• By Jessica DeGore
  • In Uncategorized
  • February 5, 2020

New Years Resolutions Gone Awry

By Angie Dye, MS, RDN, CSSD, LDN

This is usually the time when those New Year’s Resolutions start to lose steam. Are you struggling with sticking to your resolution? Is it starting to feel restrictive and not fun?

If so, you might be able to relate to this personal story about my New Year’s diet resolution from 1994.

Flashback with me to the time before the internet; before Pinterest, Instagram, Facebook and the existence of a plethora of health blogs. I was fresh out of college and living on my own for the first time. I worked at a computer company and hadn’t found my path to becoming a dietitian yet; my nutrition knowledge was minimal at best.

Low-fat eating and step aerobics were all the rage, so imagine my surprise when my low-fat diet and 3 time per week step aerobic routine wasn’t leaving me feeling energized or particularly healthy. Almost every day, I woke up and had my low-fat, high fiber breakfast cereal with skim milk; I packed turkey sandwiches on whole wheat bread (no cheese or mayo!) with a bag of carrots for lunch; I had rice cakes or Snackwell’s fat free cookies for a snack in the afternoon and ate a nice bowl of veggie pasta for dinner.

Now, you may not need to be a nutrition professional to realize that my day-to-day eating was not so balanced, but I didn’t see that at the time. What I identified as my “problem” was the fact that after following a low-fat
eating pattern all week long, I usually had French fries on the weekends. So for my resolution, I vowed no more French fries and that was going to be the fix to all my problems!

Those first few weekends in January, I plugged away. I ate my same virtually fat-free meals and hit the local Bally’s Total Fitness for my step aerobics. But after making the resolution to give up French fries, guess what was the only food I could think about?

You got it….French fries! By making them the enemy, it just made me want them even more, and by this time in January, I had certainly cracked and eaten a giant restaurant portion of them.

I share this story because I couldn’t see the forest through the trees all those years ago. I couldn’t see that I was being restrictive and not enjoying my food from day to day, so it was no surprise I’d go bonkers on the weekends.

Fixing the bonkers wasn’t the answer, but changing my day-to-day eating to include more food I enjoyed, along
with healthy fats, more protein and more plant foods was actually the answer. Oh, that and never going back to step aerobics after signing up for my first triathlon!

There are many paths to health, and most of them should not include eliminating an entire food group or demonizing one particular food. If you’ve struggled with a resolution, maybe it’s time to meet with a Registered Dietitian (RD) to work on developing maintainable and sustainable lifestyle modifications that you actually
enjoy. Many Pennsylvania insurances will cover 2-6 visits with an RD each calendar year. Find one near you on The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics’ website.

I sure wish I had all those years ago.

Wishing you a happy and healthy 2020!!!

Angie Dye, MS, RDN, CSSD is a Private Practice Dietitian who specializes in Intuitive Eating, Sports Nutrition and Gastrointestinal Nutrition in Hershey, PA. Follow her on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.