43 Reasons Not to Diet and 31 New Year's Resolutions to Set Instead

Photo credit: Flickr user Trygve Selmer

Photo credit: Flickr user Trygve Selmer

This New Year’s Eve, millions of men and women, young and old, will hunker down and make a promise to themselves. The “New Year’s Resolution” is a time-honored tradition, set by many, followed through by few. And of the most popular Resolutions, the biggest by far is exactly what you’d imagine:

Weight Loss

Weight loss, dieting, “detoxing,” juicing, exercising… Whatever it is, it falls under the same umbrella. And today, I don’t want to waste time trying to teach you the futile process of “sensible dieting” or “setting realistic weight loss goals.” Rather, I want to leave you with this:

Whatever you set as your new year’s resolution, don’t make it dieting.

Why? Well, I’ve got 43 compelling reasons right here. So, read on, soak it all in, and then I’ll conclude with 31 other Resolutions (among thousands, honestly) you could - and should - set instead.

Without further ado…

43 Reasons NOT to Make Your New Year’s Resolution a Diet

Diets…

1. Predict weight gain. That’s not a typo… diets are the #1 predictor of weight gain. That’s not to say weight gain is necessarily a bad thing, but it is to say that dieting is necessarily a useless thing. (7)

2. Put you in starvation mode. The concept of “starvation mode” is debated, and rightfully so, but the premise still stands: Your body has metabolic measures in place to ensure you don’t just lose tons of weight forever when you lower calories. Lower caloric intake means lower metabolic rate which means diets also… (6)

Photo credit: Oak Ridge National Laboratory

Photo credit: Oak Ridge National Laboratory

3. Throw your hormones out of wack. Testosterone, estrogen, thyroid, insulin, glucagon, cortisol, leptin… The body has to make some harsh choices when food intake is messed with, and that means modulating hormone secretion as if you were going through this aforementioned state of starvation. (8)

4. Lead to weight-cycling, one of the most unhealthy things your body can go through. What’s the most unhealthy metabolic state one can be in? Obese? Diabetic? Hypertensive? Undergoing adrenal fatigue? Nope… it’s weight cycling, as studies have repeatedly shown. (10)

5. Have permanent adverse effects, even after weight regain. Diets tell your body, “Hey, this is very bad. There’s no food available. Even after we find some more, don’t return these hormones to their normal levels. We need to be ready for another famine!” (9)

6. Make it hard to concentrate. I’ve spent enough time in contest prep zoning out in class and forgetting important details to know this one is not an exaggeration in the slightest. NOT WORTH IT.

7. Make it - um - difficult to have sex. As mentioned previously, when in a perceived state of starvation, the body is forced to prioritize things. And reproductive ability is not of utmost concern in such a state, especially if this “famine” could mean your offspring have a lower likelihood of survival. (2)

8. Negatively affect fertility. In the same vein, negatively altered estrogen and progesterone - as well as amenorrhea in pre-menopausal women - can mean reduced capacity for fertility. Whether this exists after weight regain is still debated.

9. Lead to lots of stress (which means lots of low-grade cortisol release). This relates to the all-important concept of Cognitive Dietary Restraint (CDR), which you might enjoy reading about in CDR: The One Concept I Teach All My Clients. (13)

10. Can ruin your digestive capabilities (especially with decreased food variety). This is especially true with diets characterized by decreased food variety (i.e. most fad diets, and any diet that begins with “low-”), but can be extended to inappropriate caloric restriction as a whole. The body is essentially not getting enough “practice” digesting foods, which means key digestive enzymes and mechanisms are downregulated… go figure! (3)

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11. Make you tired. You probably see this story stringing itself together by now. Dieting = low energy availability = feeling tired and, eventually, fatigued. (11)

12. Can lead to muscle loss. To be sure, it’s not necessarily true that you’ll lose lots of muscle mass when dieting (surely, my mission as a competitive bodybuilder was to maximize fat loss while minimizing - or even completely staving off - muscle loss). That said, dieting as it’s executed by the majority of the population is likely to lead to muscle loss. But even if it doesn’t, all these other problems are still apparent. (4)

