New Year Weightloss Resolutions - Do They Work?
With the 'annus horribilis' of 2020 now firmly behind us, we thought we'd revisit this topic since staying fitter and healthier in 2021 is perhaps more important than any other year in recent history. If you're the type of person who makes New Year Resolutions - especially diet or fitness-related ones, then this post may be worth your while reading.
Have you ever noticed how the TV ads encourage us to scoff our faces leading up to Christmas, only to scold us shortly afterwards by suggesting it's time to go on a New Year's Resolution inspired diet? One minute, there are images of cream being poured over chocolate cake and only a few days later after Christmas, it's images of smiley slim people on treadmills eating low-fat yoghurt.
It can be hard not to be sucked in by the hype of the unavoidable post-Christmas diet industry propaganda we have to endure, but in any case, does going on a diet because of a New Year Resolution even work?
The short answer is, in most cases, a resounding no.
Why 'Resolution' dieting rarely works
Let's take a step back and try and look at this objectively... If all the companies that you see advertising on TV had a product or service that really worked for most of their target audience, they'd go out of business pretty fast. We could speculate that the PR gurus who dream up these campaigns already know this, and build the psychology of 'body shaming' failure into their product or service. This is then rehashed with a variation on the same theme to get you to part with more of your hard-earned cash.
We'll use fitness devices as a poignant example of this - You see an advert for an 'ab crunching' device together with the predictable before and after photos. Firstly, notice how the person in the 'before' image is usually looking sad and sullen, and then, hey presto, in the 'after' picture they're looking all happy and smiley. Coincidence, right? Well, probably not.
So, you buy the device, give it a good go and then give up, feeling like a failure because you just don't have what it takes to get to the 'after' picture you saw in the ad. You slide it under the bed or chuck it in the loft to gather dust. Next time around you see more adverts, but this time they're advertising a stepping/pulling machine with stretchy cords and handy foldaway hinges so that it'll fit into a matchbox when you're done.
Rinse and repeat - Same story, different gadget.
If this works for you then that's great; we're sure that these devices can and do work for some people. However, for those of us who don't have an exercise epiphany whilst using them, it can mean going back to the drawing board with more feelings of failure and self-loathing (and less space under our beds!).
A pragmatic approach
It's far better to approach the notion of weight-related New Years' Resolutions with a more practical frame of mind. Rather than focusing on things that you're scolding yourself over, such as a love of fatty or sweet foods, then following that with a specific date to go 'cold turkey' (excuse the festive pun), try focusing on things that may still lead on you on the same path, but things that you actually enjoy. This can be as simple as dancing away in the kitchen with the radio on while prepping dinner or even learning to ride a unicycle! Sure, unicycling may be a bit 'far out there', but if something like this appeals to you, why not go for it and at least give it a go? There's no doubt you'll burn plenty of calories while you learn. In short, filling your life with more joyful things rather than trying to stop doing the bad things is a more realistic target.
We hope that you find this information useful for the New Year but if you're struggling with your weight and would like some extra support, Briarswood Clinic may be able to help. We offer private consultations with a qualified doctor who may be able to prescribe medication to help suppress your appetite - Get in touch if you'd like to find out more.