How to Increase the Staying Power of Your New Year Weight Loss Resolutions
New Year resolutions have a bad reputation – probably because many people have a few thoughts about what they might do, and call them resolutions, when they are not really resolved at all.
The good news is that research shows that when people make real resolutions, around 40% are still on track 6 months later. That’s probably a higher proportion than most people think.
So how do you give yourself the best chance of being in that 40% who are maintaining or getting closer to their goal?
Have You Made a Real Resolution?
Think about your resolution language.
Are you saying:
- I want to lose weight
- I should lose weight
- I could lose weight
- I can lose weight
- I will lose weight
- I am determined to lose weight
- I am going to lose a stone in two months
- I am going to drop 3 dress sizes by summer
The kinds of words you are using to make your resolution should be like those in the second half of the list.
Don’t worry if you’re not quite there yet, the rest of this article will help you.
Understand Your Motivation
Ask yourself a couple of questions:
- What is important to me that is affected by my weight?
- How will losing weight make my life better?
It’s worth spending some time thinking about this, you may even surprise yourself with benefits you’ve never really considered before. Write your thoughts down, and keep them in a place where you’ll be reminded of them regularly.
Short comments, for example on sticky notes dotted around the house, or on future pages in your diary, will help you stay on track.
Set Goals in Small Chunks
Whether your overall goal is to lose 10lbs or 10 stones, break it down into bite-sized pieces – WLR recommends mini goals of up to half a stone, depending on what suits you and the amount of weight you want to lose overall.
Successes build confidence and determination, so give yourself the opportunity to celebrate them early and often.
You can do this with other goals related to your weight loss, for example have an exercise goal that starts with the mini goal ‘Take a 10 minute walk, on three days of each week, for a month’.
The 7 Habits to Slim You Challenge is a tool to help you build habits proven to promote sustainable weight loss.
Be a Friend to Yourself
Everyone lets it slide now and again.
Imagine a phone call from your best friend, he’s feeling down because he’s had a blowout lunch and is a failure at trying to lose weight. You wouldn’t tell him he was hopeless and he might as well throw in the towel would you? You’d probably try to make him feel better, remind of him of how well he’s done so far, help him feel better about himself.
Be that good friend to yourself, don’t beat yourself up with negative self-talk. Think about what you have achieved and how you could get back on track.
Focus on Habits
It’s the things that you do habitually that shape your body.
If you regularly eat junk food because you’re too busy to plan ahead, or you sit down most of the day because of your job, or often get the munchies because you’re bored, or any other thing in your life that causes you to neglect your wellbeing – you have an opportunity to make some changes.
Small chunks are, again, the way to do it.
Small changes in things that you do a lot of the time can add up to big differences in the sustainability of your weight loss resolution.
Give some thought to the things you do every day, what you eat and why, and how you could make a few changes that would work for you and your lifestyle.
Start with 1 to 3 of the changes you’d find easiest to make, when one becomes a habit (you do it on auto-pilot), introduce another change you want to make.
Keeping a food diary will help you to identify the things you could change that would make the most difference. You can try the food diary and other tools in WLR free click here
Fuel for Your Resolution
These are some ideas for changes that Weight Loss Resources Members have found helpful, in no particular order – different things work for different people and some of these may get you thinking.
- Planning meals in advance
- Using a strategy for eating out
- Having shopping delivered
- Eating slowly
- Making packed lunches
- Weighing Portions
- Having healthy, low calorie snacks close to hand
- Exercising at home
- Batch cooking meals and freezing them
- Limiting the number of high calorie snacks
- Keeping a Food Diary
- Being more active on a daily basis
- Eating breakfast every day
- Mindful eating
- Eating more vegetables and fruits
- Having a strategy for dealing with comfort eating
You can take part in the New Leaf Challenge and join those who are already breaking bad habits to lose weight this year with WLR. Try it free for 24 hours.