13. Aren’t sustainable. You don’t need me to recite the numbers, but I will. Not even 20% of dieters will maintain weight loss a year out (and those are just the ones who actually make it a whole year). (14) And within 5 years, the average dieter has regained over 3/4 of that weight. (1) Nowhere is the futility of dieting more apparent than in The Biggest Loser case study. Consider this: The producers’ idea to broadcast a 6-year reunion with the winners of the show had to be tossed, because they’d almost ALL regained the weight. (5)

14. Won’t make you happier. And in fact, it will likely make you much less happy of a person. (12)

15. Ruin your relationship with food. Signing up for a weight loss diet is truly signing up for a forever-altered relationship with food. Even now, over a year into full recovery and a true intuitive eater, I will still never be able to see food the way I did before my first bodybuilding show. I can’t even let my thoughts go down that rabbit hole of “What if you could go back to the carefree Ari that ate pizza rolls and ice cream and never once looked at his body with disgust?” And this altered relationship only worsens with each subsequent diet attempt. Trust me when I say it’s not even a little bit worth it.

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16. Ruin your relationship with exercise. As I discussed in Why Strength Training Can Save You From Your Eating Disorder, I firmly believe exercise can be an amazing, amazing thing. But it can also be a punitive tool of masochism and self-hatred, if you let it. Once you start fixating on weight loss, the toxicity can easily metastasize into realms like exercise, and turn those into equally toxic tools.

17. Ruin your relationship with health. I highly recommend every single person interested in weight loss first do themselves the favor of researching the Health at Every Size (HAES) movement. If you’re already rolling your eyes and getting ready to click out of this article, please suspend disbelief for one minute. Consider that modern society’s relationship with weight has become horribly disordered, and consider that the so-called “obesity epidemic” came on the scene at the exact same time as the rise of Weight Watchers, Overeaters Anonymous, and other fad diets. Going on a weight loss diet to “improve your health” (despite what your well-intentioned doctor told you) is akin to popping zits to “clear up your face.” The zits aren’t the problem, and neither is your weight. Address underlying issues - if those are even there - instead of destroying yourself trying to “fix” superficial blemishes.

18. Ruin your relationship with yourself. Diets don’t let you take care of yourself. They don’t let you see yourself for your positive qualities and contributions to the world. When I was going through my periods of heavy diet restriction, I - in my eyes - was no longer a friend, a son, a brother, a boyfriend, or a student. I was a body, and a body that was “not lean enough” at that. Enough can’t be said for the profound importance of connecting with yourself instead of seeking out external qualifiers.

19. Create a black-or-white mentality. This is more conspicuous with the fad diets of the day (i.e. certain foods are literally “off-limits”), but it’s true with diet culture in general. Brownies are bad, tuna is good, pizza is bad, quinoa is good. These arbitrary identifiers not only prevent you from seeing food as food, but they also effectively put all those “bad” foods on a pedestal. As an intuitive eater, I will sometimes have a cookie and an energy drink for breakfast. 3 years ago, such a decision might have been followed by profound feelings of guilt and shame. It might have spiraled me into a deep depression riddled with binge-eating, isolation, and suicidal thoughts. But now (and I just told you my breakfast this morning, so this isn’t an abstract example), I finish the food, move on to the next task, and feel fine.

20. Will make you super hungry. This shouldn’t be news to anyone but if it is… well, yeah, eating less makes you hungry. There, now you know.

Follow me  @100daysoffoodfreedom  on IG!

Follow me @100daysoffoodfreedom on IG!

21. Rob you of your autonomy. I made a post about this on IG the other day (what’s that? You aren’t following me? Come join the party!), which I’ve left here as well. It illustrates the dangerous autonomy-stripping nature of diet culture and what I call “Big Diet” (you’ll understand why if you read my book 100 Days of Food Freedom). In short, diet culture doesn’t let you make autonomous decisions that have your best interests in mind. Diet culture tells you how you should look, how you should feel, and what you should/shouldn’t eat. That’s no way to live.

