Instead of setting yourself a lofty weight loss goal, what if this year, you approached your New Year's resolution a little differently? Losing weight isn't the end-all-be-all for getting healthy, and can easily lead to unhealthy dieting practices down the line. So alternatively, what if you set a goal that encouraged living a healthier life rather than focusing on a number on the scale?
Eating a nutritious diet is about so much more than just losing weight. Your diet can affect your longevity, your risk of developing chronic diseases, and even your mood. And a nutritious diet doesn't mean restriction—it means learning how to eat healthfully while still incorporating in all of the foods that you love into your life.
Sure, weight loss may come over time, but don't let it be your only motivation. You'll likely have moments where the number on the scale doesn't budge—or you may even see fluctuations in your weight for all kinds of other reasons (bloating, menstruation, climate, illness, and many other factors could be at play).
Instead of getting frustrated by a number and giving up on your health when things "just aren't working," focus on other markers. How does this new healthy resolution make you feel? What are some of the positive physical changes you're seeing (clear skin, less bloating, regular bowel movements, more energy)? How about the mental changes?
If this sounds like something you desire for your health this year, you've come to the right place. We asked a few dietitians to share some attainable healthy resolutions you can easily adopt in 2022 that will leave you feeling healthy, energized, and ready to take on the year ahead. No scale required.
Honor your body's hunger and fullness cues.
"The hunger scale goes from 1 to 10, where 1 is starving, and 10 is super full," says Paul. "Aim to stay in the 3 to 7 range, where you wait to eat until you're hungry, and stop eating when you're full. No food is 'not allowed' and you can always eat a certain food again, next time you're hungry."
Eat the rainbow every day
Who doesn't love an eye-catching colorful plate of food? Incorporating a variety of colors on your plate is a great way to ensure you're getting all kinds of nutrients in your diet, says Mackenzie Burgess, RDN and recipe developer at Cheerful Choices.
"All of these different colors represent different antioxidants, phytochemicals, and nutrients you need to support a healthy body," says Mackenzie Burgess, RDN and recipe developer at Cheerful Choices.
Burgess says the colors are commonly broken up into five different categories: red, yellow and orange, green, purple and blue, and white.
"While it probably isn't realistic to eat every color in one meal, try to incorporate these different colored foods throughout the week with the goal of eating as many as possible," says Burgess.
Read more at Eat This, Not That