t didn’t take long for the calendar to turn January 1st, for the newest diets to rear their little, annoying heads. I counted no less than 20 articles on the latest diet to try, how to be slimmer now and my favorite–new year, new you( what was wrong with the old me on December 31st?)

Every year, we all promise this is the year we will go from flab to fit and every year we set ourselves up for such disappointment. What goes wrong? We say to ourselves our intentions are good, we are smart, we can do this and then all those goals disappear into “thin” air.  So how can this year be truly different from the stack of years past? Some of the best and brightest nutrition professionals were so kind to weigh in ( yes, an intended pun!)on truly what works. They should know–my colleagues are top-notch registered dietitians, best-selling authors and have counseled hundreds of thousands clients seeking the right way to achieve their health goals. Their wisdom speaks for itself.

Ginger Hultin,  MS RDN CSO

Chair, Vegetarian Nutrition Dietetic Practice Group
Blog: Champagne Nutrition

Organization and health/fitness are the top 2017 New Year’s resolutions but aside from just joining a gym, going on a diet, or cleaning out a closet, considering the bigger picture this year could be more helpful than taking tiny steps. People give up within weeks of setting resolutions so I suggest calling them something else: New Year Goals or New Year Commitment to re-frame more positively.

I always suggest that my clients focus on adding things into their lives rather than take away. If you want to join a new gym, can you tie working out to other behaviors you want to include – listening to new podcasts or music you love? If you want to clean out your desk, perhaps you can splurge on a beautiful calendar or a new plant to brighten things up and make it seem a bit more special. Committing to a lasting change that spans several months rather than a few days or weeks can be more powerful. Include accountability partners or commit financially to the project you want to complete.

Maria Adams, MS, MPH, RDN, LDN

Blog:  Halsa Nutrition

Instead of resolutions, make realistic goals that you actually can and want to do; I call these “nice” goals (e.g., more date nights with hubby). Try a fresh approach to your daily routine; mix it up! Try waking up just 15 minutes earlier, try starting the day with lemon water instead of coffee, try taking a new route to work, try getting dressed in your workout clothes right away when you wake up …(these are all things that I tried and found to be helpful!)

Try a fresh approach to your pantry and fridge organization — move the snacks that you tend to mindlessly munch while you are stressed/bored/or figuring out dinner to a different area to help you become more mindful of your mindless munching habit! The next time you mindlessly open the pantry door to pull out the crackers your habit will be interrupted by the realization that they are not there. And you will become mindful and aware of your actions!

Kristen Petersen, RDN

Food, Recipe & Nutrition Blog
Blog: KP’s Creations 

One of the best tips I like to give out during the new year, is to educate yourself on why it’s important to eat healthier, no just how to eat healthier. So many people change their diet and eat healthier because they know it will make them lose weight. You can eat healthy for so many weeks, but if you don’t understand why it’s important to feed your body the appropriate foods, what will keep them going in the long run?

I’ve had so many people hate the idea of whole wheat bread versus white bread, but when I tell them the benefits it has behind it, they’re open to the idea of having it. Knowing what to eat is truly the best way to change your life. As many dietitians believe and know; it’s a lifestyle change, not a diet. So investing the time in changing your ideas and thoughts behind a diet, is the best way to ensure you’re going to make that lifestyle change.

Shahzadi Devje RD, CDE, MSc

Blog: Desi~licious RD
A trait in today’s society is the notion of “instant” gratification and “quick fix” solutions. We expect the same when it comes to our health goals. We want it all and we want it now! And it’s this psyche that causes us to abort our health goals when we don’t see or experience the results quickly enough. In this digital era, we seem to be evaluating our lives in binaries; it’s pass or fail, good or bad, black or white. Such attitudes cause us to be overtly self-critical and even a small set-back is perceived to a catastrophe. We begin to feel overwhelmed, demotivated and frustrated; causing relapse.

A better approach, in my view, is change your perspective. Lifestyle changes take time and accepting that it’s going to be a gradual process will help to find ease and contentment in the journey. Be kind to yourself and view setbacks as learning opportunities. I think it helps to expect setbacks to happen and be ready to learn from them in order to progress. They provide valuable lessons that help us to adjust the plan and make it work. Be truthful and own where you are today in your journey – physically, mentally and spiritually. It’s about being realistic and non-judgmental. If you’re struggling, its ok to slow down or seek help and support.

Vicki Shanta Retelny, RDN, Author | Speaker

Blog: Simple Cravings. Real Food

Allow healthy eating to evolve over time by indulging in a portion controlled way. All too often people want to sprint into drastic eating and lifestyle changes, such as banishing sugar, salt, fat, carbs, alcohol and working out hard out as soon as the ball drops. Restricting too much doesn’t work, but portion control does. Plan in a small slice of cake, an ounce of chocolate or a serving of potato chips — and this will lead to a healthier relationship with food. Like any relationship in your life, balance is important – and this holds true for food, too. Over time your relationship with food will evolve and you’ll crave nourishing foods over those that offer zero nutritional value.

Rosanne Rust MS,RDN, LDN

Rust Nutrition

Author | Communications Consultant |DASH Diet For Dummies My thought is people don’t “keep” their resolutions for 2 main reasons-

1. They are too big.

2. They view them as a temporary plan for weight loss, not a permanent change toward wellness.
We must help people move away from short term, superficial results, and think about the big picture. Not- “How will I look in a bathing suit in March or June?” but instead “How will I feel next October”?
Take 52 small steps forward every week, versus 4 huge steps forward, stalling out in April, only to repeat in January 2018!!