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Changing the meaning of the word "diet" in 2023

Many began this week by tackling their New Year's Resolution, and one resolution many make is eating better, and the word diet may need a new definition.

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. — When you thought about your New Year's diet, many of you may have hopped on social media and scrolled looking for the perfect diet, hoping that this one would work for you but according to Dr. Holly Wyatt with the University of Alabama Birmingham Department of Nutrition Sciences, there really isn't one.

"This is the time of year that people want to make change," Dr. Wyatt shares. "And I don't necessarily think of it as a resolution, but it's this, you know, we're all change, we're always changing."

According to figures from Discover Happy Habits, about 50% of the adult population sets goals to start a new year. However, many of them give up during the first few weeks or months of the new year. Dr. Wyatt shares a few tips on how to keep the momentum.

First, figure out your "why":

"I would say the first tip that I always have my patients and clients talk about is why do they want to do this," Dr. Wyatt shares. "You know, with the New Year, the first thing that people want to do is say, 'this is what I'm going to do', and they want to jump and go. And that's good, its good energy, they're ready. It feels good. I don't discourage that, but at the same time, I want them to spend just as much time on why you really want to do it."

Next, throw out your old meaning of the word "diet":

"That word diet means so many different things to different people," Dr. Wyatt shares. "For me, I just think it's the way you want to eat. I don't really get hung up on the word. A lot of times people think diet means restriction means, you know, pain, suffering, all those kinds of things, but to me, diet is just the food I eat."

Also, don't measure your success by just a scale:

"So, part of it is to know that it's not going to be linear," Dr. Wyatt shares. "I would say, let's not just have one thing we're measuring. Let's have multiple things we're measuring. So, yes, body weight may be one thing. I do encourage people, if that's our goal, to measure that, but that's not the only thing. What other things can you measure? How are you feeling? How are your clothes fitting? What's your energy level? How are you interacting with other people, other things that are important to you in your life?

Finally, set yourself up for success:

"Change your environment, the things that are around you to support you in your new diet, in your new behavior," Dr. Wyatt shares. " If you're trying to cut down on sugar, get the sugar out of the house, don't have the sugar. let's take our physical environment and make it supportive."


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