By Benjamin Noel
With every new year comes a flurry of resolutions. Work out. Get back into an old hobby. Get into a new hobby. Start a diet. There are so many options when it comes to diets. Keto. Paleo. Atkins. But more often than not, these diets are a complete 180 from a person’s normal foods. And by the middle of the year, most people forgot the diet they started their year with.
Let me paint a picture of the human mind with the empty gyms of the second week of January. The turn from crowded globo-gyms on the second of January to a barren land of iron and tumbleweeds by the eighth is very telling of human tendencies. We often seek to better ourselves, but when results don’t come overnight, most people quit. This is the problem with diet culture. Folks who want to lose weight give up when their diet doesn’t become effortless, or they don’t see significant change in a few weeks. People often cite an old saying that it takes 21 days to form a new habit. And just like that, they quit their diet and go back to their old ways. Based on how we humans operate, diet fads are unsustainable, difficult at the least. And when swimming against the current, it’s easy to let the river take you downstream.
A solid diet needs to create subtle changes that are sustainable over time. If you spend your whole life munching down carbs, cutting them out entirely will lead to cravings, and eventually a failed diet. Foods need to be replaced slowly, swapping out chips for baby carrots, and oatmeal for cereal, until, eventually, you’re eating clean and feeling good. The same goes for losing weight. If you’ve spent 5 years putting on weight, don’t expect yourself to burn it all off in 5 months. Creating long-term changes will lead to a successful, sustainable diet that beats out a crazy juice cleanse that will have you reaching back for the chips in no time.
Melanie Moyer '22,