It’s the time of year when we all resolve to eat better and lose weight, but dieting is about a lot more than just what our bodies weigh and look like. It has both long and short-term impacts on our psychology surrounding food. Here’s how to work with your psychology to stop yo-yo-ing and actually get healthy this year.
The saying “New Year, New You” probably conjures up cringe-worthy images of long mornings at the gym and salads for the rest of your life. It is, after all, that time of year, when we all resolve to eat more healthfully, maybe lose a few pounds, and shed the past, right?
According to a recent poll by the international research and analytics group called YouGov, losing weight, eating healthy, and exercising more are three of the top five most popular New Year’s resolutions for 2020. It turns out, many people who responded to the poll made the same resolutions in 2019.
“Diet culture is such that it’s very binary — either on or off,” says Dr. Michelle May, the founder of Am I Hungry and author of Eat What You Love, Love What You Eat. “The idea of yo-yo dieting is accurate if you think about it. A yo-yo is either on its way up or on its way down; it’s never anywhere in the middle. It makes sense that we keep making these resolutions every year.”
Those kinds of swings not only have a significant impact on our bodies and metabolisms, but they also significantly change the way we think about and relate to food as nourishment and fuel.