It is extremely common to gain a few pounds during the festive period, as all of the family dinners and happy celebrations tend to involve enthusiastic consumption of rich meals and sugary treats. As a result, people often resolve to lose weight and become fitter at the start of a New Year. However, this New Year’s resolution is famously hard to keep, and gyms confirm that the January spike in attendance typically normalizes by the middle of February. Read on to discover seven tips that will help you to strengthen your resolve and successfully lose weight this year.
1) Make your resolution specific:
Instead of simply vowing to become thinner, decide on some more specific goals that will help you to shed that extra weight. For example, make your resolution to start working out at home using exercise DVDs, go running or exercise on a stationary bike for forty minutes at least three times a week, or opt to replace all your unhealthiest snacks with fresh fruit or vegetables. It is harder to rationalize deviating from clear goals if your willpower starts to wane.
2) Be realistic:
If you want to lose more than a few pounds, you do have to make some substantial changes to your diet and commit to a regular exercise regime. However, be wary of going overboard in the early weeks of the New Year, when you will be more excited and determined to succeed. It is common for people to abandon their resolutions after beginning an unsustainable lifestyle change, so make sure that you are realistic. For example, if you force yourself to start eating according to a diet plan that focuses on all the foods you hate the most, it will be easy to become disillusioned and give up on your quest to lose weight before a month has passed. Try to make a number of small but powerful changes to your life instead of subjecting it to a traumatizing overhaul.
3) Stay focused:
Making a list of all of the reasons why you want to lose weight may help you stick to your resolution, especially if you display this list in a place that allows you to see it every day (such as on the fridge or near your bedroom mirror). Popular reasons for wanting to lose weight include a desire to feel more confident about your body, longing to be able to keep up with the younger members of your family, and wanting to boost cardiovascular health. With your personal reasons on display, you will be less likely to skip a gym session or binge on a fried breakfast.
4) Reward yourself with something other than food:
Incentives to lose weight can definitely help to encourage you to keep working out and eating healthily even when you do not really feel like doing these things. However, it is important to pick incentives that do not involve substantial departures from your weight loss goal. Instead of making the mistake of eating a large pizza to reward yourself for losing 10 pounds, treat yourself to an attractive new outfit or a day trip with friends.
5) Find a partner:
It can be a lot easier to stay motivated and exercise on a regular basis if you do not have to do it alone. If you speak to your friends and acquaintances, it is highly likely that you will find that other people have also resolved to lose weight this year, and at least one of these people may be willing to go to the gym with you or become your workout buddy.
6) Have a plan in place for tempting occasions:
It is important to decide when to enjoy indulging in less healthy food and when to turn it down. If you always deprive yourself of treats that you love, you are likely to snap at some point and end up eating a lot of sugary or fatty foods. However, if you choose to eat large portions or consume rich cakes every time they are offered to you at a wedding reception or a family dinner, your plans to lose weight will be thwarted. Think about this and come up with a plan that lies somewhere between these two extremes.
7) Subject your food to a close examination:
Unfortunately, some products are advertised in a way that is deceptive and failing to notice these deceptions can lead to a largely blameless failure to stick to your New Year’s resolution to lose weight. As a result, it is vital to develop a habit of reading the ingredients on everything you want to buy at the store. For example, you should be careful when it comes to low-fat products, as these often include a lot of extra sugar to make the taste more appealing. Similarly, foods that proudly display their low sugar content may contain a surprisingly large amount of saturated fat. Always try to stick to eating as many whole foods as possible and reduce your consumption of processed foods. In short, if it’s made by man throw it in the can!