Get advice on healthy eating, nutrition, and weight loss from expert dietitian Tara Gidus.See all posts »
Weight Loss New Year's Resolution
Losing weight and quitting smoking are the two most popular resolutions for the New Year. But have you set resolutions in the past, only to go back to your old habits after a few days to a few weeks? Here are some tips to keep those resolutions this time.
Why we fail
Often we set resolutions for things we feel like we need to do instead of what we want to do. If you aren't motivated to change, it is likely not going to happen. So, before you decide what your resolution will be, think about what you want to change, not just what other people may want you to do.
Lack of a plan
Another reason we fail is because we don't have a plan. Most people think for a few minutes before the ball drops on New Year's Eve about what they want to change in the upcoming year. We decide that we are going to lose weight and we announce our intentions. Then....we stop there. We do not devise a strategy for how we are actually going to achieve the weight loss.
3 Steps for Successful Weight Loss
Sit down with a pen and piece of paper and go through the following 3 steps.
- Motivations: Why do you want to lose weight? List all of the reasons why you want to lose weight. How do you think your life will be different if you lose weight? If you are not motivated to make a change, it is not going to happen.
- Barriers: Why is it so hard to lose weight? Think about what made it difficult for you to lose weight in the past. List all of the barriers to weight loss. Maybe you don't care for exercising, have a sweet tooth, or just love to eat.
- Plan: Making a specific plan is key to weight loss. You know by now that weight loss can only happen when you eat less and exercise more. Be specific in writing out your plan of exactly what you are going to do to reduce your calories. You may give up regular soda, your sugary coffee drinks, or that bowl of ice cream at night. Or it might be as simple as leaving a few bites behind at every meal. Don't forget to also make a specific plan on where, when and how you will exercise.