Millions of Americans make New Year’s Resolutions each year, and a large majority of them focus on weight loss. Unfortunately, research shows that many of these resolutions are doomed to fail. 25% of New Year’s resolutions are broken in the first week! Only 8-10% of people are successful at achieving their goals by the summer. Don’t worry!!! This does not mean you need to abandon your hope of starting the year off on the right foot.
It is important to remember that no one is perfect and we all have setbacks. Take one step at a time, and don’t give up because of an occasional slip-up. Forgive yourself when you cheat or ignore your goals, and start fresh the next day.
The first step to success is not taking on an overwhelming challenge. Break your goal down into smaller steps and reward yourself when you reach each of these more manageable goals. It helps if you keep yourself accountable by keeping a diary of your progress, partnering with someone with similar goals, or discussing your progress with friends. Everyone has prior and sudden commitments, and if we take on too much at once, we will not be able to balance everything. Therefore, it is important to start slow, commit to fewer things, and focus on the more important goals.
With regard to “eating right” and “losing weight”, remember that it is not feasible to overhaul your diet in one day. It will take time. Take one step at a time and follow these simple tips:
Start slowly. Make one change at time, such as eating more fruit, or losing 5 pounds, or eating less sugar. Too much too soon is a recipe for failure!
- Drink a lot of water! Drink a glass of water when you wake up, and drink two glasses every time you reach for one. Gradually increase your water intake until you reach at least 8 cups per day.
- Avoid a “white” diet and add color! Try a new colorful fruit or vegetable every day. Different colored fruits and vegetables have different nutrients and antioxidants, and it is important to eat as much from the rainbow as possible.
- Stop snacking when you aren’t hungry. Chew gum while cooking to avoid nibbling. Plan out your meals and snacks so you don’t eat too much at unscheduled times. Don’t buy sugary snacks to keep at home. Don’t eat in front of the TV unless you have portioned out a specific size snack to eat!
- Ask for help when you need it. Start a diet or exercise plan with a friend to share ideas with and plan together. Socialize with friends in non-food settings to avoid temptation. Seek advice from a nutritionist or certified dietitian.
- Take care of your body! Exercise 30 minutes a day on most days, get a sufficient amount of sleep and schedule a physical to make sure your blood work is within normal limits.
Success is possible when you set small, realistic goals!