• Serena Marie RD

What to do instead of a crazy diet in 2020



Hollaaaa!! Its the last blog post of 2019, and the last blog post of the decade.


So we gotta make it a good one. One where I get a little sassy on you because I LOVE YA.


Over in my free private Facebook community, we have spent a ton of time the last few months focusing on HEALTHY HABITS rather than diet extremes. No cutting out sugar, no slashing calories from fat...just really healthy habits that have really helped everyone end their holiday season a high note.


And now that its New Year's Eve, I don't want you to get caught up in the diet train. I don't want you to be at a party tonight announcing that tomorrow you'll be sugar-free or paleo or keto or Whole 30 for the next 30 days.


Instead, I want to share with you some healthy habits that you can start doing TODAY to make you feel better ASAP (not in 2 weeks...30 days...etc).

1. Start tracking your food


99% of my private clients track their food in the beginning of our time together. Not because I want them eating perfectly, but because I want them to increase their awareness.


So often we are gaining weight not because of the pizza we eat with friends, the pasta dinner we share with loved ones, but because of the handfuls of M&Ms in the office, the mindless snacking while cooking dinner. Foods and snacks and moments that don't even register in our memory - they are often the culprit for weight gain! When you start tracking (whether in a journal, My Fitness Pal or a note in your phone), you pause before popping a cookie in your mouth or eating a few bites of your kid's food.


Rather than detoxing this month, open a blank note in your phone and track for a few days. You're going to feel better.


2. Aim for a 12 hour fast


Now, this won't always apply. I have athletes who need bedtime snacks to boost recovery or sneak in additional calories, but if weight loss is your goal, then you may try setting a rule to not eat after dinner.


You'll find that if you stop eating after dinner, you probably can easily fast for 12 hours (since you should be sleeping for 7-9 of those hours anyway!). Remember, if you have a hard workout in the morning, having a pre-workout snack before the 12 hour fast window ends is still a good idea.


3. Never, ever say anything mean about your body (even to yourself)


When I moved into my new apartment in July 2019, I made a "rule" that I never wanted to say anything mean about my body in my new home.


So whenever "Mean Serena" and her self-judgey-wudgey comments would rear their ugly head, I would confront it. I stopped knit-picking pieces of my body and instead thought of my body as a whole. As a whole, my body is strong, fast, energetic. I rephrased every mean comment to a positive or a body-neutral-comment (such as "Serena, who cares what your stomach looks like? It doesn't make you a bad person."). Sometimes we can't muster self love or praise, but we can just say something neutral.


BECAUSE THESE ARE FACTS:

Your cellulite doesn't make you dumb. Your rolls do not make you ugly. Your thinness does not make you a bad person. Whatever self-criticism you have - you're still YOU. And I know YOU are awesome (I "hang out" with so many of you on the daily in Facebook!).

Ultimately, the new year should not be about a "challenge" or a short term commitment to fitness or health. It should be about YOU and what has worked for you in the past, what hasn't worked for you in the past, and HOW the lifestyle change makes you FEEL.


If you need a little encouragement, love and support on your journey to running faster, reducing food anxiety or burning fat, I'm happy to consider you for my 1:1 counseling program.

Wishing you the best, brightest, most wonderful New Year. Thank you for reading my blog and being a force of love and light in my (online) life!

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©2017 by Serena Marie RD. Images by Ralf Graebner