The New Year is ALWAYS everyone's day one on their new diet, as if the start of a year, month or week really means anything to your body.
Your body 'collects data' daily and compounds it overtime to adapt to what you routinely do but if the start of a new year, month or week is helpful MENTALLY then so be it!
BUT... please don't succumb to the crappy diets out there that I'm sure will be pushed come the New Year. And I've heard it before- "But I know so many people who have lost weight doing X diet!"
Yea, they may work initially but overtime, the protocol becomes fatiguing, it's not something you can sustain long-term and you end up rebounding and gaining back the weight you lost and them some. The yo-yo dieting/weight cycling crap is no fun.
Let's review some popular diets and what they're generally all about...
Weight Watchers, Jenny Craig, NutriSystem: they all require you to track everything to measure progress and you earn points based on their specific tracking system, rewarding you "staying on track." Foods are assigned a point system or restricted entirely which perpetuates the idea of 'good and bad' foods. They have their own line of healthy meals and desserts to pigeonhole you into buying their products which ends up limiting your food variety and ability to make autonomous decisions outside of your home.
Noom: disguised as a mindful eating program but really its just another restrictive diet. It requires daily weigh-ins and food tracking to make sure your care hitting your calorie limit. It suggests food restriction by color coding foods based on their caloric density which places a morality on foods based on how 'good and bad' they are for you.
Flexitarian, Vegetarian, Vegan, Paleo: if you have no medical or ethical reason for these diets then why go on it? They all come with a risk for developing nutritional deficiencies and they all require you to eliminate foods and/or entire food groups in order to adhere to the diet.
Volumetric diet: this diet restricts high calorie/ high density foods that can actually serve a purpose in any diet. It requires you only eat foods that are high in volume and lower in caloric content. The majority of these foods can be high in fiber and water content which can agitate the gut and exacerbate any existing gut issues. An example of a high volume food would be cauliflower rice instead of real rice or rice cakes instead of actual bread.
75 HARD: advertised as a mental toughness program with 5 rules that MUST be followed throughout the 75 program and you fail at any of the 5 rules you must start the program over. This rigidity offers no flexibility which can make day-to-day decisions more difficult if you are unable to have constant control over your day. This can put you at risk for the "all or nothing mentality" saying since you messed up today and you know you have to start over tomorrow, you might as well 'go ham' on everything today. Since this program cannot be maintained long-term, it's an unsustainable way to manage your nutritional goals.
Optavia: starves your body on as low as 800 calories per day and calls it 'creating healthy habits' while bragging about eating every 2-3 hours having 6 small meals per day but really your only eating 5 bars and one 'lean meal.' Another program where you have to purchase their product line to be successful in their program which means zero flexibility.
Strive to eat balanced meals containing 20-30% protein, 10-20% healthy fats and 40-60% carbohydrates.
Eat your meals 3-4 hours apart and consume roughly 3 meals per day with 1-2 snacks.
Never eliminate or restrict foods/food groups if you don't have a medical or strong ethical reason to! Variety is the spice of life!
Eat 5 servings of fruits and vegetables everyday.
Eat more whole foods and less processed foods.
Limit caffieine and alochol consumption.
Move at least 30 minutes per day and incorporate strength training exercises 2-3x per week.
Drink at least 2-3 liters of water per day, that's 68-101 oz.
Prioritize recovery with stretching, mobility work, massage and getting adequate sleep- roughly 6-8 hours per night.
If you need more guidance and accountability with starting your New Year off on the right foot, please reach out to me and apply for coaching! I'd love to work with you to establish life-long sustainable nutrition habits so you can never diet again and learn more about your body and it's needs!