How many years have you made this New Year’s resolution (myself included): “This time, I’m really going to lose weight!” Probably more times than any of us care to admit. This is the most popular New Year’s resolution to get broken because “if it didn’t work last year, or the year before, why try again”? Often, a resolution is something you feel you “should do”, but don’t really want to because it’s too hard or no motivation, so it’s easy to dismiss everything when the going gets tough. Is it any wonder that success rates are so low? Here are some tips that will help increase your chances of success:
Love Yourself and Be Realistic
First, love your body no matter what. Next, set a goal that you can actually attain. Remind yourself that if your goal isn’t feasible, you’re setting yourself up for failure and you will be miserable. Not everyone can run a 4-minute mile. Not everyone can fit into a size 0. So, what! Who cares? Remind yourself – you are beautiful no matter what numbers say.
Quantify Your Goal
Define just one specific goal. Good examples of specific attainable goals:
- I will lose 25 lbs. in one year
- I will drink no more than one soft drink a week
- I will weigh 130 lbs. by spring break
- I will fit in my skinny jeans by June
Being specific makes it easier to picture the result as well as the steps needed to get there. This will help you to break your goal down into smaller goals that will help you reach your ultimate goal.
Take Small & Consistent Steps
Losing 30 pounds and keeping them off for good is a very lofty goal. Getting there can take you months or even years to achieve. During that time, there will be moments of doubt, days where the scale moves in the wrong direction, and other unpleasant surprises. Breaking your goal down into 5-pound increments can be extremely motivating. Instead of waiting 6 months for success, within a matter of weeks you can attain your first milestone. Each small victory will act as a big motivator and keep you on track.
Your Environment Has a Huge Impact
Constant exposure to temptation will weaken even the most motivated person. One of the foundations of American consumerism is the constant lure of nutrient poor calories. Reducing the temptation can be achieved in multiple ways:
- Clear out your pantry and remove unhealthy foods and beverages
- Shop for groceries online. This will reduce the risk of impulse buying of unwanted junk food. Covid-19 has shown us that this online grocery shopping is feasible.
- Create a list of healthy snacks you like. Make sure they are always on hand when the munchies strike. Trail mix, apples, bananas, almonds, popcorn etc.
- Prepping home cooked meals in advance for a week so that you won’t need to eat out or order takeout.
Be Accountable to Yourself & Others
Motivation is hard to maintain over time. When we are accountable to ourselves and others, motivation increases. Here are some ideas to keep you motivated:
- Find a diet buddy that you can openly communicate with several times a day. In real life, or online.
- Be part of a weight loss community – whether online or in-person
- Weigh yourself every morning and record the number. Keep in mind that it doesn’t matter if you are up or down on a given day. A 3–4-week trend is what counts.
- Use an app (or pen and paper) to journal your food and exercise. Even if you don’t enter every single food, you’ll be mindful to watching what you eat.
How do you plan to succeed this year? Let me know in the comments below and until next time, be happy, healthy, and beautiful!