LOGO 2019
Registered dietitian Jessica Monger talks New Year's Resolutions

A New Year, A New You: Do New Year's Resolutions Really Work?

By Kristy Warren


When it comes to New Year's resolutions, "getting healthier" or "losing weight" often tops the list. We start the year gung-ho to diet and exercise, but our resolve is often fizzling by February. We start each new year excited to better ourselves, so why don’t our resolutions to eat better and exercise more stick?


The answer lies in our goal-setting. When we're feeling motivated, we set big goals and expect results fast. Then, when we aren't seeing those results as quickly as we'd like, we begin to lose our enthuasism. Healthy resolutions most often fail because we’ve set unrealistic, short-term goals instead of manageable long-term goals. 


Take the common New Year’s resolution "to lose weight" for example. When trying to lose weight, people are tempted to treat food as “the enemy” instead of an ally in reaching their health goals.


Jessica Monger, a registered dietitian and certified diabetes educator with the Laurel Health Centers, talks about why you should ditch the unrealistic New Year's resolutions for lasting lifestyle changes.



Resolving to exercise more or eat better may feel daunting at times, but it doesn't have to be. 


Try these three simple steps to improve your everyday health:


1) See every opportunity as a fresh start. Instead of beating yourself up if you backslide a little or don’t meet every goal on time, focus on making a fresh start at your next meal or work out session. Look at every dish, exercise routine, or moment of meditation as a chance to get back on track with your fitness goals. Keep at it, even when you feel stuck. Remember, slow and steady wins the race!


2) Set realistic goals and celebrate your progress. Accept that you’re not going to lose 20 pounds in a week. Be wary Lose weight ultra quick tricks are just that—a trick. They don't work and in some cases, they can even damage your health. Instead, focus on eating a better diet and tailoring your exercise. It is important to take time to acknowledge your success as you hit small milestones, as it empowers further progress. You can achieve a healthier life and reach your fitness goals at a healthy pace.


3) Stay accountable. Whether it’s logging your progress in a health app,  working out with a friend, regularly visiting a dietitian, or keeping a food journal, adding another layer of accountability to your health routine keeps you on track. Looking for support? Try joining a gym, exercise class, or health group. Working toward your goals with others can create a fun, new social activity while keeping you motivated.


No two people are exactly alike, and our dietary needs are often just as unique. Some diets are more appropriate for certain health conditions than others. Meeting with a dietitian is an excellent way to identify and customize a plan to improve your individual health. Whether you’re hoping to lose weight, balance your diet, or struggling to better manage a health condition like high cholesterol, diabetes, or high blood pressure, a certified dietitian provides the guidance and support you need to reach your goals.


To make an appointment with Jessica Monger, call your health center of choice or toll-free at 1-833-LAURELHC (1-833-528-7354). For more health and wellness tips, visit the Laurel Health Centers on Facebook at facebook.com/laurelhc