New Year, New You? Hell no!

Yes, it’s that time of year when we make New Year’s resolutions – but enough is enough. You don’t need a new you. While resolving to make change can be great, that doesn’t mean you should not value who you are now. According to the emails and press releases I’ve received over the past few weeks, it would appear that most of us are likely in need complete makeovers – especially when it comes to how we look.

Give me a break.

Feeling better and aspiring to become healthier is a great goal for a new year. I certainly have no issue if you’re trying to eat better or to become more active but to say it will result in a new you? Well – that’s what  offends me.

Aiming for a new you, especially a new body, puts you at risk in so many ways. The pandemic has been a great hook for many diet programs as they point to many people having gained weight while in lockdown or staying home. The Covid 15 has been a rallying cry for those in the weight loss industry.

It’s terrible to say this but how lousy many are feeling is a great bonus for the diet industry in targeting new clients. You have likely never felt as much like you want a new you compared to other years.

But to start on a diet rollercoaster – losing weight fast and then gaining it back – or to begin a strict eating regimen that’s not sustainable is not the best action plan for any New Year’s resolution, never mind starting 2021 this way.

On the other hand, simply abandoning self-care in terms of healthy eating and activity is not the wisest strategy either. I’ve heard it said too many times that now is the time to give yourself a break and forget about healthy eating.

Yes- give yourself a break but don’t abandon your well-being. That doesn’t mean foregoing the pleasure of food – both the nutrient-packed and the decadent.

Eating well is about keeping yourself healthy for your future but let’s not forget that it’s also about feeling good for today. Fuelling your body well not only gives you energy for any physical demands but can also have a major impact on your mood.

Chances are that you have heard the term “hangry” (hungry and angry, if you haven’t heard the term). It’s how you can feel when your blood sugar is low. That irritability is the increase in stress hormones that can go hand in hand with low blood sugar levels. For others, low blood sugar readings can lead to feeling down.

If you are looking to make some changes for 2021, here are a few to consider. But whatever you go for, be kind to yourself.

• Eat regularly, at least every 3 to 4 hours. Try to go for balance by including some carbs, protein and fat. That balance can help to sustain you and avoid blood sugar spikes and lows.

• Try to enjoy your food. If you tend to eat mindlessly in front of the TV, turn it off and savour your eats. But if you’re dealing with stress and have lost your appetite, put a comedy on the TV or reading may help you eat.

• Take the time to up your food preparation skills. You don’t have to aim for gourmet status but if you’re a stranger in your kitchen, why not take this opportunity to become better acquainted?

• When you’re making changes on what’s on your plate, instead of thinking about what you think you should cut out, consider what should should be adding. For example, do try to up your fruit and vegetable intake. The nutritional perks are indeed plentiful. But if shopping or if there are budgetary constraints, or if you’re simply looking for fast food, don’t forget about frozen produce. It’s frozen at the peak of its nutrient value and requires very little prep. But frozen vegetables are also super choices if you are spending more time cooking. For example, they’re terrific additions to soups and stews.

Make 2021 about self-care and being kind to yourself. Those are new year’s resolutions that can pay big dividends.

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Categories: Rosie's Rants

Author:Rosie Schwartz

Rosie Schwartz is a Toronto-based consulting dietitian and writer.

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6 Comments on “New Year, New You? Hell no!”

  1. January 5, 2021 at 6:11 am #

    Excellent Rosie…let’s get those veggies and fruit into people!! An easy goal!

    • January 5, 2021 at 4:02 pm #

      Yes, easy goals are key! It’s all about adding foods, not restricting them.

  2. January 5, 2021 at 8:05 am #

    I like it!

  3. January 5, 2021 at 11:27 am #

    oh Rosie
    dont ever leave this blog
    thank you for your realness and practical science based thoughtful informative blog with a heart

    • January 5, 2021 at 4:03 pm #

      Thank you so much for your feedback. It’s comments like this that inspire me!

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