New Year’s Resolutions that Stick


Guess what the biggest medical epidemic of the year was – for the last several decades. Clue:  This problem is set to become the number one cause of death because it increases the risk of diabetes, heart disease, stroke, and many cancers.

Obesity! Every state in the union now has a 30% obesity rate. Over two-thirds of Americans are officially overweight.

Now would you like to guess what the number one New Year’s resolution might be?

One of the principles for promoting a healthy lifestyle is to eat a well-balanced diet to maintain ideal weight. To help those of us who carry one of the fat genes (there’s more than one) keep our favorite New Year’s resolution to take off excess pounds and maintain ideal weight, here are Ten Commandments for eating. For those who are not struggling with this problem, these commandments have many other health benefits too.


  1. Eat breakfast – eat more in the early part of the day, less in the evening.
  2. No snacks – they are usually higher in calories and lower in nutrition.
  3. No calorie-dense foods – they pack a lot of calories in a small space.
  4. Sit down to eat and pay attention – no mindless eating; if it’s not meal time, don’t eat.
  5. Drink water – not soda.

Focus on the Plate:

  1. Use a smaller plate – avoid eating on a “platter.”
  2. Eat a balanced meal – however you balance it, do it.
  3. No seconds – take a normal portion size and let that be it.
  4. Eat for color – avoid gray, white, and brown foods; color has the nutrition and fewer calories.
  5. Eat slowly – involve a friend; eat slowly enough to hold up your end of a conversation.

To follow these Ten Commandments without risk of mental breakdown, pick one commandment, only one. Do it for a week. Add one more, only one. Do it for a week. Keep adding one a week until the weight starts coming off. Gradually add exercise to maintain your weight loss. Go slowly.

Don’t look now, but it’s already mid-March and you are sticking to your resolution. Congratulations!


Max Wayne Hammonds was born Aug 3, 1943, in northeastern Indiana, in the county hospital in Wabash. He attended high school and college in his home town of North Manchester and attended Indiana University Medical School in Indianapolis. Following an internship in South Bend, IN and a year of flight medicine in the Air Force, he took a residency in anesthesiology at Wilford Hall Medical Center at Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio, TX.