4 Resolutions a Nutritionist Says You’re Better off Quitting
You had the best intentions when you made these resolutions—but a nutritionist says not all fitness goals are healthy.
Making a resolution can be one way to refresh your outlook for a new year. According to survey from Forbes, many Americans’ resolutions for 2023 revolve around their health, with over a third of respondents citing weight loss and improved fitness and diet habits as their aspirations for 2023.
While resolutions can be helpful, though, it’s important to make sure you’re not setting unhealthy standards for yourself. Meredith Sorensen, MS, RD, LD, a registered dietitian at Memorial Hermann Rockets Sports Medicine Institute in Houston, TX, shared with The Healthy @Reader’s Digest the four New Year’s aspirations that she says put many resolution-makers on the wrong path.
Cutting out an entire food group
“I would never resolve to cut out an entire food group,” Sorenson says. “Each food group serves a specific purpose and possesses a unique profile of nutrients that contribute to healthy diet.”
She adds: “Eliminating an entire category of foods diminishes the diversity of an individual’s diet and nutrient intake. An example of this is a ketogenic diet, in which a person would cut out carbs even in the form of nutrient-rich foods such as fruits, vegetables, beans, and more. Besides the health implications, it is often an unsustainable and unrealistic choice.”
Aiming for the weight I was in high school or college
“Bodies are meant to change over time,” Sorenson says, adding that because younger people have fewer responsibilities, they’re also often able to dedicate more time to physical activity—so if you’re comparing yourself to your body at 18, you’re comparing apples to oranges.
“In addition, weight does not equate to health,” Sorenson says. “You may not feel your best at that arbitrary number you have in your head. Try not to compare to a past version of yourself, and instead focus on sustainable changes you can make within your current lifestyle and circumstances.”
Counting every calorie
Though tracking calories can be helpful for some people, Sorenson says it’s not meant to be a way of life. “Databases are not always reliable, since nutrition content of food varies greatly depending on preparation methods. Tracking every bite of food takes an incredible amount of time and energy and is typically not sustainable, not to mention that energy demands change daily, which often is not accounted for.”
I would never resolve to stick to a strict fitness/workout plan
“Workout plans can be a helpful template, especially for those who have not participated in structured exercise programs. However, what happens if we get sick or accidentally sleep through our alarm? This feeling of failure may result in skipping the workout because there isn’t enough or quitting the program entirely,” Sorenson says.
“My coach, Steve Magness, once said ‘Raise the floor, not just the ceiling.’ Focus on your average days or days you struggle to get out the door, and challenge yourself on your good days. But leave room for life to get in the way, because it inevitably will, and give yourself grace when it happens.”