• Keeping Your Weight Loss Resolutions

    How are those resolutions going?

    During the six weeks between Thanksgiving and Christmas, you convinced yourself that by January 1st all your eating habits would change and your diet resolutions would take hold. However..... Statistics show 45% of people make New Year’s resolutions - 38% of these resolutions are weight-related. And, the average person doesn't stick to these resolutions longer than 2 weeks. The problem is twofold.

    (1) Resolutions are temporary solutions to longterm problems made out of circumstance and not true commitment. Getting caught up in the excitement of a New Year's resolution is a great catalyst for change. However, losing weight and improving your health is a longterm goal that needs more than just a gym membership or shoes to achieve success. If you're serious about improving your health, you need to do some homework, some self-evaluation, and some planning.

    (2) Weight loss as the end goal, as opposed to overall health improvement, is a recipe for failure. In a 2011 Nutrition Journal article, a team of researchers argued that placing the emphasis on weight loss, as opposed to living an all around healthy lifestyle, sets dieters up to fail. Encouraging people to modify their diets and exercise specifically to lose weight, though successful in the short term, often leaves people no slimmer or healthier than when they started in the long term. Having a realistic goal and a strategy to reach your goal is the key to avoiding frustration in the New Year.

    Below are 5 crucial tips to get you started on your New Year’s journey so you don’t become a statistic:

    Get to know your trigger foods, then get rid of them

    In the beginning stages of your plan, don’t keep trigger foods around. Clean out your pantry of high fructose corn syrup, saturated fat, and hydrogenated foods. Shop the perimeter of the grocery store, where the fresh produce and lean meats are found. Better yet, take a stroll through a farmers market to get the freshest items while enjoying some time outside.

    Carry a notebook everywhere you go for 3 months

    Recent studies show it takes an average of 66 days to break a habit. And the first step to changing a habit is acknowledging it. So for 3 months (90 days), get in the habit of writing down everything you ingest—even water. Get to know your strengths, weakness, and patterns. Use your notes to find common pitfalls as well as to mark accomplishments. Studies have found people who maintain food diaries wind up eating about 15 percent less food than those who don’t.

    When dinner is over, close down the kitchen

    A University of Texas study found that late night eating significantly increases the overall number of calories you eat. Stopping late-night snacking can save 300 or more calories a day, which adds up to 31 pounds a year. Once the dishes are washed and the counters are wiped down, turn out the light, close down the kitchen, brush your teeth, and say goodnight to food.

    Don’t be afraid to ask for understanding, support, and cooperation from friends and family

    Ask friends and family to be supportive by being positive throughout your journey. Ask for no eye-rolling or negative statements like, “Here we go again.” Be patient and consistent with yourself and weed out the negative people in your life by keeping supportive ones close.

    Don't accept excuses

    Excuses are lies we tell ourselves to get out of something that requires effort or sacrifice. Since WE tell them, we believe them. This year, accept no excuses.

    • I don't know which gym to join - Join the nearest one.

    • I don't like the gym - Join a home fitness program.

    • I don't have money for fitness - Go for a walk or jog.

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