About that new year’s weight loss challenge that you were planning on doing… it won’t work. Diets never work long-term, that’s a statistical fact. Here’s a better resolution for a healthy new year.

You’ve survived the festive season, danced your night away and now, it’s officially the new year!

As you nurse your champagne hangover and pick the last remnants of glitter out of places you didn’t even know you had, there’s a good chance you’re vowing to be a healthier, fitter and ‘better’ you in the year ahead.

For many people, this means writing down New Year’s resolutions or goals.

Now, I know some nutritionists have a problem with New Year’s Resolutions and the idea of ‘new year, new body.’

Personally, I’m all for setting new goals that inspire you (if that’s your thing). The idea of a ‘fresh start’ can be just the thing you need to develop healthier and more uplifting habits.

However, my problem with New Year’s resolutions is the fact that they often involve starting a new year diet and exercise plan, a new year’s weight loss challenge, or simply losing weight.

Happy and healthy new year's! Image: Unsplash
Happy and healthy new year’s! Image: Unsplash

Business Insider surveyed 1,102 people about their New Year’s Resolutions, and more than half had goals about starting a new diet or ‘eating healthier’ (which is normally just code for going on a diet, BTW).

A weight loss new year’s resolution never works out the way you plan it

Research shows that 80% of people are likely to fail their New Year’s resolutions by February.

Ask yourself how many times you’ve started a new diet in January, only to abandon it a few months, weeks or even days later?

That’s because diets don’t work – including those ‘diets in disguise’.

Diets don’t work when you start them in March, in September and they don’t work when you start them on January 1st, either. In fact, they’re even more doomed to fail if you start them on New Year’s Day, as they normally come from a place of guilt after the so-called excess of the holiday season.

So, I have a proposition….

My new year resolution – will you join me?

Let’s vow to make this the year we stop making weight loss or diet-related New Year’s resolutions.

Because, they’re not serving you, and they’re just distracting you from setting goals that actually matter.

Let’s vow to make this the year we stop making weight loss or diet-related New Year's resolutions.  Image: Lyndi Cohen
Let’s vow to make this the year we stop making weight loss or diet-related New Year’s resolutions. Image: Lyndi Cohen

‘Like what?’ you say.

Well, I’d like to suggest some better New Year’s Resolutions you could make instead.

Resolutions for a healthy new year

Set health goals, not weight loss goals

Newsflash: your health goals don’t have to involve losing weight!

There is so much more to your health than the number on your scales, or the size you wear. I want to encourage you to set health goals that have zilch to do with how you look.

This might be about how you feel — for example, you might want to feel physically strong enough to run around after your kids, or feel energised when you get up in the morning.

It could also be to do with what you can do — like running a half-marathon.

If these goals have a strong ‘why’ behind them, you’re far more likely to actually stick to them.

Here are some fab ideas:

  • To be less busy and do more of my creative things

  • Go swimming with my family instead of just watching from the sidelines

  • To keep enjoying my running

  • Re-ignite my passion for cooking

  • To consume less and be more mindful

  • Do an unassisted pull-up

(PS. didn’t stick to your health goals last year? Check out this blog post to learn why that’s okay, and how you can use this to set better health goals this year).

Learn to love your body

I want to challenge you to make 2020 the year you learn to love your body exactly as it is.

Let me just say, this isn’t something you just wake up and ‘choose’ to do one morning.

Body love isn’t a destination. It’s a practice. It’s a skill that needs to be mastered.

But it’s one that will serve you for the rest of your life.

Because the truth is, our bodies change throughout our lives — we age, give birth and our weight fluctuates for a myriad of reasons.

But if you learn to genuinely love and accept your body in all of its beautiful states, you really can’t lose.

I share 15 ways I learned to love my body in this episode of my podcast No Wellness Wankery. I hope this helps!

Podcast No Wellness Wankery

Be kind to yourself

Last year, my new year’s resolution was to be kind to myself. And what a difference it made.

Self-acceptance isn’t about ‘letting yourself go’ or neglecting your health. Quite the opposite, actually.

You’ll find that when your intent is coming from a place of love — not guilt or fear — you’ll actually be more inspired to take care of yourself.

This means giving your body what it needs to feel its best, whether that’s nutritious foods, plenty of water or regular exercise.

It also means taking care of your mental health, by meditating, going for walks in nature or even seeking therapy if needed — whatever you need to feel happy and balanced.

Here are 14 things you can start doing today.

Make this the year you stop dieting or ‘trying to be good’

So, about that new year’s weight loss challenge you were going to start…

We’ve already established that diets don’t work. So, instead of always trying to get ‘back on the bandwagon’, why not set the bandwagon on fire and ditch it altogether?

Imagine how much mental energy it would free up if you could stop obsessing about food and trying to be ‘better’ tomorrow!

Need a little extra support? In my FREE 30-day challenge I’ll teach you how to say goodbye to crappy old-school diet advice and create a healthier relationship with food.  Click here to sign up for F*CK DIETS Challenge.

Say goodbye to your weight loss new year's resolution! Image: Lyndi Cohen
Say goodbye to your weight loss new year’s resolution! Image: Lyndi Cohen

Other ways I can support you:

📱 Want to be healthy but can’t handle going on another pesky diet? My Back to Basics App has everything you need. Try it FREE for 7-days.

🎙️ Listen to my podcast No Wellness Wankery, which will help you sidestep wellness wankery (phew!) so you can be healthy without dieting and feel better in your already wonderful body.

💜 Want help with binge or emotional eating? Check out my online program Keep It Real. It’s already helped thousands of people create a healthier, more balanced and intuitive relationship with food.

🥙 Just looking for recipe inspo? You’ll be stoked to find hundreds of FREE, deliciously simple recipes on my website!