Making New Year’s Weight Loss Resolutions Stick
It’s easy to make a New Year’s Resolution to lose weight, but hard to keep it. So many try and fail year after year. Most of us put weight loss at the top of our lists. We turn over a new leaf in January and hit the gyms hard. We sign up for weight loss programs, buy fitness tracking devices and track calories only to have it all unravel before February hits. So the question is how do we make a weight loss resolution stick?
1. Write down your goal. Get a journal and actually physically write down your goal. This can take an idea and make it more concrete. “I want to lose 25 lbs in 2015”.
2. How are you going to get to your goal? If you keep driving straight, you will go straight. That means you can’t reach a goal without change. What is it going to take to reach your goal?
A. Stop stocking the house with unhealthy snacks.
B. Write down everything I eat – awareness has proven to be very helpful.
C. Swap unhealthy snacks with healthy ones (i.e. eat an apple instead of chips).
D. Weigh yourself every Saturday morning to track progress.
E. Increase physical activity during the week (i.e. gym, pedometer)
3. Why do you want to reach this goal? You should write down what you hope to gain from this goal. For example, your clothes might fit better or perhaps you will reduce the pressure on aching joints.
4. Make a daily routine/plan. If you don’t have a map, how will you get there? Think ahead about what you might eat each day, perhaps, plan the night before or a week in advance.
5. Change your perspective. Maybe you've grown up overeating or eating foods that are high in sugar or fats. You might need to change how you think about food. Food is fuel. When you think eggs, bacon and pancakes are breakfast, you might have to reevaluate your caloric needs and realize that 1 egg, fruit, 1 toast and a small glass of milk makes more sense. Indeed, anyone who wants to achieve a long term weight loss goal will need to change eating habits forever.
6. Gone gung-ho at the gym and now you've quit? Don’t exhaust yourself. Go in for the long haul calorie burn. The elliptical is a great option as you will burn more calories than most other equipment and it is easier on your knees. Biking is also a great way to stay active. Exercise is like brushing your teeth. You have to do it daily! It doesn't have to be brutal; it can be as easy as walking. Additionally, if you have access to a gym, it is recommended to do weight training to help build muscle which burns more calories.
7. Losing a pound a week means having to burn or forgo 500 calories a day. You will need to figure out how much exercise or how changing eating habits can help you reach your goal.
8. Find out online how many calories you should take in daily to reach your goal weight. Also, use calculators to find out how many calories you've burned.
9. A diet in whole unprocessed foods will help you on your weight loss journey. Opt for an apple over a 100 calorie pack of cookies. You’ll be less hungry due to the many nutrients and fiber.
10. Use any tools you can to help you succeed. If you have a smart phone, perhaps you can use a fitness app. If you can go for walks with a friend, do it. Use lunch time to get in an extra 10 minute walk around the office. Look into work programs where they pay for gym memberships. There’s a lot of opportunities out there to make a positive change.
Losing weight can feel impossible. I've heard some people’s resolutions are to “not gain 15 lbs. this year”. Losing weight can be one of the hardest battles anyone will ever fight, especially for those who've got a lot to lose. But, making a plan and sticking to a new daily routine can be a huge help. With some tweaking and practice, you might just realize that you've reached your weight loss goals!