Diet and Nutrition Healthy Eating Tips Holiday Tips Weight Loss Plans

A Toast to Make Your New Years’ Diet Resolution Come True

Happy New Year!

champagne toast

A New Years’ diet resolution is a tradition that involves behavior change. Changing behavior doesn’t happen so easily or quickly. Yet many of us make a vow with hopes of a miraculous overnight change.

You can attain your New Years’ diet resolution and make it last forever. Instead of breaking a promise to yourself year after year, make a real commitment. Consistent behavior changes will make your diet resolution come true.

What is your New Years’ Diet Resolution?

It doesn’t matter what your New Years’ resolution is if you want to make a change, stick to a behavior goal (one or more).  While you will read that it can take up to 2 months to adopt new behaviors, this is not entirely correct.

The actual study was small and only followed 96 people who made diet and exercise changes. They found that there were 2 important factors affecting the success of a New Years Diet resolution.

  1. The difficulty of the behavior change: behaviors that took more effort such as doing sit-ups vs. drinking water, took longer to achieve.
  2. The individual: For some people, it is easier to change behavior for others it is more difficult. This is important because being realistic about your ability to change behavior and how long it will take you should be a focus. Understand it may take a day or a year to attain your New Years’ Diet revolution.

No matter what, make the behavior change and make your resolution come true for life.

How To Stick To Your Weight Loss Pledge

Whether you are trying to lose weight, build muscle or improve your life set one specific behavioral goal at a time. Then take action. Behaviors are not easy to change.

Know the difference between a general and behavioral goal. Examples:

·         General goal: I’m going to follow a diet to lose weight this year.

·         Behavioral goal: I will replace bread rice and potatoes with green leafy vegetables. More specifically you can even have a shopping list to direct you not to buy rice, potatoes, and bread. And then, to purchase specific green leafy vegetables; spinach,  bok choy, and Swiss Chard.

The behavioral goal is a specific behavior strategy that supports a particular behavior that will enable you to achieve the goal. It will help assist you with daily challenges.

The general goal is hope or intention that is difficult to achieve because it is too general.

If you stick with a practical New Years Diet Resolution using behavioral goals, you will succeed. Therefore, make sure the goal is doable.  If the goal is simple and fits into your lifestyle, chances are higher that you will successfully reach your goal. However, if goals are too complicated and difficult, success is less likely.

Research which diet lifestyle best fits your taste preference and lifestyle and use behavioral goals to support your choice.

Set yourself up with New Years Diet Resolution tools for success. For example, first, use a daily alarm to remind and motivate you to replace late-night eating with a different behavior. For example, reading a book/magazine. Then, mark your calendar for a specific day and time of the month. Re-visit and review your goal consistently to determine if it is realistic and how frequently you can accomplish the task.

a calendar with Jan first circled as a day to start a diet

Renew the Vows That Work

If after 3-4 weeks, you are successful, renew your vow it’s working for you! Then add a second goal with new strategies and detailed actions in February. Do this each month for a year or until you are satisfied that you have adopted these healthy behaviors as a habit.

Start like this:

Goal: I will lose 1-2 pounds each week.

Behavioral Strategies:

  1. Switch my low nutrient 100-calorie snack pack for a real food snack: A turkey and cheese roll-up, tomato and mozzarella cheese or celery with peanut butter.
  2. Use an app to track foods I eat for accountability.
  3. I will eat not deprive myself of food when I’m hungry. I will eat the snacks listed in #1 or plain vegetables, cucumber or celery or mushroom.

Allow yourself three and a half weeks to determine if the set goal is realistic or you need to change it so that it is attainable.

If your strategy works keep it and “renew” the vow. If you have not achieved your goal in 3 weeks, re-do your vow so that it is more achievable.

Re-do Your New Years’ Diet Resolution 

Do not give up. Stick with your strategy even if the goal doesn’t work. When you find a New Year’s Diet resolution is difficult to follow, review it.

For example, if you just cannot replace the 100 calorie snack pack (behavior strategy #1 above) then eat it.  And change the behavior. “Re-do” the behavior strategy slightly differently.

The same goal: I will lose one-two pounds each week.

Slightly different behavior strategy:

Behavior Strategy #1 Re-do: I will eat 1/2 my 100 calorie snack pack and save the money from eating less for a monthly manicure.

Just because you may have to re-do an initial behavioral strategy it does not mean that you throw in the weight-loss towel. You have gained an awareness of what is important to you to stick with your weight loss goal.

There is more than one way to accomplish your New Years’ diet resolution mission. Don’t blindly follow the next fad just to blame yourself it did not work.

It may take a little more time to find the long term fix and what works but for the long haul, you will feel proud to sustain weight loss for life.

Again, re-visit and review your goal consistently to determine if it is realistic and how frequently you can accomplish the task.

Ask yourself, how did my plan go in January? Which strategies worked? What changes need to be made to next month’s plan for a successful New Years’ diet resolution?

When you individualize your own nutrition plan, you will beat the odds and find a lifetime of success.

New Year’s Diet Resolution Wrap Up

If you make a New Year’s Diet Resolution this year, use the tools: manageable behavioral goals that will increase the likelihood of your weight loss success forever.  A daily commitment is necessary, not an annual fly-by-night New Year’s promise you can’t keep.

Make behavior changes based on challenges that interfere with diet success.

Most importantly…Happy, Healthy and Peaceful New Year to you and your families!

#New Years Resolution #weight loss tip #Behavior Change #eating to fuel health #Diet

About the author

Valerie Goldstein

Valerie raises the bar for health and nutrition know how with unconventional expertise and unconditional support for wellness.