Setting New Year’s Resolutions – Kick Off Your New Year’s Weight Loss Goals in December!
Every year we make new year’s resolutions and plans for ourselves. Losing weight and living a healthier lifestyle is a common and well-intention resolution. Unfortunately, a research study from the University of Scranton revealed that a staggering 92% of people fail to reach their New Year’s resolution goals. So how can you kick off the new year with a healthier lifestyle and keep it up? There are some general tips and tricks, but a key time for your resolution is actually before the new year starts. Don’t wait until New Year’s to start losing weight. Start now!
The holidays can be a very difficult time for healthy eating. Alcohol consumption goes up which stimulates your appetite and lowers your inhibitions. That can make it very hard to resist the dessert at all those Christmas parties. Pass on some of that alcohol and opt for water instead. You’ll skip the calories from the alcohol and be on the way to better food choices. If you start your healthy lifestyle during the holidays, you can avoid the 5-7 pounds many people gain during this time of year.
A great way to pace yourself during the holidays is to rate the different unhealthy foods on a scale from 0-5. A 0 is something that only tastes okay and a 5 is something you have to have. If something isn’t at least a 4, pass on it. Only eat your absolutely favorites in moderation. Don’t allow yourself to cheat just because it’s the holidays.
Also, don’t forget the mood dip that often comes after the holidays. Once the excitement has worn off, a bit of depression might set in. This can make it very difficult to make positive changes in your life. Should you decide to apply the changes before the winter blues set in, you’ll be in a much better place and may even be able to ward off those sad feelings.
A Few Things to Remember When Setting New Year’s Resolutions
Here are a few key things to keep in mind when making new year’s resolutions.
– Be realistic. Don’t expect to change your entire life immediately. Habits take time to develop. Make plans before December 31st. Plan ahead so when it’s time to start working on your resolution you’re ready. To hold yourself accountable, you may have to find a gym buddy or diet buddy. Try rewarding yourself every 5 or 10 pounds. Buy yourself new clothes or get a manicure. Also, remember not to beat yourself up if you falter. You will falter occasionally. Just take it day by day. When it comes to weight loss, it’s about the journey and not so much about the destination.
– Tracking your food in a log or diary is incredibly important for weight loss. Most people simply aren’t aware of how many calories they’re eating. Portions and even serving sizes can be deceiving. Studies have found that people who keep food diaries lose twice as much weight as people who don’t track anything. A food diary makes you more aware and keeps you accountable for what you eat.
– Of course, physical activity is important to any healthy lifestyle. Commit yourself to getting some exercise now. Don’t wait until January 1st to start working out. Start now! Get in the habit of becoming more physically active now. By time January 1st comes, it will just be another day for you. Whether you decide to walk around your neighborhood, hit the gym, or try some workout videos, physical activity is key. Get moving three times a week for 30 minutes. Once it becomes part of your routine, up it to 45 minutes four times a week.
– Water is another great way to help you stay healthy and lose weight. Water can naturally curb your appetite which will help you avoid some of those holiday treats. It will also flush out some extra sodium so you’ll be less bloated. Aim for 2 to 2 ½ liters per day. That’s about 8 to 10 cups. If you don’t like drinking water plain, you can always infuse it with fruits, herbs, vegetables, or spices to add some flavor and antioxidants. Also, the more water you drink, the less likely you’ll be to pick up alcohol, soda, or sugary juices.
All of these are great strategies, but what can you do to make sure you stick to your goals? A major factor is not waiting until January 1st to start. There is nothing special about January 1st. Decide to pursue your goals based on your own personal readiness rather than a date. Don’t set yourself up for failure. Typically, people procrastinate on starting something because they don’t feel they are ready to deal with it and they believe they’ll be more prepared in the future. This isn’t true. Don’t delay facing your challenges.
It Takes a Little Over 21 Days to Form a New Habit
Consistency is by far the most important behavior to adapt when creating new routines of behavior. It takes being committed for at least three weeks to form new habits. If you start now, you can have new habits before January 1st. Rather than attempting to redesign your whole life, pick one thing to change. Maybe it’s your sleep habits, staying hydrated, or adding more fat burning vegetables (insert link) to your meals. For 21 days, choose one thing and commit to it. When New Year’s rolls around, you will have already tackled one new health resolution!
Remember to stick to your resolutions. It takes 21 days for a new activity to become a habit, and 6 months for it to become part of your personality. Stay positive and keep your head up.
Start today so you don’t have the stress of procrastination on top of everything else.
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