It’s such a cliché, but where did the year go? It’s been a big one. I graduated from college, started graduate school, moved to a new city and got to know my inner germ-a-phobe. Let’s not forget about starting this blog. Epic. 2011 was good to me. I hope 2012 will be just as giving. While on Christmas holiday, I’ve settled into my childhood bedroom where I will stay for the next few weeks. This acclimation process was short and simple, however, a couple of things have become glaringly obvious. I am way more mature than the 18-year-old hoodlum who used to live in my room. The fact that I have high school yearbooks still sitting on my bookshelf is an embarrassment. While my mother tries to convince me to gut the room, I continue to argue that I still need my Doc Martins, slap bracelets and a dusty one-eyed Furby. As we head into January, I will continue this battle, all the while listening to New Year’s resolution babble from just about everyone.
New Year’s resolutions are a bit of a joke these days. At least I think so. What makes January 1st so special? Do you really need a whole new year to turn over a leaf in your life? Nine times out of ten, most resolutions revolve around health. Shouldn’t you want to lead a healthier life each day? Ugh enough. I am so above you, I cannot even write on this topic any longer. Instead, I thought I would give you a new way to look at these so-called resolutions. I don’t personally do them, but if I did, I would do something along the ‘more-is-less’ line.
I find most people resolve to choose some form of restriction when it comes to leading a healthier life. I will lose weight, I will eat less, I won’t eat dessert anymore, I will stop biting my nails, I will give up fried foods, etc. To me this sounds so exhausting, not to mention it’s ultimately a set up for eventual failure. I am here to save you. You can use my name to bail you out of the tired commitment to deprivation. Replace that limited mindset with something you actually long for: surplus. No, I don’t mean eat more sugar or drink more beer. Read on sweet child.
If I were to make a New Year’s resolution I would want to pick up a healthy ‘habit’, not focus on eliminating an unhealthy one. Just some suggestions:
- I will eat more fiber – shoot for the recommended 20-35 grams each day
- I will eat more fruits – eating at least 3 servings a day
- I will eat more vegetables – have one snack consisting of baby carrots, bell pepper strips or cucumber slices
- I will increase dairy intake – drinking a glass of low fat milk with one meal a day or eating low fat cheese or yogurt
- I will drink more water – shoot for five, 8 ounce glasses a day if the idea of downing 8 glasses makes your bladder hurt
It doesn’t take a genius to figure out what I’m doing here. If you load up your day with more fruits, vegetables, and fiber you’re going to wind up feeling full more often. Where will you fit in your 3pm Doritos snack time? Adopting one of these five suggestions may make it more difficult to indulge in some less-than-favorable behaviors. Maybe not. Is this little trick a cure-all? Heck no. But it is a start and we all must learn to walk before we run. Some poor souls attempt dietary overhaul when January arrives. Personally, I think that is too much to handle for most sane individuals. It might last for a day, a week, a month, but it will come to a screeching halt the moment you get a) bored, b) tired, c) anxious, d) upset, e) constipated…you get the idea.
If it’s weight loss you seek, this surplus approach may seem counter productive. It’s not. Weight loss doesn’t have to equal starvation. Your best ally is going to be capitalizing on satiety and always keeping your hunger in check. If I am driving home from work, riding the subway home from school or making dinner in my kitchen and find I am ravenous, I’m never above reaching for a piece of fruit or some vegetables. Eat a little low-calorie, high volume nosh and take the edge off. It might be the difference between a third piece of pizza or a second scoop of chili. The goal is to fill you up without filling you out.
Lifestyle changes have their merits and if you are bold enough to try one then I support you one hundred percent, no matter how much I trash talk New Year’s resolutions. God bless and good luck.
On an unrelated note, I am about to get political on you. Centers for Medicaid & Medicare Services determined that preventive services for obesity could only be furnished by primary care providers in the primary care setting. Meaning they are going to exclude Registered Dietitians in the prevention/treatment of obesity in terms of direct billing. This will seriously hinder patients’ access to qualified individuals. Those of you, who think dietitians need to be directly involved in reversing the obesity epidemic, sign this petition! We’re almost there and there is only one week left!