Don’t let the bathroom scales dictate your mood - A New Year's Resolution

If you make one New Year's resolution this year, choose "ditch the daily weigh-in on the bathroom scales" recommends Trudy Williams, Accredited Practising Dietitian with FoodTalk.com.au

Festive food frivolity fuels your resolve to lose weight in the New Year but all it does is set you up for a repeat roller coaster horror ride of weight regain after loss.

So too does the morning bathroom scale ritual that dictates your mood for the day, gives false feedback, and lies about body fat loss.

Contrary to the hype and non-wisdom of popular magazines, celebrities and online bloggers, the scales do not hold the secret to a life-long happier body.

The secret lies in your mind and hands; the way you approach your food and drink choices.

With my tips, you’ll become healthier and happier.

  1. Surround yourself with delicious food choices that add health to your body. With great food to hand, it's easier to succeed.
  2. Treat yourself to the very best quality fruit and the finest of other fresh foods. Don't skimp on quality and don't choose diet-labelled foods.
  3. Involve all your 'head' senses when eating. Learn to really appreciate the food in front of you. The presentation and aroma when it first appears. Its changing flavours and textures, and the sound you hear when you chew it. Cut, serve and taste samples or slivers of food with total focus before you automatically devour a slab.
  4. Inject a stack of non-food fun into your life. If nearly every social event involves food or drinks, now is the time to change the meeting plan and suggest an alternative. When you catch up with friends, focus on their company and conversation. Feast on fun not food. Meet up for a walk or play a game of barefoot bowls. Take the challenge to break the link of friends = food. Change it to friends = fun.
  5. Choose amounts of food to suit your energy and pleasure needs. Grab a copy of this=that: a life-size photo guide to food serves. This award-winning book will help you with your food decisions, save you time, and help remove feelings of guilt about your choices.
  6. Stay distracted. A stimulated mind has more to think about than food. Develop an interest or hobby that doesn't involve food. This means no recreational food-related pursuits apart from growing vegetables, herbs and fruit. Out the door go recipe books and food magazines, food blogs, cooking shows, and all non-essential cooking. Pursue another positive passion: learn a language, turn your hands to juggling, hop into hiking boots, master a musical instrument, take up tap-dancing, or dust off the dartboard.
  7. Take a break from the chair. Set the timer to 20 minutes and get off your bottom. Stand-up and walk or jump about for a two minutes every 20 minutes. Your body is better off with this pattern of interrupted sitting. A sitter’s body is less healthy overall: more heart and circulation problems, musculo-skeletal imbalance and discomfort, higher risk of breast and colon cancer, and higher blood glucose levels.
  8. Give yourself permission to take a decent break from work and routine. When a job becomes tedious or bogged down, then avoidance hits the brain's radar. A pick-me-up tea or coffee with something to nibble on is seen as a legitimate break but it’s not the ideal break. Total escape is the best and most productive break. Move away for at least five to ten minutes into some fresh air. Can't do that? Change the task you're working on. Don't detour into the kitchen.