An Anti-Diet New Year

Today we want to talk about what an anti-diet new year can look like. Because the new year can be a rocky time for folks with a wonky relationship with food. You might be feeling run down and vulnerable after the holidays, tired, bloated, exhausted.

And the diet industry, every year, without fail, swoops in with its great false promises. Not only will you lose weight, they say, effortlessly and permanently, but you’ll also fix your evil hunger and all the other problems in your life – in a quick, 21-day fix. 

anti-diet new year

This is not another diet but a lifestyle. A cleanse. A detox, A revolutionary app. Tech-enabled “psychology.” Or a simple “health” challenge at work. It can be so easy to see diets past through our rose-colored diet culture glasses.

We urge you to resist.

Now might actually be a good time for a quick diet history exercise. A reminder of why you wanted to try something new in the first place. Make a recommitment to your intention to heal from the madness by committing to an anti-diet new year as well.

Today, we wanted to offer another alternative to the new year slippery slope of dieting. And show you what harnessing the fresh start power of the new year can look like when you’re no longer interested in the self-harm that is dieting.

This is how we like to look at the new year. Last week we discussed our Quadrants of Reflection exercise that we do each year. So if you haven’t listened to that yet, be sure to check it out.

We’re also unpacking this topic in greater depth over on the pod. You can tune in to that here:

An Anti-Diet New Year

Here are some things to keep in mind.

Do you need any resolutions at all?

It could be nice to just relax and be for once. That could be your anti-diet new year. Do we really always have to be “working” on ourselves? What if our resolution was to just rest? Be nice to ourselves? Accept ourselves, our bodies and our lives exactly as they are and give ourselves a gd break once in a while? What would that be like?

If you want to make a resolution – does it have to be about physical health?

Could your resolutions or intentions be about another area of life? Perhaps The Wheel of Life Exercise could be useful? Could you focus on your relationships, growth and learning, finances, home, career, fun and creativity instead? 

If you want to make it about physical health – have you healed from dieting yet?

Are you trapped in the diet-binge cycle? Are you emotionally eating? Do you feel out of control around food? If that’s the case, first you have to heal in order to be empowered in taking care of yourself at the most basic level. The parts of health we have some input around – our habits and behaviors – are very hard to harness if you’re locked in an endless battle with food.  

If that’s you, book a free Breakthrough Session with us today.

Make healing your relationship with food and your body your resolution for the year. Make this the year that you finally break out of this exhausting cycle and move on with your life. Make peace with food and your body so that you can get back all that time, energy and brain space it’s been stealing from you. That is our first encouragement. And we can help you do that. Please reach out.

If you have healed your relationship with food …

If you have healed from dieting and would like to move on to creating real, life and health-affirming habits so you can feel better, let’s talk about how that could look – because dieting is not going to help with that either.

First: Resist the Urge for Sweeping Overhauls

The science of actually creating habits tells us that sweeping overhauls usually fail. We are wired to do what’s easy, what’s obvious, what is rewarding. We are not wired to run on willpower. So we want to think in terms of tiny, enjoyable, obvious and rewarding. We want to make our goals so tiny it’s impossible to fail.

anti-diet new year

Second: Focus on Health, not Weight

The things that contribute to our health on a personal level are quality sleep, joyful movement, eating enough/more fruits and vegetables, eating mindfully, investing time and energy in our relationships, having fun, getting enough rest, cultivating a sense of purpose in our lives, investing time and energy in our mental health.

Where would you like to focus?

Third: Choose One Thing and Make it a Habit

Thin in terms of tiny shifts, as small as possible, 1% improvements. 

Example:

Intention: I want to move more.

Action: To do something you enjoy, that feels good for just 2 minutes per day. 

Example:

Intention: I want to eat more fruits and vegetables.

Action: Leave a bowl of apples on the counter where you will see them. 

Example:

Intention: Cultivate gratitude.

Action: Leave a notebook and pen on your pillow each morning (you’ll see it and remember to jot down 3 things you’re grateful for before you go to bed each night).

Fourth: Focus on Adding in (Rather than Restricting)

Train yourself to think in terms of more instead of the diet culture habit of restriction. Move fruits and veggies. More sleep. More movement. More fun, etc.

Conclusion

Fresh starts like the new year are a real thing in human behavior. They can certainly be used to make positive changes in our lives and create habits that feel good and support our health. They can also be a fun time to reflect and dream.

But as a hopeful recovering dieter, or someone new to the intuitive eating space, it can be a tricky time. How do we have an anti-diet new year? How we focus on taking better care of of our physical health without slipping back into old harmful patterns? We hope these tips help you navigate this time of year a bit more peacefully. 

And of course, if you have any questions or need any help, you can join our Facebook Support community. 

And if you’d like to talk to us directly about breaking free from emotional eating, binge eating and the diet binge cycle – book a free Breakthrough Session today. 

anti-diet new year

1 Comment

  1. Teji

    Like many people, I was watching the ball drop on TV. After that, the first ad they played…was for a gym. -________- I wasn’t surprised but I definitely shook my head haha 🙂 Btw Dana, I’m also trying to add more fruits and veggies into my diet this year. Eating them feels good, and I really enjoy eating them. I just tend to…forget. Especially in the afternoon while I’m working and want a quick snack.

Leave a Reply