5 Non-Diet New Year’s Resolutions
“New Year, New You“. It’s everywhere – on our social media feeds, in news articles, advertisements on the bus, and at the water cooler at work. We can’t seem to get away from this culturally acceptable mindset that everyone needs to lose weight once January arrives.
It’s exhausting. As if we weren’t all exhausted enough.
Diet culture is present year-round, but the diet industry has realized that January diets SELL. Throughout the year, the diet industry tactfully plants the weight loss seed through advertisements and promoting detox teas that “keep the weight off for good”. And as soon as January strikes, the fitness and wellness industry is there to capitalize on that mindset.
This may have worked in the past, but we know better now. We know that our organs are the best detoxification system and we don’t need to drink a detox tea. And we know that restricting foods ultimately results in chaotic or binge eating later on. We know that weight is NOT an indicator of one’s health, and research shows that almost no one can sustain intentional weight loss for more than a few years. Instead, lifestyle factors such as movement, incorporating whole foods, not smoking, and limiting alcohol intake are more likely to improve health status.
So now that we know that losing weight is NOT the solution, how can we adjust our New Year’s resolutions to set us up for success? Here are 5 non-diet New Year’s resolutions you can try in 2024.
“I want to spend more quality time with loved ones, and I’m going to try to put my phone away during social events”
This might look like trying not to leave your phone on the table during dinner to help you be more present. Or maybe putting your phone on Do Not Disturb during non-work hours. Try out a few different tactics and see which one helps you feel best!
“I’m going to find a form of movement that feels good for me, and I’m going to do this movement ____ times per month”
A gentle reminder that movement does NOT have to be for burning calories. You have permission to find a form of movement that doesn’t change your body size or earn food, but just feels good. Most studios offer a free trial of their classes, which is a great way to experiment with different forms of movement!
You can set up App Timers in your phone to help reduce screen time (ex. for iPhones). This is a helpful way to remind you to check in with yourself to see how your scrolling is making you feel. As a bonus, try to change your feed and “Hide” posts that don’t make you feel good. For example, that influencer that keeps trying to sell Tummy Tea? Unfollow!
Getting Creative in the Kitchen
“I’m going to find ____ new recipe(s) every month to help me get more creative in the kitchen”
Instead of focusing on things you “should” or “shouldn’t” be eating, try focusing on finding new recipes that TASTE good. If you have felt the need to avoid recipes that use butter, sugar, salt, and carbs – ask yourself if that’s something you feel like you SHOULD do or something that you want to do? And if it’s something you feel you “should” do, don’t let diet culture tell you what you’re allowed to do! You have permission to eat the dang carbs!
“I’m going to prioritize my health appointments, and book ____ appointment(s) per month for my health”
Avoiding health care appointments is unfortunately quite common. The health care system doesn’t set up everyone equally for success, and one bad experience can result in someone disengaging from the health care system altogether. At CAYA, we strive to create a safe, equitable, and comfortable environment for patients. Whether you’re coming in for a gentle pap smear, a trauma-informed massage, or a weight-neutral dietitian appointment, our practitioners are here to listen and help you feel safe. At CAYA, we strive to provide health care that is trauma-informed, gender-affirming, sex-positive, weight-neutral, and non-judgmental. Book online here.
And with all of that being said, if you decide NOT to make New Year’s resolutions this year, that is okay too! We are all on our own journeys, and this is a gentle reminder to be kind to yourself in 2024.