Start the Year Without a Crash (Diet)

Why drastic dieting should never be a part of your healthy game plan

New Year’s resolutions. Without a doubt, dramatic weight loss or drastic dieting tend to sit at the top of about half of Americans’ lists. I’m here to tell you why going to extremes to start off the new year is never a good idea.

If you’ve read my previous articles, you know by now that I am not a big fan of diets. You’ll never hear me touting 30-day detoxes, juice cleanses or extreme calorie restrictions. That is not a lifestyle that’s sustainable. It’s not healthy, either. There can be a middle ground between strict dieting and an all-out food free-for-all.

Let’s think of your favorite foods as leftovers. You eat the meal the first day and love it, then you want some leftovers the next day. The food is still delicious. But, maybe the third day, you decide you’d rather eat something else. When you give yourself permission to eat foods when they sound good, you rarely overeat them. It may be hard to wrap your mind around this concept at first but people who don’t restrict foods rarely binge on them.

When crafting meals, keep balance in mind. Think fruits, vegetables, carbohydrates, proteins, fats and sugars. Personally, I feel my best when I eat a bit of everything at each meal, so I try to incorporate whatever sounds appetizing and add in foods that will meet my nutritional needs. This might not work 100 percent of the time, but if you aim for balance most days, you’ll get those important nutrients your body needs to run at its best.

Let’s look at four realistic and sustainable lifestyle choices you can add to the new year.

Drink more water: Most of us simply don’t drink enough water. Aim for the 8x8 rule or eight 8-ounce glasses of water each day. Grab yourself a large water bottle and focus on that to start off the year!

Eat your veggies: Try for two to four servings daily of this nutrient-dense food group. I often find that many people are missing a key food group in their day. Vegetables tend to be No. 1. Without vegetables, you’re missing out on fiber, which helps fill you up, and the nutrients that are found only in this food group.

Get moving: You do not need to overdo it in the gym when the New Year starts. Why not go for a walk? Whatever you do to get moving, make it something you enjoy. That way, you’re more apt to make it last for more than 30 days.

Try a new homemade recipe: Make it a goal to try two new recipes a month and strive for a meal that includes a carb, protein and fat along with a serving of veggies. This will up your enjoyment of eating healthy and allow you to savor new flavors that include all of the food groups.


So skip the fad diets and strive for one or all four of these healthy habits for 2020. Instead of depriving yourself of what you might consider “bad” foods, let’s focus on what we can add to our lifestyle to make it a little healthier for the New Year.

QUESTIONS OR COMMENTS on what you’d like to see here for our in-house dietitian? Feel free to email Karli at


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