ditch the diet

By Paige Green, Hy-Vee Dietitian on Sunday, December 26, 2021

Surprising reasons why you keep making the same weight loss resolution year after year

As a registered dietitian, it’s my goal to encourage a healthy relationship with food. Fad diets, detoxes, and unrealistic weight loss plans that promote dramatic losses of 20 pounds in two weeks can appeal to many. Yet, a month into these extremes, you’re hungry, deprived, and downright exhausted from keeping up with all the “rules” these plans set for you.


I am here, as a nutrition expert, to give you the tools to lead a normal, yet healthy lifestyle. If there’s a New Year’s Resolution you can stick with this year, it’s removing the dreaded “D” word from your vocabulary forever.

Too much of a good thing… probably is.

As nice as it would be to eat spoonfuls of peanut butter out of the jar, or demolish a container of guacamole, portion sizes are key when selecting foods, healthy or not. Many nutritious foods, like avocados, oatmeal, dark chocolate, and nuts can all lead to weight gain when eaten in excess.

Choose MyPlate: Get help building a healthy meal

TIP: Keep portions in mind when making decisions at your meals:

  • 1 serving of nut butter or shredded cheese = the size of a ping-pong ball
  • 1 serving of rice or pasta = the size of your fist
  • 1 serving of lean meat = the size of a deck of cards

H2Ohhhhhh NO! – not enough water!

Not only does water give us energy, it also keeps us feeling full. When we’re dehydrated, the body will conserve water for vital body functions, leading to water retention and a higher number on the scale.

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TIP: Keep a water bottle with you and sip continuously throughout the day. To determine how much water you should consume, take your weight and divide by two. This number is how much water (in ounces) you should roughly be drinking each day.

Netflix and no ZZZZZZ’s

Your nutrition and workouts may be on point, yet the weight won’t budge. What gives? If you find yourself catching up on Netflix re-runs into the wee hours of the night, I think we’ve found the culprit.

Live 5-2-1-0: Get 2 hours or less screen time each day

Studies have shown that shorter amounts of sleep are associated with larger waistlines. Lack of sleep can lead to increased levels of the hunger hormone (ghrelin) and can lead to choosing more junk foods the following day. 

TIP: Hit the hay earlier, rather than answering yes to Netflix’s favorite question: “Are you still watching me?” Adequate sleep, or seven to eight hours per evening, may be the missing puzzle piece to your weight loss efforts and may keep your cravings at bay.  

Relying on your workout 

From building muscle to improving heart health, there are many reasons why exercise is so important to incorporate into our lifestyles. That being said, spending an hour at the gym cannot undo your ice cream, burger, and booze habit that can last for days at a time.

Hy-Vee KidsFit: Fitness for the whole family

TIP: You cannot out work a bad diet. As a rule of thumb, the best results for any health goal comes down to this equation — 80% nutrition and 20% exercise.

PaigePaige Green received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Business Management at the University of Northern Iowa in 2012. She pursued her passion for nutrition at Iowa State University, where she earned her Bachelor of Science degree in dietetics during the spring of 2015. She is a member of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and the Iowa Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. Paige truly sets out to educate individuals on finding a healthy balance in life and her passion for people and nutrition inspires clients of all ages. You can find Paige at the Waukee Hy-Vee.