Non-Diet New Year Resolutions

by | Dec 26, 2019 | How To's

If you’re looking for some non-diet new year resolution inspiration, you’ve come to the right place. Ending the exhausting cycle of losing weight and gaining weight is one way to improve your health and well being for 2022.

I am going to break down some common goals and give some reflective prompts to turn these into non-diet new year goals. Let’s get started.

“I want to exercise more”

Great! Here are some questions to consider to make this a non-diet new year goal:

  1. Why do you want to exercise more?
  2. If you were going to exercise for pure pleasure and enjoyment, and it had no impact on your body image or calories burned, would you still do it?
  3. If not, what else would you do?
  4. Do you prefer exercising alone or with others?
  5. Do you prefer to exercise inside or outside?
  6. What have you come up with?
  7. What do you need in order to explore these?

When exercise goals are purely based around body change or weight loss, they can be unsustainable. Especially if you see no difference or if you’re unable to maintain these body changes. If you really desire some intuitive movement, but haven’t found something you like, this is a great opportunity to set a goal of trying out new forms of movement. Remember to be flexible with yourself and not too rigid. Intuitive exercise and joyful movement mean that you can work with your thoughts and feelings around movement to decide when and if you should exercise.

“I want to eat healthier”

Great! Here are some questions to consider to make this a non-diet new year goal:

1) On a scale of 0-10 how satisfied are you with your current eating?

2) What could help you to feel more satisfied? Maybe you would like to plan a bit more? Maybe you would like to add some more vegetables?

This goal is a common one, so it’s important to think about what eating healthier means to you – because “health” means different things to different people. Be careful though, because diet culture can raise the bar to an unrealistic standard. Healthy foods are the foods that make you happy, fuel you, keep you satisfied and feeling nourished. This generally involves eating a variety of grains, fruits, vegetables, fats, dairy, proteins, and fun foods over time, with regular meals and snacks. Are you setting your expectations too high?

“I want to lose weight” 

Unfortunately on this one, it has to be pointed out that weight loss isn’t a behaviour. If you want to lose weight and are having difficulties with your relationship with food, check out this article: I want to Ditch Dieting, But I Still Want to Lose Weight.

If you’re looking to stop the endless cycle of restriction and weight gain, it might be time to reconsider your goals. Sustainable goals should be SMART. Small, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-Based.

Here are some examples of non-diet new year resolutions: 

  1.     Write a journal entry once per week to reflect and check-in with yourself / your eating and body image. You can do this by keeping a pen and journal at your bedside as a reminder and try to do this every Sunday night (or whatever night you decide is best).
  1.     Try a new form of movement that you are excited about once per month until you’ve found something that you love or keep it up because you’re having fun with it. To help keep things exciting, recruit a friend for these adventures. Ideas include hiking, rollerblading, walks around town/parks, indoor climbing, bike riding, fun runs, or a unique workout class like goat yoga.
  1.     Try-it-Tuesdays! (Or any day of the week). While at the grocery store each week, pick out a new food you haven’t had before but would like to try. You may find a new favourite food!
  1.      Have problems eating consistently throughout the day? If this is something you struggle with whether it’s due to busyness or disordered eating, one way to achieve this goal is to set a timer on your phone for every three to four hours that reminds you to eat. Carry a few snacks around in your bag to help ensure options. Remember that you don’t have to stick to a timer to eat, if you feel hungry before the timer, eat! The whole point is to make sure you are fuelling consistently throughout the day.
  1.     Want to cook more? Set aside time each week to find a recipe you are excited about and then if you’re able, gather the ingredients during your next grocery run. Think about what things are standing in your way of cooking more and make alterations to help. If time is a barrier, can you purchase pre-chopped vegetables, chop them yourself the day before, try out a food delivery service, or make it a social event where you cook with a friend? Maybe the goal is you try out one new recipe a week or one new recipe a month. Either way set your cooking goal in a way that you know you can work towards achieving it.

6.     No goals. Maybe you are not in a place for a goal. That’s fine too. Do what is best for your own health and well-being.

Wishing you a healthy & happy 2022! If you’re looking for some more non-diet support, you can check out my FREE audio guide below – 7 Steps to Food Peace & Food Freedom.

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By Katherine Kimber, Registered Dietitian

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