“Reverse Resolutions” You Should Make This Year
Take a counterintuitive approach to your healthy goals in 2013 for results that last.
Weight loss and fitness resolutions are popular because they don’t work—so people have to resolve to do them again every year. It’s time to stop the no-success cycle and try something new in 2013: If you really want to succeed, take what you think you should do, and do the exact opposite. These “reverse resolutions” do just that—turning traditional New Year’s pledges topsy-turvy, with expert- and science-backed reasons for choosing the road less traveled. Read on for five surprising promises that sound non-committal but will actually help you slim down and shape up for the long haul. (Related: If you're planning on making a major change in 2013, follow this advice from Jillian Michaels to stay on track and reach your goals in the New Year.
It’s common sense that skipping dessert just makes you want it more, but science proves it: In a 2010 study published in the journal Obesity, dieters who were restricted from eating a small dessert were more likely to be left “wanting” than those who had a bite of sweets. “Dieters had stronger cravings without dessert,” says Dawn Jackson Blatner, RD, a nutrition consultant in Chicago. Skipping “will backfire.”
So don’t drop the sweets if you want success: divide them into two buckets and conquer your cravings. “Bucket one is decadent—molten chocolate cake, red velvet cupcakes. Those are social sweets only,” she says. “When you’re out with a friend or on a date, eat those. Enjoy them, socialize, and have fun.” But on regular nights, stick with everyday desserts—what Blatner calls “fancy fruits,” such as pureed frozen banana “soft serve” or warm chopped apple with applie pie spice. Each of these satisfies a sweet tooth, Blatner says, and includes a nutritional bonus—vitamins, minerals, and fiber that can keep you full.
If dessert isn’t your weakness, apply this advice to the food you love. The key is to find things you can reasonably do within your own limits, and you’ll find success. “If you can’t live without Chinese food, but you can cut your portion in half and add in more nutrients, do that,” says Valerie Berkowitz, RD, director of nutrition at the Center for Balanced Health.