Choosing Behavior Change over Weight Loss

By Alexandra Caspero on January 5, 2018

Tips for making positive New Years resolutions, plus a special 20% off coupon for my 6-month coaching package. 

Heyyyyy 2018. I think I can speak for a lot of us and say that 2017 was a doozy; the chaos of the world seemed to permeate into everyday life as well. Now that we are officially into the New Year, what are your goals and intentions?

As I do every year, I shared my 18 for 2018 earlier this week. A list of things that I want to focus on for the new year. I like to call them inspirations, not resolutions because I’m not actually resolving to do anything. I’m just aiming higher; continuing to push myself in all realms of parenthood, marriage, friendship, health and career. My favorite yoga teacher in Sacramento used to always remind us, ‘if you’re not growing, you’re dying,’ and I loved that approach to growth. It doesn’t need to be momentous to be important. No matter how big or how small our goals are, they are ever-so important in our quest forward.

For lots of reasons, the New Year also brings about the onslaught of weight loss resolutions. I get it, this time of year makes sense. We’ve just come off the more indulgent months of October to December and spring is right around the corner (well, four months away for us midwesterners. A countdown I look forward to now by the day.)

I’ve got plans for my body this year as well, the biggest one is re-loving it. As I shared in my 18 for 2018 post, watching my body change so much over the course of the last year has reminded me how amazing it is, and to focus on gratitude for what it can do, not hate it for the shape it no longer is.

As you start to write down and plan for your own goals, I think it’s important to focus on behaviors rather than weight loss.

Behavior change is awesome. I love working with my clients on focusing on the why behind their behavior choices and changing them to a positive inline with their goals. This approach gets to the core of why these behaviors are there in the first place and creates a more sustainable plan in the long run. It’s pretty magical stuff.

Even for my clients who want to lose weight, we never have the goal of weight loss. Why? Because weight loss isn’t a goal. We can’t say, I want to lose weight without examining behaviors. Weight loss doesn’t happen in a vacuum, it’s usually the culmination of not honoring our needs, imbalanced food choices and other behaviors. If we focus on behavior change instead (like adding in more vegetables), the focus is positive, rather than a negative.

And, that’s really what it’s all about. Making the entire experience a positive one, whatever your goal may be. While I like to focus on health over weight loss, I respect the idea that some clients want to change their body size. That’s not a bad thing as long as it’s done with intention. However, just wanting to lose weight without examining behaviors is only going to set you up for failure from the get-go.

Instead, I encourage you to think about your current approach to food/exercise/your body and ask yourself where you could boost your health. Adding is so much more fun than subtracting. Instead of saying, I’m giving up sugar, try, I’m adding in body-positive meditation. Doing something is always more fun than not doing something. Plus, positive breeds positive. We tend to feel more successful accomplishing something than avoiding it all-together.

Let’s try it! Think about your goals first and then try to reframe them to a positive behavior change. Instead of stopping/quitting/removing, where can you add that would have a similar effect?

Then, don’t worry about the end result, focus on the journey ahead. For example, adding in more plant-based proteins might help you lose weight, but more importantly it helps you add in more fiber and cuts down on cholesterol and saturated fat. Adding in mindful movement might help you lose weight, but it will also help improve body image, body confidence and reduce stress.

P.S. I’ve got two options to help you make 2018 your un-diet year. We’re offering $50 off our six-week Joyful Eating, Nourished Life course from now until 1/15 with code ‘happynewyear’. Sign up here

In addition, I’m offering 20% off my Whole Body Wellness 6 Month Coaching program to anyone who signs up before 1/25. Email to reserve your spot. 

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Meet Alex Caspero

Alex Caspero is a Registered Dietitian, New York Times Bestselling Plant-Based Chef and mom of two. She aims to cut through the nutrition noise by providing real-life, nourishing tips for body and mind. Learn more about Alex.

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    1. Erin (Ezz)
      April 30, 2019 AT 7:30 pm

      I just stumbled upon you blog and man am I glad I did. I have been trying out intuitive but still tracked eating for about 8 months now and I must say a mindset like this really helps. I went from “I can’t eat this” to “I only fuel my body with high quality foods”. I went from “I can’t stand another minute without food” to “there is always time to take a second and give thanks”. Thank YOU for spreading the word. You have a stunning website!

      1. Alex
        May 1, 2019 AT 6:35 am

        Thanks Erin!

    2. HEALTH IN HINDI
      April 10, 2019 AT 10:25 pm

      it is very nice article for me. thank you for gives best information very useful to me.