22. Quickly become addicting. This is exactly how I felt with the stimulant abuse that colored my bodybuilding contest preparation efforts. It’s like when you see how lean you can get, and all the attention you get from others, and that sense of accomplishment that comes with it, all you want is more. You don’t just “settle” for X amount of weight lost. You push it and see how much more you can get. “Hm, what if I restrict even further?”

23. Make you obsess over dieting. In the same vein as #22, the addicting nature of diets make you obsess over the dieting itself. All you can think about is how many calories are in a certain food you’ve eaten, how much cardio you’ll have to do to make up for it, how you’re going to deal with all the Halloween candy, etc. It’s a never-ending stream of diet thoughts, and these quickly hijack your brain.

24. Make you obsess over eventual eating (or bingeing). And just as diets make you obsess over dieting, you become equally fixated on what foods you crave. Believe it or not, this is just as true in bulimia nervosa and binge-eating disorder as it is in anorexia nervosa (albeit for different reasons). But it’s also the case for anyone not dealing with a clinical eating disorder, who just wants to “lose some weight before the summer.” Once you start restricting food intake, it’s only a matter of time until those “off-limits” foods become the only thing you can think about.

READ: 8 Tips to Stop Binge Eating

25. Can lead to an eating disorder. Eating disorders are often dismissed as “problems those people have.” And this is a misconception I would have made myself before my own eating disorder experience. The reality is that disordered eating exists on a continuum. And all it takes is “a little diet culture here” and “a little diet culture there” and.. poof! ..you’re now cutting off friends and family, hoarding food, lying about your eating behaviors, abusing exercise, etc. It’s a slippery slope, especially when you already have a genetic predisposition for such a pathology.

26. Will make you even more insecure of your weight. As I spoke to, losing weight rarely quells your worries about your body and often amplifies them. It’s like trying to rub off dandruff. Maybe you got some off, but now you’re hyper-fixated on how much more there is. The “weight loss game” has no end. So why start?

27. Leave a lasting impact on kids in your life (whether they be your own children, nephews, students, etc.) Kids should not have to deal with diet culture. Diet culture is problematic for anyone, but few groups are as negatively influenced by this as children (and adolescents). At such a young, impressionable age, all it takes is subtle jabs at one’s weight, or comments about how you’re “eating like a pig,” and you’ve now planted an extremely damaging seed in their mind. Kids have no conception of “the morality of food” or the fact that being fat is seen as the worst thing you can be. So do them a favor and don’t let those thoughts ever permeate their minds. (15)

28. Might inspire the wrong people (like, you know, literally anyone). As I explain in my article Bodybuilding: The Glorified Eating Disorder, when I was going through prep and losing tons of weight, I would regularly get compliments from others and the repeated question “How do you do it?” And it occurred to me that I felt awful, was borderline obsessed with every little bit of fat on me, and was almost eating more prescription stimulants than food… and others were inspired. Even moderate weight loss endeavors run the risk of this same trickle effect, and before you know it, you’ve infected everyone around you with diet culture.

29. Perpetuate fatphobia. This might be a hard sell, and I don’t expect everyone to agree, but I do believe you can’t simultaneously claim to fight against fatphobia and still embark on a weight loss diet. That’s not to say it’s universally a matter of malice. In fact, it usually isn’t. Most people on weight loss diets are not “out to get” fat people or regularly making offensive, weight-stigmatizing comments. However, there is a degree of internalized fatphobia present in any weight loss endeavor. And that fear and disgust of fatness, along with seemingly benign comments about “how great I feel now that I’m down 10 lbs!”, does nothing but make the concept of dieting more palatable to more people. And this perpetuates the cycle of weight stigma and everything else HAES stands against.

