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'Give yourself a break': Dietician says New Year's resolutions to lose weight should be lenient this year

Small, sustainable changes are best and Monique Dorsey tells her patients to try to realize when they're stress eating and not really hungry.

HOUSTON — Did you, once again, resolve to lose weight and get in better shape in 2021?

The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has complicated the common New Year’s resolution for many, even though it’s more critical than ever to remain as healthy as possible.

Registered dietician Monique Dorsey, with UT Physicians, suggests a different approach.

“I would really encourage people to give yourself a break and give yourself grace,” Dorsey said.

She said small, sustainable changes are best. Lockdowns and social distancing have created the perfect storm for stress eating, so Dorsey tells her patients to ask themselves this question: “Are you truly hungry, or are you just looking for an activity to do to cope with the stress?”

Love soda or sugary drinks? Instead of giving them up entirely, Dorsey suggests limiting yourself to one serving a day, two to three times a week.

Hate eating veggies? Start slowly, by adding one vegetable to your dinner a few times a week.

“And it’s definitely OK to have sweet foods and indulge yourself. There should be no guilt associated with that as long as you continue to make small, consistent healthy choices daily,” Dorsey said.

Dorsey primarily works with pregnant and postpartum women through the HEAL program, to help them embrace a healthier lifestyle.