Don't Diet in 2019 - Reason #12: Your New Year's diet is causing you to gain weight NOW!

Your diet might cause you to overeat at all the holiday parties…and every day in between too!

Your diet might cause you to overeat at all the holiday parties…and every day in between too!

Your planned New Year’s diet is already setting you up to fail.

Let me set the stage. You’re headed to the first of many holiday parties you’ll attend this season. There’s an enormous buffet of gorgeous food. A ham glistens in the center of the table, there are cheesecakes and 30 different kinds of cookies, warm and crusty sourdough bread, and the side dishes are to die for.

Before arriving at this party you decided that you weren’t going to overdo it…after all you’re “watching your figure”. But after one glass of wine and three bites into your first plate of food you throw caution to the wind and say: “Screw it, I’m going on a diet on January 1st…I might as well eat as much as I want.”

Sound familiar?

Yep. That diet you plan to start on January 1st is going to cause you to overeat at holiday parties, Christmas dinner, and probably every day in between. Why? It’s called the “Last Supper effect”. When you tell yourself you are going to go on a diet on X day, every day up until then becomes a free-for-all.

THIS is how people gain 10 pounds between Halloween and New Year!

Reality is, if you overeat a few times during November and December, it’s not a big deal! You’re unlikely to gain any weight at all! For proof of this, stop by this post I wrote before Thanksgiving about why you don’t need to worry about holiday overeating.

However, if you use your diet on January 1st to enable yourself to overeat from now until that day…you’ll most certainly gain weight…and you’ll be that much farther behind on your goals.

What you should do instead…

Anti-Diet Wisdom: Do the exact opposite of what everyone else is going to do (and eventually fail at) on January 1st: decide that you aren’t going to diet in the New Year.

Here’s what vowing NOT to diet on January 1st will do for you:

  • You’ll be less likely to grossly overeat at holiday parties because you’re not trying to “save up” for the famine that’s coming on January 1st. When you’re not on a diet, you know you can still have wonderful food at any time, which means you can resist the urge to EAT IT ALL RIGHT NOW.

  • Ever noticed that when we set a “diet date” it almost seems like we try to eat as much junk as possible up until that date? “Not a single leaf of lettuce nor carrot shall pass my lips until January 1st!” Deciding not to diet in 2019 will encourage you to simply make healthy choices whenever possible…like today. How about this: don’t put a date on your health! Anything you do right now or after the holidays — be it taking a walk or eating a grapefruit — counts toward becoming more healthy!

  • When January 1st comes, there’s no pressure to suddenly be a perfect human being. People either seem to be off or on their diet…there’s no in between. This is unfortunate because it leaves most people feeling like a failure and they allow themselves to give up entirely. Vowing not to diet in 2019 will give you the mental space to make good choices, no matter the date, and with less guilt when you’re not perfect. Avoiding the perfection mindset of a diet will help you continue to make good choices more often!


Blog Author: Kelly Bailey, IIN certified holistic nutrition coach, and NPTI certified personal trainer

Learn more about the author here.