The most popularly made—and perhaps broken—of New Year’s resolutions got a lot of support from the first magazine issues each New Year. Cover after cover promised “light recipes” with “big flavor, no guilt” to result in a “new you!”
But simply resolving to lose weight and eat better may be the source of the problem. For the first year ever, I tried to be very specific with my list of resolutions—or more specifically, the things I wanted to accomplish over the next 12 months.
While they fall into some of those typical generic resolutions like “lose weight” and “eat better,” I have a step-by-step action plan that seems much more attainable than the usual all-encompassing, wide-ranging and rarely accomplished wish list.
With the power of these specifics in mind, I waded through all the low-fat this and cleansing diet that in the new year issues of magazines, and I found three very concrete and useful tools that may help you or a friend if losing weight or changing your eating habits is a goal this year.
If committing yourself to a weight loss plan for an entire year seems overwhelming, try Whole Living magazine’s 21-day cleanse. It’s got an action plan with small steps to take each day, a list of things to avoid, secrets for success and three weeks of recipes for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
But this is more than a diet. This addresses preparing your mind and your body to maximize the effect of the cleanse. Even if it’s not something you stick to regularly, Whole Living suggests revisiting the plan occasionally, even if just for a few days, to give your body a “tune-up.”
One of the lesser emphasized points of Whole Living’s plan was the impact of having a support group, while EatingWell magazine focused solely on the “social network diet.” Involving friends, family, co-workers, your spouse and, yes, even your contacts on the modern social network, can create accountability and provide much needed encouragement.
The magazine shared the story of a woman named Deanne Hobba who reached out to her various support groups—and even built some new ones—to back her up as she lost 123 pounds. But there’s more than inspiration here.
EatingWell followed Hobba’s story with “The Ultimate Get-Slim Guide,” packed with tips, social support sites, calorie-counting apps and a five-day meal plan to get you started.
Motivation for healthy eating could even be found in the most unlikely of sources. Cooking with Paula Deen offered a healthy homemade gift to give in support of a friend’s New Year’s resolutions—or to keep for yourself.
Her Greek vinaigrette combines olive oil, vinegar, Dijon mustard and Greek seasoning that can be prepared, bottled and presented with a note of encouragement attached. The magazine also included a recipe for big Greek salad packed with fresh veggies and feta cheese.
Here’s another tip: Don’t skimp on the olive oil by going light. While all olive oils are high in fats (the heart-healthy ones), light versions have less flavor.