‘If you fall off the wagon, get right back on:’ Nutritionist’s advice on weight loss New Year’s resolutions

Health

New year’s resolutions can be transformative, but only if you make realistic goals. Lofty resolutions are hard to stick to and will only make you feel bad if you slip up.

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — The new year is a popular time for people to make plans and commitments for change… Also known as resolutions.

One of the most common resolutions is to lose weight.

News 8 spoke to Hannah Smith, the clinical nutrition manager at Rochester Regional Health for the Eastern region, which covers Newark and Clifton Springs.

Talk to me about, you know, why people decide this time of year seems to be the time to do it. And then, uh, the general success rate that you’ve seen and we’ll get into more or detail later.

I think it’s something about the time of the year. The holidays are over. People have had a busy season. There’s a lot of festivities, a lot of maybe extra indulgence. So I think with the start of a new year, people wanna start new things.

They get really excited about starting something new; now that they’re not so busy with the holidays, sometimes they bite off a little bit more that they can chew. Often times we do not see a lot of success rate with those that start with new year’s resolutions.

But that doesn’t mean that you can’t be successful.

Can you explore a little bit more, that means, and what are some other reasons you, you think that these weight loss, new year’s resolutions don’t usually work.

A lot of times people choose a really lofty goal. So I always recommend to people to start with small manageable changes that they can continue throughout the year. You don’t want to completely eliminate a food group. But (by) just deciding that: “I should eat a little bit less of that food group, drinking more water and not so much soda…”

Starting with smaller steps, and then building as you feel like you can manage them, and that they’ve become something that works with your lifestyle is something that you’re really gonna become more successful at.

People start with: “I’m going exercise 30 minutes a day every day, and it’s just a lot to incorporate into their routine when they haven’t been doing that. So if you just start with five minutes a day of just walking, and then as you feel that your lifestyle is able to accommodate that, you can increase the time that you exercise each day.”

What are some ways people can stay active when they can’t go to the gym? And we’re talking about weight loss, how much of it is exercise versus diet?

They’re really something that needs to go hand in hand, the calories in, and calories out. So monitoring your intake, watching your portion controls goes a long way. But it also needs to making sure that you’re also physically active. There’s a lot you can do. Obviously we live in upstate New York, so if you can’t get to the gym, it’s also hard to get outside sometimes.

Now there’s apps on your phone. There’s exercise videos on YouTube and Netflix. There’s really an opportunities to — even if you have limitations — exercises, you can do sitting down, building additional muscle mass, will help you burn calories. So there’s a lot of options out there.

And as I mentioned before, starting with something small and manageable that you think you can be consistent with is really your best option.

We’re all going to hit that roadblock. What do you tell people you work with, your patients? How do you coach people through: “I messed up the first time, but how do I keep going and how do you keep it from just kind of falling apart after that first inevitable trip up?”

That’s what I often tell people: don’t feel defeated. Don’t feel like you have to quit altogether. Just because you’re three days into the new year, and you decided to, you know, eat (some) cookies. That’s okay.

You know, you can start again the next day, and any amount that you do will have lasting effects on your health. So if you can, eat healthy for a month, it matters and it will have lasting effects. So if you fall off the wagon, get right back on.

It worth it; it’s really important.

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