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30. Don’t actually make you healthier (the “overweight” BMI category consistently shows the best markers of health). I touched on how weight loss diets ruin your relationship with health, but on an even more fundamental level, they also don’t do anything to improve health in the first place. Consider the group referred to in the medical community as Thin on the Outside, Fat on the Inside (TOFI). These individuals - usually possessing a “skinnyfat” figure - look lean and healthy by all metrics on the outside, but inside they are anything but. Symptoms of metabolic syndrome (high blood pressure, insulin resistance, inflammation, cardiovascular disease, etc.) can be running rampant without any signs of it on the outside. And imagine the percentage of these individuals busy typing up a rant on how “obesity is unhealthy and we shouldn’t encourage it!” Tsk tsk.

31. Perpetuates diet industry nonsense. Just as dieting can perpetuate fatphobia, it also literally perpetuates the tools of the diet industry complex. In other words, when someone asks you what you’ve done to lose all the weight, and you tell them you’ve been using “SomeOneOffDiet(TM),” you’ve helped the diet industry spread this toxic message along. Please don’t.

32. Leads to a vicious cycle of self-loathing and diet-dependency. I’ve always said that “[Eating disorder] recovery is not what it takes to love yourself; recovery is the result of loving yourself.” Similarly, your body will decide what to do in terms of weight regulation. It’s up to you only to get reacquainted with those natural hunger and satiety drives, and let the rest sort itself out. But when we try and play god, using diets and exercise and drugs to force a change in weight, all we’re doing is fighting against a system that will - in the end - ultimately win. And that can only foster negativity and depression.

33. Are expensive. All the bogus “superfood,” “organic,” “healthy substitute” food products are cash cows - let’s be honest. When you’re on a diet, it feels good to buy all of the healthiest foods you imagine you’ll be eating. But it’s also a super expensive way to learn self-loathing.

34. Take up a ton of your time. I spent all day today working on logs for clients and writing this article. I, like many of you, have multiple jobs and work a lot of hours each week. Add all the mental energy required to diet and meal prep and do cardio, and there just isn’t the time in the day anymore for being social, relaxing, running errands, or practicing self-care. Diets are huge timesucks.

35. Are bland and boring. I’m sorry, but no matter how “tasty” your zucchini-superfood-quinoa-liver pancake is, I can guarantee you it doesn’t hold a candle to real pancakes. It’s painful watching people on stringent diets try to explain to others how tasty a zero-carb diet can be. Who are you fooling?

36. Lead to social isolation. This is true with crash diets and physique contest preparation, but it’s even true with the “less intense” variety of dieting. Not only does all the meal prep and rigid structure literally mean less time for a social life, but even when you do go out with friends and family, you either can’t eat what everyone else is eating or spend half the time wiping the grease off your cheese-less, veggie-filled pizza. No thanks. Beyond that, diets often lead to justification for isolation, and in no one is this truer than the introverts among us. When you already need to somewhat force social engagement, dieting can quickly become your rationale for isolating.

37. Make mealtime decisions unnecessarily confusing. We make on average 200 food decisions a day… yes, seriously. So you can imagine the detriment of having all of those decisions now further convoluted with worries of sugar content, calorie load, nutrient density, gluten presence, acidity, etc. With an intuitive, non-dieting approach to eating, the decision at each mealtime can be distilled down to “Am I hungry? If yes, what am I hungry for?”

People engaging in diet talk: This is how you sound.

People engaging in diet talk: This is how you sound.

38. Make you extremely annoying. Your diet will never be as interesting to anyone else as it is to you, I regret to inform you. Prefacing statements with what diet you’re on has become so cliché that it’s essentially a meme at this point.

39. Force you to be selfish. Sometimes in life you do have to put yourself first. When it comes to self-care and self-respect, nobody gets to tell you what to do. This circles back to the autonomy piece we touched on earlier. But when it comes to food and diet rigidity, being selfish is simply not warranted. Put another way:

  • Good selfish = Deciding to stay in even when your friends are going out partying, because you don’t feel like going out tonight.

  • Bad selfish = Having to explain to your child why everyone except Mommy is eating the birthday cake (for more, go read #27 again).

