A new year is always a great opportunity to set new goals and make positive changes. But some of the most common New Year’s resolutions can be downright unhealthy. To help ensure that your resolutions are safe, effective, and achievable, here are 8 of the least healthy resolutions, according to dietitians:
1. Cut Out Entire Food Groups
Eliminating entire food groups, such as carbohydrates or fats, can severely hinder your health and nutrition. Your body needs a variety of vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients, and cutting out whole food groups forces you to miss out on essential components of a balanced diet.
2. Sign Up For Fad Diets
Jumping on the bandwagon of popular diets, such as juice cleanses or gluten-free diets, can be dangerous. Whether these diets are healthy for you or not depends on your own body and lifestyle, and these diets should only be undertaken with a doctor’s approval.
3. Begin an Intense Exercise Plan
Exercise is an essential part of any healthy lifestyle, but jumping head first into intense exercise can be damaging. Not only can this cause soreness, fatigue, and injury, but it can also affect your mental health. Dietitians recommend setting goals that are both safe and achievable.
4. Commit to Counting Calories
Although counting calories can help you lose weight, it can also be a type of destructive dieting. Constantly obsessing over calories can put a strain on your relationship with food, and also take away from enjoying meals. Focus instead on consuming whole, nutritious foods and practice mindful eating.
5. Organic/Non-Organic Only Eating
To maximize nutrition, it’s important to choose organic when possible, but forcing yourself to strictly adhere to an either/or approach can make it difficult to maintain a balanced diet. All foods – organic and non-organic – have a place in your diet.
6. Meal Prepping Every Day
Meal prepping can be a great way to save money and ensure that you are eating nutritious meals. But forcing yourself to meal prep every day is not a realistic goal. Instead, dietitians recommend prepping meals a few days in advance, and no more than that.
7. Eating as Little as Possible
Many people make the mistake of drastically reducing caloric intake in pursuit of weight loss. Although this may result in a few pounds of weight loss in the short-term, it will set your body up for a number of health issues down the road.
8. Drinking Only Water
H2O is important for keeping your body hydrated, but water should not be your go-to beverage for the entire year. Choosing other drinks, such as low calorie/sugar drinks or sparkling water, can help you get the nutrients your body needs.
It’s important to set realistic resolutions that don’t put your health in jeopardy. Keep these 8 unhealthy New Year’s resolutions in mind, and focus on positive changes that will leave you feeling healthier and happier.