10 Easy Ways To Keep Your Weight Loss New Year Resolution!

new-years-resolutionsNearly every single person I know makes some kind of New Year’s resolution at this time of year. The problem with making New Year’s resolutions is that they rarely come to fruition. Usually by the time February rolls around you’ve broken it at least twenty or thirty times. If you’ve decided to make a resolution this year to really gear up with your weight loss plan, you’ll have a much easier time maintaining it if you follow some of these tips.

  1. Make a realistic resolution
    • Whatever you do, don’t set yourself up for failure. The best and surest way to not do that is to make a resolution that is both realistic and attainable. This means that if you resolve that you WILL get into that size 12 you’ve been dreaming of in the next three weeks and you’re currently wearing a size 18, there’s not much chance of your attaining that goal and that will only make you feel worse and probably want to eat even more! So, instead you might want to make a resolution to go to the gym two times per week instead of your current zero times per week.
  2. Plan Ahead
    • Spend some time thinking about what your goals are and coming up with a few resolutions based on those goals. Try to avoid making a spur of the moment resolution because something like that will simply be based on what is current in your mind at the time you make it.
  3. Figure out how to implement your plan
    • new-year-resolution-lose-weightBy this I mean spend some time figuring out how you will deal with the inevitable temptations that will come your way on a daily basis and threaten to upset your plans and goals. One of the things you might set up is having a friend you can call and talk to when you just can’t put the temptation out of your mind.
  4. Make a list of “pros” versus “cons”
    • Sometimes just writing something down on paper gives you an easy way to make a real-time comparison. If you develop your list over a period of time and keep it with you, you will be able to bolster yourself up when your self-esteem is running low or you’re being tempted by that extra cupcake.
  5. Tell your friends about it
    • A sure-fire way to not stick to your resolution is to keep it to yourself. If you tell your friends what your goal is, you will have a built-in support network. If you can find a friend to help you on your path specifically, you will be all the much more better off. So, if your goal is to cook a week’s worth of healthy meals for yourself every Sunday, invite a few friends over to share the activity with you. Time will go much more quickly and you’ll have a freezer full at the end of the afternoon.
  6. Don’t forget to reward yourself
    • When I say “reward yourself” I don’t mean with a gigantic box of chocolates. That won’t help at all if you’re trying to lose weight, now will it? Figure out some nice treats that you can use to acknowledge when you’ve reached certain goals. So, once you’ve lost say 10 pounds, head off for a  manicure. Once you’ve lost 15 pounds, go and get a snazzy new hair cut.
  7. Make sure you keep track of your progress
    • new-year-resolution-lose-weightEvery time you’ve reached a goal, no matter how small, write it down somewhere. In a journal or in an online food diary or just send it to yourself in a congratulatory email. You can do something like every time you lose just five pounds. That way you won’t have to wait until you’ve lost ALL 30 pounds.
  8. Give yourself a break if you slip up a bit
    • Don’t obsess over things if you occasionally slip up and give in and have that piece of cheesecake after lunch. No one is perfect and neither are you. Try to not beat yourself up if you feel like you’ve gone off the rails a little bit. Take things one day at a time and cut yourself some slack if you have a bad day. You’d do that for your best friend, why not for yourself as well?
  9. Stick with it
    • Did you know that it takes about 21 days to turn a new activity into a new habit? Then it takes an additional 6 months for that new habit to become ingrained as part of your personality. You won’t reach your goal in just a month or two. Be persistent and don’t give up and it will happen.
  10. Keep going
    • If you find that by the time the middle of February rolls around that you just don’t have any more juice to keep going, then take a short break and come back to it. Make a new commitment to give it another 24 hours, then another 24 hours, then another 24 hours. Those days will turn into a week and that will turn into a month and before you know it you will have reached your goal.

7 Motivational Tips for Weight Loss

If you’re like me you’ve probably lost enough weight over the course of your lifetime to ice a million wedding cakes. It’s funny that it seems to take forever to shed those pounds that added up in no time at all. Weight loss is a long-term proposition for most of us and there’s no question that most health care professionals will say that slow and steady wins the race. If you want to keep the weight off over the long run, then it’s best to shed it slowly — about a pound per week is what’s recommended. I find staying motivated to keep at it to be one of the most difficult things to do. Here are some tips that help me the most.