40. Prevent you from learning to love yourself for WHO YOU ARE. The reality is that you are a whole, multi-faceted human with so much to offer, not only to others but to yourself. I often hear people stand up for dieting on the basis that “it helps me learn more about my body.” This is true, but only in the same way that slicing your arm open helps you learn about your anatomy. No, you don’t need toxic dieting and arbitrary food rules to learn more about yourself. What you need is mindful awareness, self-compassion, and a willingness to look within. Don’t let another weight loss diet rob you of that.

41. Keep you from devoting mental energy elsewhere. To quote yet another of my recent IG posts (wait… you’re still not following me there? You’re missing out, I’m tellin’ ya!): “Self-control is super important. Don’t waste it on food.” Similar to my point in #34 about diets being timesucks, they also pull immeasurable mental energy, which could otherwise be allocated to actually important tasks. Imagine taking all the mental energy you expend day-to-day during a diet bout and freeing that up.

If you’re thinking, “Well, I haven’t been on a diet recently anyway… that’s why I’m here, giving you a chance to convince me not to get on one!” I’d challenge whether your mental space has truly been freed up. Often, when we “fall off the wagon” and give up on a diet, we don’t go to a healthier place of normal eating. If we did, we wouldn’t ever want to get back on a diet. Rather, those diet thoughts remain; they just transform from thoughts like “Good, don’t you so much as look at that muffin, or you’ll balloon up!” to “Yeah, why not eat that muffin? You’re already a failure anyway…” This is the tragedy of the restrict-binge cycle.

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42. Provide an answer to a false problem. You always owe it to yourself to ask yourself, “What am I really looking for?” When I meet with first-time clients, I take them through an exercise called the 5 Whys. It just means asking “Why?” as it pertains to one’s motivations for a certain goal, and asking this a total of 5 times. It looks like this:

  • What’s your nutrition goal? My nutrition goal is to lose X amount of weight by summer.

  • Why? I want to look lean at the beach, especially when I’m in front of all my friends and family.

  • Why? I want to impress others, or at the very least, not let them think I lack self-control.

  • Why? Approval from others is really important to me, if I’m being honest.

  • Why? It’s something I’ve always striven for, ever since middle school. I want others to see my achievements and acknowledge how hard I’m working and ultimately validate me.

  • Why? I’m afraid of feeling inadequate and invalid. I need my life to have meaning.

See what we just did there? We moved from the superficial, commonly cited goal of losing weight before the summer rolls around, and we took it all the way to its deepest roots: Avoiding the fear of perceived inadequacy and lack of validity. Woah. So, dieting serves to address that first goal (though, if you read Reasons #1-13, you’ll know it doesn’t even do a good job at that). But we’ve identified that this isn’t even the real problem. The real problem has to do with self-perception and an existential yearning for purpose. Dieting will in fact worsen both of those things: It will destroy how you see yourself, and it will cloud your purpose-seeking thoughts with diet and weight change goals.

43. Simply don’t work. To sum up everything we’ve gone over so far: Diets actually lead to weight gain; they screw with your metabolism and put you into a state of “starvation mode,” which could have permanent impacts; they’re not sustainable and they threaten to destroy your relationships with food, your body, exercise, others, and more; they’re addicting and lead to obsessive tendencies; they have a dangerously infectious quality that means anyone around you (including the most susceptible group - children) can be infected with diet culture; they allow the diet industry to keep on using you and your insecurities; they’re expensive timesucks that keep you from doing other important things and make you annoying to others; and they prevent you from ever achieving even a modicum of self-discovery.

In other words, they don’t work.

So, now that you’re thoroughly convinced that dieting is both dangerous and ineffective, you might be wondering what Resolution to set instead. Look no further…


Photo credit: Flickr user Angela Selvin

Photo credit: Flickr user Angela Selvin

31 Non-Dieting New Year’s Resolutions You Can Set Instead

Here are 31 ideas for New Year’s Resolutions that don’t lead to self-loathing and a ruined metabolism. And keep in mind I came up with these in under 5 minutes. So there are probably thousands more. Your opportunities are endless.

So, what can you set as a New Year’s Resolution this year?

