It’s that time of year. The time for those of us who – with all good intentions – are thinking about the New Year’s Resolutions they’ll make. And this year, It appears that food- and diet-related commitments are taking the lead…
‘Exercise more’ is, once again, among the top planned New Year’s Resolutions..
Will you or won’t you?
That’s really two questions. The first is, “Will you make resolutions again this year?” The second is, “Will you actually be able to keep those commitments as 2024 rolls on?”
The next questions, obviously, is, “What are you going to promise yourself?”
Yes, that’s meant to be a double, maybe triple entendre, depending on your resolutions! So, it’s a particularly apt word to describe the focus of Americans’ intended resolutions for 2024, as surveyed by Statista.
The respected polling firm asked a carefully-selected group representing all US adult age groups and demographics what their resolutions would be. And what they got back is of special interest to followers of food and diet issues.
Herewith find: ‘The most common New Year’s Resolutions for 2024 among Americans who have made one or several…’
- Exercise more (50 percent)
- Eat healthier (47 percent)
- Lose weight (35 percent)
- Reduce spending on living expenses (eg.- food) (26 percent)
- Cut down on alcohol (13 percent)
- Become vegan or vegetarian (3 percnet)
A moment to reflect
If we stop for a moment to reflect on these priorities, we must first note that the average American (at least as defined by Statista) is really concerned about their diet and health. And that includes what it’s costing them to eat.
My first question is, are all those folks planning to cut down in booze doing so because of the cost? So they can use the cash to buy other, healthier stuff to put into their bodies? Or do they truly want to cultivate a healthier lifestyle?
I also wonder how serious those who are planning to become vegan or vegetarian really are. It’s a nice-sounding thing to say. But living a vegan or (even looser) vegetarian lifestyle isn’t as easy as it may sound to the uninitiated. A strict diet without animal products is inherently deficient in essential nutrients, and veggetarians must perpetually monitor their food intake to be sure they’re getting enough of the essentials. Many would-be vegetarians fail the commitment because they discover the regime is too much trouble or too complicated for them to follow.
Everybody wants to lost weight
And that is reflected clearly in the Statista results. No surprise that ‘Exercise more’, ‘Eat healthier’, and ‘Lose weight’ all come in so high on the list. You can’t realistically have one without the others.
Alas, history has shown these three commitments are the most-likely to be broken as winter drags on into spring. Perhaps because they are rather vague and unquantified. Take ‘Exercise more’, for example. A better, more binding resolution might be ‘Walk around your neighbourhood for half an hour every morning before breakfast.” And instead of the hazy ‘Eat better’, try ‘Eat a vegetarian main meal every second day, incorporating a healthy plant protein combo such as some implementation of the rice-and-beans standard’.
‘Reducing living expenses’ is a genuinely problematic resolution to uphold. Soaring food prices have already forced many folks to downgrade their diets, cut whatever they may identify as ‘non-essentials’, and even cut meals to save money. In some families, parents regularly go hungry so their kids can eat.
The good news is, your overall diet and health need not take a major hit if you follow a more-plant-based regime, as discussed above. Rice and beans and lentils cost a lot less than meat. And you can make them truly delectable using flavouring techniques they’ve been employing in Asia and Latin America for eons.
I don’t really expect folks to stick any more religiously to their 2024 New Year’s resolutions than they have (or have not) in the past. That’s human nature. But I hope some of the suggestions I’ve salted into the preceding paragraphs will inspire some to stay the course!
~ Maggie J.