The January Diet Phenomenon

By Published On: December 18th, 20231132 wordsViews: 75
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The phenomenon of people adopting diets in January, often in response to overindulgence during the holiday season, is a well-documented trend. Despite the best intentions, a staggering 95% of these diets fail, leading many to revert to their old eating habits. In contrast, a more sustainable approach is to reduce or eliminate inflammatory foods and adopt healthier food choices, a strategy that offers long-term benefits for both physical and mental health.

The January Diet Phenomenon

January is traditionally seen as a time for new beginnings and self-improvement, with dieting being a common resolution. The allure of ‘starting fresh’ in the new year is powerful. According to a study by the University of Scranton, published in the Journal of Clinical Psychology, weight loss is consistently among the top New Year’s resolutions, but only 8% of people achieve their New Year’s goals.

Seeing this in print, thinking about the absolute abysmal success rate, is mind-blowing. Wow! Just because it is something that is frequently done it doesn’t make it the right thing to do. There just must be another way, one that works.  And there is…

The most effective long term weight loss stories I have ever heard (discounting the paid for advertised ones) have one very important thing in common; the person got tired of how they felt, changed the way they thought about food, made different meal and snack choices, and lost the undesired weight over time.


Why Most Diets Fail

The failure rate of diets, especially those started in January, is alarmingly high. Clinical psychologist Joseph Luciani explains in his article for U.S. News that dieting is often approached as a form of self-punishment, which is unsustainable in the long term. Restrictive diets can lead to a cycle of deprivation and bingeing, exacerbating the problem rather than solving it. (1)

Moreover, a study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition suggests that sudden, drastic changes in eating habits are rarely sustainable. People often return to their old habits because the diet is too rigid or incompatible with their lifestyle. (2)


The Power of Reducing Inflammatory Foods

A more effective approach than traditional dieting is focusing on reducing or eliminating inflammatory foods. Inflammation is linked to numerous health issues, including obesity, heart disease, and diabetes. A study in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology highlights the impact of diet-induced inflammation on cardiovascular health. (3)

Eating a diet high in processed foods causes high levels of inflammation in the body. Grains (both gluten and non-gluten) corn, rice, and sugar (cane sugar) are all part of a larger family called the Edible Grasses. Between 10-30% of the world’s population is allergic to grasses. When this people group eats these ingredients it causes a very high inflammatory response that spreads to the whole body. This not only causes weight gain and obesity, but also pre-disposes the development of autoimmune disease. The immune system is overwhelmed trying to eliminate the inflammation. Over time all kinds of health problems develop.

Did you know that a person can have high levels of inflammation and be slender? Different bodies carry inflammation differently. That’s what makes eating a highly processed food diet so dangerous. The development of IBS (Irritable Bowel disease) and Crohn’s disease are sneaky and invisible to the naked eye. Basically, the digestive tract is irritated and angry, stretching and distending and causing perforations which are very problematic.

Harvard Medical School advocates for an anti-inflammatory diet, which includes foods like tomatoes, olive oil, green leafy vegetables, nuts, fatty fish, and fruits such as strawberries, blueberries, cherries, and oranges. This diet is not only beneficial for reducing inflammation but also promotes overall health and well-being. (4)


Adopting Healthier Food Choices

Adopting healthier food choices involves a shift in mindset from dieting to making sustainable changes to eating habits. This approach is more about lifestyle change than temporary fixes. A study by the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health suggests that long-term healthy dietary changes have a significant impact on weight management and overall health. (6)

At first making changes to food choices can feel like it is too much. We default to re-active thinking, envisioning the worst. Change is hard for many, and since we cannot see the damage, we are experiencing on the inside it can feel much easier to ignore this. At what cost, however? How many people have you heard bemoan their eating and drinking choices after they have developed health problems. “I wish I would have…”

So, how do you…???


The Role of Education and Community Support

Learning how to change our mindset towards foods is critical. That is why we wrote the Food Breakthrough Book and Cookbook. The book presents a healthier mindset and teaches you the tools to take back control of your eating. You do have the willpower and discipline to eat life giving foods. The key is to reduce or eliminate the inflammatory foods so that your body can heal itself. The cookbook is filled with favorite delicious comfort food recipes that are made in a way that won’t compromise good health. Truly guilt-free eating is waiting for you to discover it today.

Support is crucial as well. The road to good health doesn’t need to be lonely or tasteless. Education about healthy eating and community support plays a crucial role in helping individuals make and maintain these changes. Platforms like A Place At The Table Community provide valuable resources and support for individuals looking to improve their dietary habits. (6) We have delicious recipes that we post, plus our community members can post theirs. We are all in this together. It is a place where we can have judgement free conversations, support each other, and learn together. The community membership is reasonably priced ($27/month with no commitment or $240/year, $20 per month, annually). Join today here.



In conclusion, while the tradition of adopting diets in January is well-intentioned, the high failure rate suggests that a different approach is needed. Reducing or eliminating inflammatory foods and focusing on healthier food choices offers a more sustainable and effective path to health and well-being. By shifting focus from short-term diets to long-term lifestyle changes, individuals can achieve lasting results and improve their overall quality of life.



  1. University of Scranton. “Journal of Clinical Psychology: New Year’s Resolution Statistics.”
  2. U.S. News & World Report. Joseph Luciani, “Why 80 Percent of New Year’s Resolutions Fail.”
  3. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. “Long-term effects of dieting: Is weight loss related to health?”
  4. Journal of the American College of Cardiology. “Diet-Induced Inflammation and Cardiovascular Disease.”
  5. Harvard Medical School. “Foods that fight inflammation.”
  6. Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. “Healthy Eating Plate.”
  7. A Place At The Table Global Community. “Resources for Healthy Eating and Lifestyle.”



Margie Traxler | Owner, Grain Free Mamas

Written by Margie Traxler
Grain Free Mama’s is a FoodTech Consumer Product Goods company. We make gluten/grain/sugar free (Edible Grasses Free), dairy free and botanical nut free baking mixes that put the simple back into simply good for you. We also have educational resources to help you on your healthy eating journey. Margie, the Founder/CEO, received her B.S. in Biology from Portland State University. She has 22 years of experience as a successful Restaurant owner. She lives and operates her business in Henderson, Nevada.

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