Research shows that the average person gains between 2-5kg during the holidays, they throw caution to the wind because the new year is coming and of course plans to lose weight is topping the list for most overweight individuals. According to a poll, 30% of all New Year’s resolutions are broken before February. People tend to fall off the weight-loss wagon so quickly because their goals are unrealistic. When people feel as though they’ve failed, they tend to throw in the towel for good instead of giving their resolution another shot. To optimize your chances of reaching your goal, you’ve got to actively set yourself up for success. This is where I come in, I want to help identify the keys to making your resolution stick so you won’t have to start again next year.
Set the Right Goals
Step one of any weight loss resolution is making the resolution itself. However, the manner in which you create the goal could have you doomed from the get-go. Dropping 40kg is a great long-term goal, but dieters tend to fall off track when they are not seeing fast results. Set an achievable goal like losing 10kg in the first 4 months of the year rather than the 1st month of the year. Along with the weight loss goal, strive for more energy, increased stamina, and better sleep, too.
Understand what you need to do to get there.
If you’re trying to lose weight, you need to operate off a calorie deficit. That means burning more calories than you consume. To do this, focus on changing both your diet and exercise habits just paying attention to one or the other isn’t going to give you the results you want. To lose one pound per week, on average, you will need to reduce your weekly caloric intake by about 3,500 calories either by reducing food intake or by increasing energy expenditure. This means cutting 500 calories each day, by either eating less or moving more—ideally both. A combo of both makes it easier and more sustainable—you won’t feel deprived.
Planning your meals in advance should be a top goal for you if you’re
looking for consistent weight loss. If you’ve got healthy food, you’re
more likely to make healthy choices. It pays to make a timetable of your choice meals for the week and then shop according to the ingredients on that list. This means that you’re less likely to cheat on your diet.
One bad meal won’t ruin your efforts, but habitual poor choices will. I read a quote somewhere that said: “The best way to look at food is not by seeing food as ‘always’ or ‘never,’ but it’s more about your patterns of eating”. Your patterns of eating are the choices you make day in and day out. Choosing healthy options the majority of the time, with a few cheats here and there, is more sustainable than an “all or nothing” mentality.
Don’t Cut Out Entire Food Groups
With so many different diet strategies these days it can get pretty confusing which to follow. Some believe if you eat high fat and protein you lose weight quicker, others believe carbs are the enemy but my advice would be eating all food groups in moderation. Cutting out an entire food group is a sure way to sabotage your weight loss efforts. A lot of times when people do these New Year’s resolutions, they cut so much out that it’s something that they can’t sustain for overtime. You’re putting yourself at risk for a lot of nutritional deficiencies that have a lot of minor and major implications. The whole point of making a resolution in the first place is to implement healthier habits that will stick in the long term. Consume everything in moderation for healthier and more sustainable results.
Balance Energy In and Energy Out
Be careful about going too hard with your resolutions. Restricting your calorie intake too much and overdoing it in the gym can have adverse effects. Too-fast weight loss is going to yield muscle loss and puts you at a higher risk to regain that weight. If you’re not very overweight, a 1kg weight loss per week is where you should be. Be consistent with your diet, and get those workouts in, but also allow yourself the time to see results.
Measure Progress in More Than Pounds
The number on the scale is not the only determining factor when it comes to weight loss. Developing healthier habits and pursuing a leaner physique is much more complex than pounds lost or gained. Take into account other measures of fitness like body fat, waist circumference, and even sleeping patterns and stress management.
Snack with Purpose
Don’t eat because you’re bored or because others around you are eating. Reframe your approach to eating altogether. Focus on foods that you should eat, not foods that you shouldn’t eat. It’s important to remember that it’s ok if it takes longer for the weight to come off if that means it’ll stay off. If you lose 12kg in 4 weeks because you did something drastic, you’ll likely put it back on when you go back to your old habits. In the end, healthy eating and exercise are really what works. We’re all looking for the magic pill, but if that worked everyone would be thin, no one would have weight problems.