The New Year has begun, and you are ready to swear off alcohol, carbs, and sugar. You made the resolution to lose weight, and now you want to stick to it! It’s totally normal to create health resolutions following the over-indulgent holiday season.
In 2018, the number one resolution people made was to lose weight. Surprisingly, it is estimated that of the 45 percent of Americans who make New Year’s resolutions, only 8 percent of those individuals actually achieve their goals.
This year, instead of giving up on your goals by February, try implementing these easy (and surprisingly fun) strategies to help you stay on track to weight-loss success.
1. Create SMART Goals!
Think about what you’d like to accomplish – whether it’s losing weight, eating more whole foods, consuming less sugar, cooking regularly, or starting a new exercise plan – and create two to three challenging, but achievable goals. The best goals pass the SMART test, meaning they are:
The best goals pass the SMART test, meaning they are:
- Realistic, and…
Instead of committing to lose weight, make a more specific goal to lose 10 pounds in five weeks. For every goal, write down several easy, actionable steps you can take each day, week, and month to achieve it. When you crust the original goal, sit down and assess what you need to do next to meet the next milestone on your weight-loss journey!
2. Make a vision board.
A vision board is a visual representation of your resolution, with illustrated ways you plan to achieve it. It’s like a real-life, tangible Pinterest, only more focused and personal. Include encouraging quotes to inspire, yummy and healthy recipes to make, photos of exercises you plan to do, images of parks or trails you plan to hike or run on — whatever empowers you to take control of your health and remind yourself why you’re doing these things.
Hang it where you’ll see it every day.
3. Make meal prep part of your routine.
Invest a few hours of your time each weekend or at the start of each week to plan and prepare as many of your weekly meals as possible. Keeping healthy foods on hand makes sticking to your goals way easier. If you have cut veggies, grilled protein, and pre-made grains in the fridge, you never have an excuse to cheat.
If you’re new to cooking, watching cooking shows and gathering a variety of healthy, easy-to-follow recipes can provide a quick culinary crash course.
4. Exercise regularly.
Exercise and eating right go hand in hand. The more active you are, the more energized and empowered you’ll feel. While you need to clean up your diet and eat appropriate portions within a specific calorie range to lose weight, working out can rev your metabolism, increase your amount of lean muscle mass and help you maintain an overall healthier and high-functioning body. Exercise and increased daily activity (walking, taking the stairs, cleaning the house, riding a bike) can help improve sleep quality, mental outlook, self-esteem, and productivity.
5. Eat a nourishing breakfast.
Habits — both good and bad — have a domino effect, which is why it’s crucial to start your day off right by eating something healthy and satisfying. Some examples of hearty and healthy breakfasts: chia pudding, breakfast quesadillas, egg muffins, and super seed energy bars.
6. Record your progress in a journal.
Each day, take two minutes to jot down what you ate, and how you moved, and how your body felt as a result. You can also include notes about dishes you loved, new recipes you tried, cravings you had, soreness you felt, how many reps you completed, or challenges you overcame. Journaling can not only help you lose weight or discover food intolerances, but it can also help you fill in nutritional gaps you might not otherwise notice.
7. Use an app to stay on track.
You’re on your phone all day, anyway — you might as well use it to help you reach your weight-loss goals. MyFitnessPal is a great option. You can look up foods, create recipes, and make sure your macros are in check.
Still having trouble staying on track or losing weight?
Make an appointment with your doctor! Get a physical, talk to your doctor about potential medical issues and discuss weight loss goals. The doctors at Hunterdon Gastroenterology Associates can help you be your best, healthiest you for 2019!
Reference: OpenFit, 2018.