1. Learn a new language. Spend the year becoming fluent in Swedish, and then you can report back to us all that dieter fungerar inte!

2. Learn a new skill. Speed-reading, lucid dreaming, juggling, yodeling, the world’s your oyster!

3. Take a course. Whether it be at a local college/university or through an online course-hosting site like Udemy or Teachable, what better way to become immersed in a subject than to take an entire course on it?

4. Work towards a promotion. You deserve it, after all!

5. Pick up a side hustle. You could drive for Uber or Lyft; work on building passive income through something you offer online; start a coaching business.

6. Show up early to things. This seems small, but it has the potential to be hugely beneficial. Showing up early to meetings, classes, work days, dates, etc. not only leaves a good impression on the other person/people, but it also helps you feel calmer and more prepared.

7. Improve your grades. Are you a C-student who has the intelligence of an A-student? Get to work on those grades! Cal Newport has written some awesome books on the subject, so check those out!

8. Make new friends. They say you are the sum of the 5 people closest to you. If that’s not a sum you’re happy with, you can make your Resolution to find new friends (not that you have to dump the old ones… just let them naturally fizzle out as the new ones occupy more and more of your time)!

9. Start dating. If you’ve been out of the dating game for a while, it can be weird getting back in. Weird, but also super refreshing. If you don’t know where to start, use an online dating app or start picking up conversation with the cute girl/guy who serves you your coffee every morning (just, you know, find a new Starbuck’s if that doesn’t work out).

Photo credit: Flickr user Cushy Spa

Photo credit: Flickr user Cushy Spa

10. Meditate daily. If you’ve read my book or are one of my clients, you’re well aware of how much of a fan I am of regular mindfulness practice. Enough cannot be said about the myriad health benefits of even just 3 minutes of meditating a morning.

11. Journal daily. Getting your thoughts onto paper once a day is mentally freeing beyond belief. The barrier to entry is also remarkably low, making this an easy option.

12. Practice daily self-compassion. Boasting an even lower barrier to entry than daily journaling, a daily practice of self-compassion could be just what you need to turn the “Ugh, I’m such an idiot” remarks into “That’s a mistake everyone makes. Moving on!”

13. Volunteer more. At the core of depression is self-absorption. That’s not a judgment call or an insinuation of ill will (hell, I’ve gone through some crazy bad depression, so I can speak from experience!), but rather a point about how profoundly helpful it can be to take the focus off of yourself and put it onto others in need.

14. Conquer 50 fears. Why 50? Why not? Why fears? Because they stand in the way of personal growth.

15. Read 50 books. That comes out to less than one a week, so if you’re diligent and map out a realistic plan, this is totally achievable. And just think how much you could learn (or just absorb, if you’re not the non-fiction type)! Of course, there’s no magic to this number. If 25, or 12, or even 2, seem more achievable, go for it!

16. Read a long classic you’ve always wanted to. Moby Dick; Guns, Germs, and Steel; Remembrance of Things Past; Beowulf. Think of how cool you’ll be at parties once you’ve plowed through it and can brag about how cultured you are!

17. Become better at organizing. An organized house (or room) means an organized mind. Little by little, improving your organizational skills can have lasting effects.

18. Visit 5 new countries. Again, think of the cool stories you can tell at parties. And make sure to play up your knowledge of each country’s geography. Seriously, though, exploring different cultures firsthand can be an awesome goal to set.

19. Get all your health exams. Between annual physicals, eye exams, skin exams, colonoscopies, dental check-ups, mammograms, and vaccines, there’s enough here to merit its placement as its own Resolution. And you’ll come into 2020 knowing for sure you’re already really healthy and you definitely don’t need a diet.

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20. Save a set amount of money. Somewhere in the neighborhood of 40% of adults in the United States don’t even have $1,000 in their savings. This is crucial, not only to save up for later expenses and to have your money in a somewhat more secure location than your checking account, but also for those unexpected crises that can’t wait for you to come up with thousands of dollars on the spot. This one’s huge.

21. Get out of debt. Along the same financial vein, for anyone still paying off a large chunk of loans, second to Food Freedom, nothing allows for a deep sigh of relief quite like financial freedom.

