Losing weight is one of the most popular New Year’s resolutions each year. We all start with great intentions but after a few weeks, we fall back into our usual unhealthy lifestyle and the weight we did lose creeps back on. Let’s take a look at what steps to take to make sure we still stick to our weight-loss resolution at the end of December.
Determine your “Why” and write it down.
Think about the reason why you want to loose weight. Is it to look better in a bathing suit for that vacation in July? Is it to be healthier and get your risk for heart disease and diabetes down? Do you want to be able to enjoy a more active lifestyle? Do you want more energy to play catch with the kids? Be as specific as possible.
Now take out a sheet of paper and write down your big “Why”.
Set and write down sensible weight-loss goals.
The next important tip to being able to stick to your weight-loss goal is to set a sensible goal to begin with. You shouldn’t expect yourself to loose more than 1 to 2 pounds per week. Look for a Body Mass Index (BMI) calculator online to help you determine whether you are underweight, normal, overweight, or obese. The higher your BMI, the more weight you can expect to lose in the long run. If you are in the normal range, but feel that you should lose weight, you may not want to aim for more than 5 pounds. On the other hand, if you are obese, than losing 50 pounds this year may be a good goal for you.
I would also like to encourage you to consult with your physician before starting any weight loss program. He or she can give you an even better idea on a good goal for you.
Make a plan you can stick with all year long.
You know yourself better than just about anyone else. Most likely you’ve been on a diet or two (or more). So you already know what doesn’t work for you. You’ll be most likely to stick with something common sense making small changes that you can live with from here on. Eat healthier and consume fewer calories, but also get more active.
Set small goals along the way.
Look at where you are at now and at your goal for the end of the year. Now break it down into several small goals. You want to break your weight loss journey down into small chunks that seem more attainable. Focus on the first “mini” goal until you reach it and then move on to the next one.
Keep track of your progress.
Keep a journal and record what you eat and how active you are during the day. If you chase the kids around the yard for 20 minutes, record it. Writing these things down builds accountability. You’ll find yourself thinking, “If I eat that cookie, I’ll have to write it down. I better skip it”. Or if you haven’t been a couch potato all day, you may be motivated to take a quick walk around the block so you can jot it down in your journal.
Celebrate each small goal.
Remember those small goals you planed out? Make sure you celebrate each goal you reach – but not with food. Reward yourself with a new blouse, a manicure, or a good book. Pick something you truly enjoy. This will build some positive reinforcement that will keep you going until you reach the next goal.
Keep your “Why” in mind.
Don’t loose track of the big picture. Remind yourself daily of your big “Why”, the reason why you want to lose weight. Keep the sheet of paper with your reason for losing weight close by and read it every morning or every evening. This is another big motivator to keep you going all year.
Losing weight can seem like a daunting task, especially if you have a fair amount to lose and you are just starting out. Don’t let it intimidate you though. Take it one step and one pound at a time. Before you know it, it will be the December and you will be 5, 10 or 50 pounds lighter. I know you can do it!