The month of redemption is around the corner. Months of overeating that begin = October 31st and extend through New Year’s day take its toll on the ole body. Yet year after year, good intentions to lose weight for the New Year result in failure. Why do 80% of resolution makers find themselves back to square one the following year? If you’d like to avoid the same weight loss mistakes you’ve been making for years, perhaps this is the year you can finally lose the weight and keep it off.
When I owned my fitness studio, January 2nd my phone would ring continuously. People were willing to spend however much money it would take to get their pre-holiday body back. We became the confessional for holiday indulgences with each client promising, “This is the year I’m going to do it, no more yo-yo for me!” By March, their visits to the studio became less frequent and during their intermittent sessions they’d beg for forgiveness again, using time as their scapegoat. This continued throughout my years in the fitness business.
In order to help my clients I came up with some simple strategies to help be successful with their weight loss goals, as well as maintain their changes throughout the year. We know how easy it is to start something, but maintenance is ever elusive.
1. Stop setting weight loss goals for the New Year.
Instead focus on what you need to change in order to positively change your weight. Remember that weight loss is a byproduct of a healthy lifestyle.
2. Be reasonable.
Do not fall in the trap of saying, “Never.” “I will NEVER eat sugar again; I will NEVER eat pasta again.” Trust me, you will. Once you do, all bets are off and you go back to old habits that never served you well.
3. Rather than look to setting New Year’s Resolutions, how about New Years Solutions?
What needs changing and what steps do you need to take to change it? Start with one and move on from there. Trying to change everything at once doesn’t work.
4. Have realistic expectations.
In the world of weight loss there is no perfection. As someone who lost 50 pounds over 30 years ago, I know only too well that the more you try to be perfect the more difficult maintaining a healthy lifestyle becomes. Having ice cream or pizza is not going to end your healthy intentions as long as you realize they are not the foods that you should be eating on a regular basis.
5. Practice the 80/20 rule.
If 80 percent of the time you eat well and exercise, then allow 20% to be “off” time. It’s a realistic way to live your life. It’s how I’ve managed to keep my weight off for over 30 years.
6. Q2- Quality versus Quantity.
Whether it’s food or exercise, think about Q2. For example, people may cut down their calories for weight loss but they likely need to improve the quality of what they’re eating as well. For exercise, focus on the quality of what you’re doing and how long you’re doing it.
7. Healthy living is not punishment, it’s an opportunity.
Unfortunately people look at healthy eating and exercise as some sort of sentence. “I’ve been ‘bad’ so now I have to eat healthy and exercise.” The truth is that there is a direct correlation between the care you give your body and the life you lead. Too often the idea of having to live healthy is what leads people to switch back to unhealthy habits. Understand that living healthy is an opportunity to improve the quality of your life.
Hopefully these suggestions will help you to move in to 2014 with a refreshed attitude and lifestyle. The only thing keeping you from realizing your best health is you. So why not make the changes today and discover a healthier you tomorrow!
Here’s to a healthy, happy 2014!