If a resolution is defined as something resolved, then that means the issue is already fixed or on track to be fixed with the established solution. In other words, the term “New Year’s Resolution” is basically an oxymoron.
New Year’s Goals and Statistics
Roughly 50% of the adult population makes a New Year’s resolution (NYR), and more than half of these people give up before the end of March. Over 90% of these “resolvers” will have ditched the resolution before the end of the year. Meaning the problem was not resolved (well, at least they are ready for next year’s resolution).
The most popular NYRs should be no surprise: lose weight, exercise more and eat healthier. So the aforementioned success statistics for NYRs should not be a surprise to anyone considering over 90% of all people attempting losing weight fail to achieve their goals in the long term. In fact, most people will end up heavier than when they started, giving them the perfect reason start over again.
Nothing has worked because nothing fits
Today’s weight loss programs and current dietary and exercise guidelines obviously have not solved anything. Consider the continuous growth in overweight and obesity, which is now increasing at its fastest pace. At this rate our entire population will be overweight or obese by 2030. Also consider the irony of life being busier and forcing us to move less. We push buttons to send information around the world and to move our bodies from one place to the next. This is out of necessity; if we had to walk information or manually transport ourselves from place to place, we would be knocked back to the Stone Age. As I always like to say, we live in a world where we must “hurry up to sit somewhere else.” Hence the double whammy: we eat more because we are always sitting (and food is there) and we move less because, well, we are always sitting. It’s the perfect recipe for continuous weight gain and the immovable barrier to achieving and maintaining weight loss. And it’s no wonder current guidelines fall on deaf ears – they don’t fit in the modern world.
Current diet and exercise guidelines for weight control compared to actual practices
These are the current recommendations for calories in (diet) and calories out (exercise):
- Calories in:
– 1600-2100 kcal per day: 3 servings whole grains, 5-9 servings fruits & veggies (select from all 5 vegetable sub-groups), very lean protein and 3 servings dairy
- Calories out:
– 60 minutes of moderate to intense physical activity a day to prevent weight gain; 60-90 minutes a day to maintain weight loss
These are our current actual practices for calories in and out:
- Calories in (top 5 foods):
– 1-Sugared beverages; 2-cake & sweet rolls; 3-hamburgers; 4-pizza; 5-potato & corn chips
- Calories out (top activities):
– 1-driving a car; 2-office work; 3-watching TV or movies; 4-taking care of children; 5- an activity performed while sitting quietly; 6-eating. It’s all sitting!
Results of using current diet programs including behavioral & lifestyle approaches:
- 80% gain weight back in the first year
- 95% return to original weight or higher in within 5 years
The facts above show that current weight loss guidelines and solutions are virtually useless against our 21st century environment.
Out with the old and in with the new – do it your way
You now have one guideline to follow: control your weight/body fat into a healthy range any way you can by managing your calories any way you want. In other words, do it YOUR WAY. You can do this by: 1) paying attention regularly using a device that measures your calories in compared to your calories out; and 2) portion control of whatever you choose to eat.
For weight loss, make sure whatever you eat averages fewer calories than whatever you burn until you hit your weight goal. Use simple modern devices (e.g. exerspy, scale, etc.) to keep you on track. The rest will take care of itself. In other words, if necessary (and only as you become ready), better overall diet and exercise habits will take form as the body improves, but only because you created the path and therefore own any behavioral change. You will not succeed trying to force a lifestyle change including trying to fit into a certain program – just look at the statistics. You must create your own program by fitting it to YOUR lifestyle, where your life is the exercise and your food is the diet.
So there you have it, finally a TRUE News Year’s Fitness Resolution you can keep because it that doesn’t require you change your lifestyle: put on an exerspy, set the goal, live your life and follow the number using two simple rules:
- Keep your weight trending where it belongs by paying attention regularly
- Manage your calories anyway you want to the desired body weight using a tool that gives you instant visibility on what’s happening before it happens
- Eat the best you can because it’s not what you eat but how much
- Use portion control – you can eat anything you want, just not everything you want