22. Spend more time with loved ones. Must I say more? They need you, and you need them.

23. Stand more and sit less. “Sitting is the new smoking” makes me think “hyperboles are the new means of scaring people into reading your stuff.” Even still, it’s undeniable that prolonged sitting can lead to all sorts of mobility issues, soreness, GI tract problems (from the awkward angle), and more. Something as simple as moving to a standing desk could make all the difference.

24. Try 50 new foods/meals. Have you ever had snail? Caviar? Kimchi? Fresh sourdough? Kæstur hákarl? No? Set the Resolution, write up your 50-food list, and make it happen!

25. Improve your fashion. This is a great way to boost confidence (for contrast, dieting is not) and to improve the first impressions you leave, whether those be at job interviews, first dates, or weddings some distant relative invited you to!

26. Use a social media blocking app. The two I’ve used in the past, quite successfully, were AppBlock and RescueTime. For further explanation as to why this could be such a beneficial Resolution to set, check out this TEDxTysons talk by the aforementioned Cal Newport.

Pretty convincing, no?

27. Renovate your house. That island you’ve always talked about having in your kitchen? That sunroom you think would change everything? New year, new additions to the house!

28. Reduce your working hours without cutting income. It could take a special focus on automation, better prioritization of tasks/projects, or just general time management strategies, this is fully possible, even in a cubicle farm!

29. Start a blog. And then come up with the “brilliant” idea to write a huge listicle article outlining all the reasons not to set a weight loss goal as your New Year’s Resolution. And then realize there’s only one more day before the New Year, and so to make this at all timely, you’ll have to finish it all today. And then stay in one seat for an entire Saturday writing and editing it. I mean, that would be weird. Just write a blog!

30. Spread the HAES message. Referring back to Reasons #17 and #29 in the previous section, I’m a Health at Every Size advocate, and I see no reason why everyone in the health/fitness community shouldn’t be as well. It’s been showcased as something it’s not in much of media and general hearsay, but in reality, it’s a movement focused on eliminating weight stigma, expanding fair access to healthcare, and promoting the non-dieting approach to eating. It’s a hugely positive force everyone ought to get behind!

31. Go through the 100 Days of Food Freedom journey. If you start at the beginning of the year and follow through with it, you can achieve full recovery from your eating disorder before May. That’s not even halfway through the year. And it’s not a gimmick either… it’s the entire reason this site exists, and it’s why I do what I do. Having recovered fully from an eating disorder myself without any therapy (related to my ED, that is), I can promise you this comes from the heart. And I can guarantee full recovery due to three safeguard measures I’ve implemented throughout, namely:

  • There is a graded exposure therapy protocol that, if you keep up with it as is prescribed, will have you doing some exposures that you could truly only do if you were recovered. Therefore, in a sense, to finish the 100 days, you have to be in the mindset of a recovered person. And that’s exactly what the preceding days, and the 9 foundational habits, will do for you.

  • There are constant check-ins and chances to evaluate whether you are on track, and - if not - what to do so that you don’t plateau.

  • There is something called your Personal Milestone Goal, which you’ll deal with once right in the beginning and then again by the tail end. This is the proverbial nail in the coffin that leaves no doubt that you will have achieved recovery.

I cannot recommend enough that you get this book and start your path to recovery. EVEN IF you don’t have a clinically diagnosed eating disorder, anyone with any degree of disordered eating will benefit in a huge way from undergoing these 100 days.


References

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2. Cangemi R, Friedmann AJ, Holloszy JO, Fontana L. Long-term effects of calorie restriction on serum sex hormone concentrations in men. Aging Cell 9: 236–242, 2010.

3. Charron L, Geffard O, Chaumot A, Coulaud R, Jaffal A, Gaillet V, Dedourge-Geffard O, Geffard A. Consequences of Lower Food Intake on the Digestive Enzymes Activities, the Energy Reserves and the Reproductive Outcome in Gammarus fossarum. PLoS One 10, 2015.

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