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Nutrition Resolutions in the New Year

New Year's is nearly here, and with it the inevitable resolutions. Several individuals confidently vow to lose the pounds and inches and change their lives for the better. These resolutions generally fail due to two main reasons.


First, people tend to set goals that are too lofty. "I will lose 15 pounds" is a valid goal, but it might take a year to do it properly. People who eat too little and exercise too much during the first days of their diets often give up in hunger and frustration after a couple of days.


Second, another reason why New Year's dieters fail is because they think of food as "good" or "bad". It's hard to feel satisfied when most of the food you love you consider as being "bad".


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The following tips can assist you in achieving and maintain a healthy weight loss:

  • Set realistic, short-term goals, such as "I will lose 2 pounds the first week." After resounding success with the first reasonable goal, the next goal of 1-2 pounds per week will seem attainable.
  • Do not keep "junk" food in your home. If unhealthy choices are not in sight you will not be tempted to reach for these foods.
  • Eat a serving of protein and a serving of whole grains at each meal. This will help you feel full longer.
  • Eat the majority of your food during the early part of the day. This will help end the cycle of evening snacking.
  • Pay attention to your feelings. Boredom, stress, loneliness and fatigue can cause mindless eating. Eat only when you feel hungry.
  • Use a smaller plate to help keep portions under control. This will trick your mind into thinking that you are eating a large portion.
  • Eat slowly at a table away from distractions. This will allow you to pay attention to the taste of the foods and any cues of becoming full.
  • Consider getting more active sensibly. Aim to increase your exercise level by 10 minutes each day. This will help you build strength and stamina gradually so that you do not quit exercising altogether in frustration.

Although holiday weight gain may be inevitable, these guidelines can help end the cycle of New Year's Resolution failures and will help create healthy, lifelong habits. Deprivation and over-indulgence can disrupt any sensible weight loss plan; therefore be sure to enjoy foods responsibly.


UW Health's Registered Dietitians provide accurate, evidence-based nutrition information that promotes health and wellness to empower individuals to make healthy lifestyle changes that will enhance their health. Recommendations may vary based on your individual health history. For a personalized nutrition plan contact UW Health to schedule an appointment with a Registered Dietitian. For more nutrition information, visit the Nutrition and Health Library.