  1. Try to not think of being “on a diet”
    • If you are able to think of the dietary changes you are making as new lifestyle choices, you will be much more successful. And making and sticking to new habits is not an easy thing. They say that it takes 21 days to form a new habit. That means 21 days of consistency. Having said all of that, it does not mean that I will NEVER eat chocolate cake again. I firmly believe in the credo of “all things in moderation” and yes, I do eat chocolate cake from time to time. Losing weight boils down to portion control. So, for me a piece of chocolate cake is now about ¼ the size that I would have eaten in the past. This way I can manage my new eating habits without feeling deprived.
  2. Give yourself reasonable, attainable goals.
    • In many cases, when a diet fails, it is because the person has failed to set reasonable, attainable goals for him or herself. Rather than saying, “I am going to lose 50 pounds in three months,” why not say, “I am going to lose 50 pounds in the next two years?” Or set a goal of losing ½ per week. If you don’t like eating vegetables and fresh fruit, think instead of adhering to a diabetic diet and “counting carbohydrates” rather than counting fat and calories.
  3. Slow weight loss is ultimately better for you.
    • When you deny yourself nourishment, your body will shift into survival mode which means that it will slow down your metabolism in order to conserve calories. This is completely beyond your control. It is an instinctive behaviour left over from caveman days when food was scarce and most people died of starvation. If you are trying to lose weight by starving yourself, you will get irritable and will be much more prone to binge eating which will completely defeat the purpose of any dieting you may be doing. Allowing yourself to fully incorporate your new eating habits will reduce your frustration and give you and your body time to adjust to new ways of eating.
  4. Realize that your weight will fluctuate.
    • No one will lose weight at a guaranteed pace. Some weeks you may lose ½ a pound, other weeks, you may lose 1 and a ½ pounds. Your weight loss will depend on how much food you took in and how much you exercised. It’s variable, like the weather. If you have a week when you gain a pound, don’t sweat it. It doesn’t mean you were bad, it just means you gained a pound. This unexpected weight gain may  be attributed to many different factors such as your menstrual cycle. Try to take it in stride and not let affect your eating habits. If you use it as an excuse to go on an all-out pizza and potato chip with sour cream dip, you will likely gain more than a pound and a half over the next week.
  5. Set up your diet plan with a buddy.
    • Doing something with a friend whether it’s running or hiking is always more fun than doing it by yourself. The same is definitely true for dieting. If you have a friend who could stand to lose a few pounds, engage them and see if they’d be interested in taking the plunge with you. The two of you might even want to try doing some menu planning together, shopping and cooking together. Nothing like having a buddy to cook with on a dreary Sunday afternoon to while away the hours. You can both stock your freezers with delicious meals for the week which will also help curb your cravings for fast food.
  6. Don’t be in a big hurry.
    • Remember, you didn’t gain all this weight in a week, you surely will not lose it all in a week. Your weight will definitely plateau at some point. Expect it and have a plan to deal with it when it happens. It happens to absolutely everyone and it will happen to you, too. Sometimes it only takes something as simple as adding a few more blocks to your walking regimen to get your diet plan started up again and on the right track.
  7. Don’t forget to reward yourself.
    • Set up small rewards for yourself along the way such as when you’ve lost that first ten pounds. Go and buy yourself that new pair of shoes you’ve been eyeing for just the longest time. Or buy yourself a new pair of jeans in a smaller size. You’ve earned it. Finding small ways to keep yourself motivated can make or break anyone’s diet plan. Remind yourself that setting up your diet plan is not a New Year’s resolution that you can break. You’ve made a commitment to yourself to do this. Be sure you allow yourself to revel in your accomplishments as they arrive at your doorstep. Following some of these tips will give you the tools you will need in your arsenal to arrive at your ultimate destination. Remember that no mountain climber would stand at the base of Mount Everest without his or her best climbing gear. Getting started on a serious weight loss plan is akin to scaling a mountain. It takes determination and planning. Now, go get it!