New years resolutions – weight loss

Losing weight is 48% of people’s new years’ resolution! This is not surprising as, according to the British Dietetic Association, we eat THREE times more calories on Christmas day than on any other day!

At the beginning of 2020, I decided to make it my resolution to lose 6 kilograms . . . Now starting 2021, I only have 10 kilograms more to go! 

The past year we had to deal with the unpredictability of sports facilities and gymnasiums closing due to Covid-19. Certain countries had a total lockdown, only allowing you to leave the house to shop for food or other essentials. Therefore no outdoor exercise possibilities existed for months. I have fitness-fanatic friends who ran around their home numerous times (or even the kitchen table in the absence of a garden). Surrealistic, I know.

After the past year of lockdowns, working from home, and an absence of social gatherings, some of my friends’ new years’ resolutions for 2021 range from talking to actual people (not the computer screen versions) and forcing themselves to put on real clothes – other than pants with elastic waists and pajamas.

It seems I was not the only one failing to keep to my 2020 resolution. Of course, making the decision is easy; keeping it is the hard part! Can you believe that 20% of people break their new years’ resolution within the FIRST week of January! From the remaining 80%, only a quarter stick to their resolutions, with women being a bit more likely to follow through than men.  https://www.bbc.co.uk/bbcthree/article/3f307fdb-73c7-4b70-9c51-a893d33a4fa6

Human beings are inclined to follow the law of the least effort. We often have the best intentions in the world, but that is only the first step. From there, it takes hard work and commitment! Seeing a resolution through requires a lot of mental strength. To successfully lose weight also requires a lifestyle change, not just changing the size of your clothes. Rachel Wolchin said:

“A new year means nothing if you are still in love with your comfort zone.”

How do I stick to my new years’ weight loss resolution?

  • Look at your resolution as a new lifestyle and a fresh start.
  • The best weight loss advice is to set yourself long term goals
  • As it takes 66 days to form a new habit, you must accept that it will take at least two months to become used to the lifestyle changes.
  • Stay inspired by visualizing your goal, seeing the bigger picture, and reminding yourself of these goals as often as possible by sticking notes on mirrors, doors, or the fridge.
  • Even if you have a long term goal, this challenge must be achievable. Create a realistic plan of action and make short term goals as well, e.g., monthly weight loss targets. Aim to lose ½ to one kilogram per week.
  • Reward yourself for reaching goals along the way.
  • Give yourself a deadline with a date in your diary.
  • If you failget back on track.
  • Make small changes and be specific about your plan of action
  • Plan to walk 10 minutes longer every day.
  • Decide what you will and won’t eat. 
  • Make a list of 3 bad eating habits, things are willing to give up, like eating candy and fast food and drinking sweet drinks.

  • Eat more fresh fruit and vegetables
  • Stock your pantry and fridge with healthy food.
  • Make healthy eating interesting and get creative with recipes.
  • Do not skip meals; otherwise, you will reach for unhealthy snacks.
  • Stop eating when you feel full, no need to empty the plate.
  • Drink at least six glasses of water per day.
  • If you make your resolution public, you get support from family and friends, and you are accountable to the people you told. You can also make a verbal or written promise to somebody you don’t want to let down (or yourself!).
  • Start a daily written accountability keeper. E.g., give yourself a sticker in your diary for every day of good eating and exercise habits.
  • Be aware of triggers that make you overeat – boredom, stress, etc. Change these habits to positive behavior patterns – phoning a friend, going for a walk.
  • Find ways to incorporate exercise in your life, like 30 minutes of activity per day. It is vital to make your resolutions FUN, so pick activities that you enjoy.

“Good things come to those who sweat.” – Anonymous.

Top three reasons people fail at new years’ resolutions. Avoid these:

  1. Having a vague and not specific resolution.
  2. Having a lack of motivation.
  3. Inadequate planning of steps you need to take to reach your goal.

In most cases, weight loss does not have a good long-term success rate, with only 10% of people maintaining their weight loss. If you are one of the thousands of people struggling to keep your target weight after a diet or putting the weight right back on, you may end up feeling like only starting a diet again on the first of Neveruary! 

The best tip to remember is you can lose weight through diet and reduce your calorie intake, but you have to keep it off with exercise. It may be a better motivator to have HEALTH goals rather than WEIGHT goals.

Questions to keep in mind when choosing an eating plan that works for you:

  • What is your budget?
  • Do you have existing health issues to keep in mind?
  • Do your schedule allow enough food preparation time?
  • Did you try eating plans in the past that were unsuccessful, and why?

 

If motivation is an issue, join a group with regular meetings and support. Or join an online support group like this one!

 

I may not be at my desired weight, optimum health, or fitness level, but I believe I am a bit closer than I was yesterday. 

Believing in yourself will make you TEN TIMES more likely to succeed in your new years’ resolution. Push yourself, because nobody else is going to do it for you!



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