Making New Year’s Resolutions to be Healthier? Don’t do these
Every year, we go through a tradition where we list off habits or activities we want to add or eliminate from our lives. New Year’s Resolutions are notoriously useless. Forbes estimated in 2013 that only around 8% of those who make resolutions keep them throughout the year.
As of 2015, statistics suggest that three of the top ten most common new year’s resolutions have to do with becoming more healthy by eating better or breaking bad habits. Of course, making better lifestyle choices is a wonderful idea, but there are some common resolutions that either set your up for failure or are straight-up bad for your health, despite the common wisdom. Dodge these ill-fated or apocryphal resolutions for 2017 for a healthier, more fulfilled you.
Too vague. You’re already set up for failure because your resolution doesn’t have tangible goals or ways to hold yourself accountable. To make this goal more realistic for yourself, try choosing a realistic number that you want to see at the end of the year, as well as check-points at quarterly intervals. Furthermore, weight may not be the best way to measure how healthy you’ve become over the course of a year. Measurements like the BMI don’t account for fat versus muscle and distract from really important health markers like waist measurement.
“Stop eating sweets”
It’s just silly to ask yourself to do something so drastic and stick to it for 365 days, so don’t set yourself up for failure. First off, resolutions framed in the negative (don’t do this, stop doing that), weigh heavily on your psyche. Try to frame what you want in a positive, more specific light. For example, you may want to replace some cooking ingredients with more healthful ones. Or you may resolve to eat an appropriate serving of fruits and vegetables every day.
“Cut out Carbs”
Not only is this nearly impossible, it could easily be bad for you. Despite some flashy research and the deluge of gluten-free recipe Pinterest boards, there’s very little evidence to support that it’s the culprit of any specific maladies, unless you suffer from Celiac’s disease. Reducing calorie intake if you’re prone to over-eating is a good thing, and breads are often a source of “empty calories.” You may want to reduce how much bread you eat regularly, but cutting out gluten altogether isn’t necessary by any stretch.
“Take more multivitamins”
There’s nothing inherently wrong with multivitamins, but for long-term health, most of the research suggests that it’s more cost efficient and better for your body to eat fruits, vegetables, and meats for your daily dose of vitamins and minerals. Synthetically-produced vitamins aren’t absorbed the same way natural ones are, and the added benefits of eating fruits and vegetables to satiate you make eating appropriately the best option. Read Vitamania for more on this point.