Keeping New Year's Resolutions: Are You Like 99% of Us?

‘Tis the season. I love this time of year because it is an opportunity for renewal. Sure, most of us make New Year's resolutions that we generally don’t keep, but on the positive side, it gets us thinking. We contemplate the year behind us, and look forward to the possibilities for the year ahead.

It’s also the time of year when a large majority of us make it our mission to begin a “diet.” What that really looks like can be different for everyone individually, however, it nearly always involves some sort of deprivation. Where did we ever learn that to lose weight we must deprive ourselves of tastes and nourishment that we enjoy? The reality is that 99% of people who lose weight dieting will gain it back within a 12 month period. Why?

There are two main reasons why this is the case:

1. Starvation diets do just that.

They starve our bodies of nourishment in the form of calories, which our bodies rely on to function. If we do not feed ourselves the basic minimum that is needed to function, our bodies will revolt. Ever hit a weight loss wall while dieting? This is exactly why. Always remember that your body in one way or another, will strive to get what it needs. If energy (calories) is what it needs, it will stubbornly hang onto and conserve that energy, thereby resulting in a lack of energy used, or weight retention. 

With reports that over 60% of us in the ‘overweight’ category and teetering in pre-diabetic states, having a weight-loss goal is a good thing. However, you need to nourish your body to do that. If you feed yourself less of what you have been eating to get into that category to begin with, nothing will change over the long run. 

The key is to return to nourishing, balanced meals that do not cut out essential macronutrients. You need carbs, fats, and protein to lose weight. Balance is the key. 

Whole foods, rich in essential vitamins and minerals is the way to go. And guess what, you won’t feel hungry or deprived. Seriously, with apps like MyFitnessPal and Lose It! it has never been easier to plan and track balanced food intake.

2. Movement

Most of us have visited a gym in January. It’s as if all of the people who were at airport customs over the Christmas break agreed to meet up again at your neighborhood gym. A friend of mine who owns a gym once told me that he got 60% of his annual revenue in January.

We make New Year's resolutions and they probably involve gyms and physical activity. But let’s be honest, they are often driven by the same goal as #1, above. If we switch our mindset, and make it about strength and progress, maybe we could stick it out a bit longer. Maybe it would even help us achieve goal #1 and stay there.

The point here is more about making sure that you try and lead an active lifestyle. It can be tough, we spend a lot of time shuttling to and fro in our cars. Work, carpool, errands, repeat.

Maybe a gym isn’t your thing. Try and pick something that you really love and it will be easier to stick to. I can’t think of anything more intimidating for the inactive than a gym in January. 

Do you work in an office? Spend 9-10 hours a day at your desk or in meetings? Take a break, and go for a walk outside during your lunch hour. Yes, even during the cold winter months. You will see what a difference it can make to your energy level and your mental state. Take the stairs instead of an elevator, or park far away from the mall entrance instead of circling around for 20 minutes to find the closest spot to the door. 

All of these small shifts will make a big difference. Slowly but surely, you will change these elements of your lifestyle, and it will help you fall into that remaining 1%.

By Bonnie Wisener| December 29, 2015
Categories:  Care

About the Author

Bonnie Wisener

Bonnie Wisener

Bonnie Wisener is a Registered Holistic Nutritionist and is passionate about the role that food plays in our lives. In her practice, she enjoys working with clients to discover the best way that they can nourish themselves to maintain or foster optimal wellness. Bonnie can be found at and on Facebook at Shift Nutrition and Wellness. Please contact Bonnie for a free 15 minute “discovery” session.


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