When the New Year rolls around, setting goals and making resolutions are an age-old tradition. One of the top New Year resolutions on people’s list is successful weight loss. But how can it be different from the last year? How can you actually achieve the goals you set? We have provided you with 7 strategies for keeping your New Year weight loss resolutions this year and achieving your goals once and for all! With a little consistency, dedication, and accountability, we’re confident that you’ll see results with these strategies for weight loss.
1. Set realistic goals.
Don’t just put “lose weight” on your list, be specific and realistic about an effective weight loss plan. For instance, you could set a goal to lose 20lbs in 3 months (which is certainly achievable). Setting a goal to lose 20lbs in 1 week would not be a healthy goal and more than likely result in failure, which is not a positive way to start out the year. We want your weight loss to be successful with an effective weight loss plan.
Break your goal down into simple, attainable steps so you have lots of little victories to keep you motivated along the way. Putting the goals into a checklist will help you visualize how far you’ve come and encourage you when times get tough.
2. Write it down.
If you have a weight goal you want to keep, make sure to put it in writing. From there, you can break the goal down into smaller steps and put it into your calendar to help you stay on track. Write out a list of healthy meals that you like to eat and draw from it whenever you’re making a grocery list. This will help you avoid impulse shopping while at the grocery store.
Understanding what you are eating is a key component to successful weight loss. Even healthy foods can add up quickly when counting calories so the best way to hone in on those numbers is to log your food intake. One of the useful strategies for weight loss is to either write it down or use an online app to help you stay on track this year.
3. Motivate Yourself
Losing weight can be hard because the results aren’t always as obvious as we’d like and visible progress takes time. It’s easy to think, “Why am I giving up all these delicious things when I’m not even seeing results? Why am I putting myself through this?” For this reason, some people prefer to use a carrot rather than a stick to stay motivated. Try using something like a nice vacation to incentivize your weight loss progress.
Here’s a great example of this motivational tactic:
I have a realistic goal in mind and give myself some motivation to keep it! For example, I put away a dollar for every time I go workout to save money for a new outfit.
– Dr. Rachel Brown
This approach will ensure you’re not beating yourself down when the going gets tough. You’re doing something good for yourself, not simply depriving yourself of all your favorite indulgences.
4. Tell a friend.
Accountability is a great way to stay on track with your goals. Hold yourself accountable by telling a friend, partner, or family member about your desires and resolutions. This will ensure that you have someone to support you and encourage you on your path to success. It’s also important to find an accountability partner who has similar goals.
In fact, according to a study conducted by the American Society of Training and Development 65% of participants actually achieved a goal when they made a verbal commitment with an accountable partner who shared the same goal. Find a partner who likes to go on walks, to the gym, or cook healthy foods and spend time together working towards your goal.
If you set a goal with your partner or spouse, your odds of success improve further. A study published in the JAMA Internal Medicine journal shows that people are far more likely to make a positive change in behavior if their partner also commits to a change, too. If you live with your partner or spouse, make sure they commit to eating healthier and exercising more. This will ensure you have a support system in place and can both work together to bring home healthy groceries and get up off the couch more frequently for some exercise.
Here’s a great example of accountability and setting a goal with your partner:
My better half & I want to save money this year, so we’re doing the 52-week savings plan. We put a jar aside and for each week of the year, we add that amount of money to the jar. For instance, week 1 in the new year we will save $1 in the jar. Week 2 will be $2, and etc through the 52 weeks a year, and this way by the end of next year it’s a grand total of $1300 that each of us will have set aside. By doing it this way, we are able to set aside a realistic amount each week. Also because we’re doing it together, we’re held accountable.
– Michelle Connell
5. Plan Your Meals.
Creating a weekly meal plan can not only help you stay on track with your weight loss goals, it can also save you time and money. Meal plans do not have to be extravagant or take lots of prep time. In fact, the best strategy is to keep it SIMPLE for an effective weight loss plan. For instance, throw some chicken, a can of salsa and some taco seasoning mix into a crockpot and you have either a great meal for a family dinner or a week’s worth of lunches in just 3 ingredients! For more tips on meal planning, check our weight loss meal prep ideas.
6. Shop the Perimeter.
The perimeter of the grocery store is where the majority of the whole foods live. Whole foods like eggs, vegetables, fruits, meats, and nuts contain more nutrient dense options to fill you up and keep you satisfied without crashing. Processed foods, which are generally in the middle aisles of the store, tend to leave us unsatisfied or rummaging through our pantries to find something more to eat. Be wary of the checkout lanes, as well—stores place junk food near the cash register to encourage last-minute impulse buys.
7. Eliminate empty calories.
Empty calories are everywhere and can act as an anchor when it comes to your weight loss. A big culprit when it comes to empty calories are beverages, so rethink your DRINK! Most calories in beverages come from sugars like high fructose corn syrup, which contain lots of calories. They are also unsatisfying—you may reach for a soda to quench your thirst when you should be refilling your water bottle instead. Instead of grabbing a soda or sweet tea to quench your thirst, try sipping on water to prevent hunger/cravings. Water also has the advantage of boosting your metabolism. Here’s a FUN FACT, the average person burns 50 calories for every 1 liter of water consumed daily. Now that’s an easy way to burn calories!
We wish you all the luck and success with your New Year resolutions and goals! However, if you feel you need some assistance with your weight loss goals this year, give us a call and our staff can guide you in the right direction.