According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), 70.7% of Americans are overweight and 37.9% are defined as obese. That’s an increase of almost 300% in the last 50 years.

The first week in January is Diet Resolution Week. A new year is a great time to get a new start on your nutrition, and we are setting out to make it as easy as 1 – 2 – 3 for you.

So, let’s get to it! Here we’ll share three fun (maybe not so fun) diet/nutrition facts, three simple steps toward making a successful shift, and three reasons why we need to do it.

3 Maybe Not So Fun Facts

  1. Americans spend an estimated $42 billion annually attempting to lose weight. That number includes low-fat and low-calorie food, diet aids and products, gym memberships, and weight loss services. Consider that putting less food on your plate and making healthy choices and sticking to them is absolutely free!
  2. A 20-oz. bottle of Coca-Cola has more sugar than a large Cinnabon. That works out to 65g of sugar or roughly 1 ¾ shot glasses of pure sugar. Switch to water!
  3. The average daily recommended caloric intake for an American is 2,000 calories. That sounds like quite a bit until you find out that our actual daily intake is about 3,800! That’s over 12,000 extra calories per week that must be offset by physical activity to avoid weight gain.

Clearly, as a country, we need to make some changes. Following are three very simple things to keep in mind when making a shift.

Take the first step

Saying you are going to make a change and making a “resolution” is very different than doing it. So, start by taking some kind of simple action toward change. Maybe it’s swapping out one or two things in your diet – like soda for water. And take it from there.

If you don’t know where to start and need more information and assistance in setting up a healthy meal plan, consider making an appointment with a VIDA Registered Dietitian. From a simple consultation to a full analysis to meal planning, they are here to help.

Find a diet that works for you

If you cannot stick to it, and it’s not realistic, ditch it Embarking on a diet that does not suit your lifestyle is setting yourself up for failure. A Registered Dietitian can work to customize a plan that works for you.

Stick to it

Make a pact with yourself to commit to the plan and stick to it. Slip-ups will happen – life happens – so don’t get down on yourself if you have that piece of pie at a holiday get-together, just get back on track the following day.

This also goes back to finding a diet that works for you. You are more apt to stick to an eating plan that fits your lifestyle and doesn’t leave you starving.

So, why go through all of this trouble?

To live a long and healthy life

Poor diet and being overweight account for heart disease, diabetes, and countless other diseases and debilitating health conditions.

Conversely, eating a balanced and healthy diet will help you control your weight, sleep better, increase your immune system, and more.

The benefits of a healthy diet far outweigh the two minutes that sugary donut is in your mouth.

It improves energy and mood

Our bodies obtain energy from the foods we consume. If we eat foods rich in protein and nutrients, we will be more energetic, less sluggish, and happier.

You can perform daily tasks and activities better

Feeding your body the nutrients it needs translates to a body that operates and performs better. Additionally, getting to and remaining at a healthy weight means you will move better and more freely. Pair that with higher energy levels and you’ll never want to go back to unhealthy eating!