It’s New Years, Jan 1st, a clean slate! Setting resolutions is a new year’s tradition, and I’m sure each of us will decide one or two things that we would like to improve this year. The top resolutions are all health related including weight loss, exercise, and quitting smoking. Statistics show that only 71% of resolutions are still maintained after 2 weeks and 46% after 6 months. The key to resolution success is to make them attainable! Use these 4 steps to reevaluate your goals.
Step 1: Make a resolution that is attainable and realistic. Instead of saying, “I am going to lose 20 lb”, understand that it will take planning and time to reach this goal. Set and put into writing a plan to reach your goal, such as “I will measure my portion sizes at each meal and workout 4 times per week”.
Step 2: Make small changes and work your way up! Trying to achieve too much at one time is hard to stick with! Right down small steps to achieve your goal, once one is achieved, check it off and move on to the next. For example, your long term goal may be to lose 20 lb, but take small steps and break it up into 5 lb losses. Even if it takes you a longer time period to lose the 5 lb, it’s ok. The goal is to succeed, don’t set yourself up for failure.
Step 3: Be aware of what you are putting into your body. It takes 3500 calories to gain a pound, as it does to lose a pound! Finding easy ways to cut out calories in your diet can help you achieve your goals. Cutting out just 100 calories a day can result in a 10 pound weight loss per year! Analyze your eating and decide which unneeded habits you can cut out. Easy ideas are mayo, cokes, flavored coffees, etc.
Step 4: Buddy up! Start your journey this year with a partner. Pick someone who has similar goals to you and will help motivate you. Find the right person. You not only want someone to exercise with, but someone who will listen to your feelings and share theirs with you too. Family, friends, and co-workers are all good choices. Once you find a buddy, plan ahead. Set certain days and times that you will meet up at the gym and exercise, or maybe how often you will meet to share your food journal entries. You can even exchange ideas for recipes and low calorie on-the-go foods. And most importantly, be honest with each other!
Estelle L. Benoit, RD, LDN
Source: livestrong.com, www.proactivechange.com