British Columbia

Lifestyle changes better than resolutions, life coach says

Although New Year's resolutions are often well intentioned, a Vancouver-based life and nutrition coach says they're the worst way to get into better shape in the new year.

'When people set resolutions, they actually can set themselves up for failure' says Lisa Carpenter

Life and nutrition coach Lisa Carpenter says it is unsustainable to do anything that feels like suffering. (CBC)

Although New Year's resolutions are often well intentioned, a Vancouver-based life and nutrition coach says they're the worst way to get into better shape after the holidays

"When people set resolutions, they actually can set themselves up for failure," said Lisa Carpenter on CBC's The Early Edition.

Carpenter said people are often too focused on a quick fix using unsustainable diets or rigorous exercise schemes to meet a fitness goal.

"Anytime you do something that feels like suffering, you're not going to do it for a long amount of time," she explained.

Focus on your feelings

In order to succeed, Carpenter said, she encourages her clients to think deeply about why they want to accomplish their goals.

If someone really wants to meet a goal like losing 20 pounds, she explained, it's important to focus on how it will feel to succeed because that will help with impulse control.

Lisa Carpenter, a life and nutrition coach, says if you want to lose weight this year it's important to consider why your goals are important to you. (Charlie Cho/CBC)

"When you know how you want to feel — like I know I want to feel lighter, I know I want be more active, I know I want to go kayaking and chase my kids around — then you can start making the choices that move you towards [that goal]."

The best way to move towards a weight-loss goal, she said, is to make gradual lifestyle changes.

Carpenter said she helps her clients rebuild their nutritional plan from top to bottom so they can get off yo-yo dieting and cycles of deprivation and bingeing.

"If you can learn how to work with your nutrition better, it will support you for life and you'll really feel good until the day you die."

With files from The Early Edition


To listen to the interview, click on the link labelled Life changes better than resolutions, life coach says