new hobby/sport that involves socialising (social health is actually an important part of your health too!)
- Work on your flexibility by stretching or doing yoga.
- Cook and prepare your own lunch
- Write an anti-to-do listwith all the things you’re saying no to (like all the things you say yes, but don’t actually want or makes you stretch yourself too thin).
- Swap passive transportation modes with active ones – like taking the bike to work.
Not all of these are going to be possible or even relevant for you. I don’t know your life – that’s why there’s so many options (none of them weight loss resolutions). This way you can pick just 1 or 2 that you know will have a positive effect – instead of trying to do everything at once and get overwhelmed.
I’ll personally be focusing on number 25, 18, 13 and 3 as I feel those areas of my life could use the most love and care.
Some part of my brain is still telling me my New Year’s resolution should be to lose weight. But thanks to my logical brain and from experience, I know it’s diet culture trying to suck me into its lies – and all it does is make me feel bad about myself.
What will you focus on this year? Let me know in the comments!