The new year offers an opportunity to reflect on how far you have come and where you want to be this time next year. Many of us are making resolutions. According to the Statistic Brain Research Institute (SBRI) the top 10 New Year’s resolutions are:
- Lose Weight
- Getting organized
- Spend Less, Save More
- Enjoy Life to the Fullest
- Staying Fit and healthy
- Learn Something Exciting
- Quit Smoking
- Help Others in Their Dreams
- Fall in Love
- Spend Time with Family
According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 34.7% of U.S. adults are obese. Thus, its no surprise that “Losing Weight” and “Staying Fit and Healthy” are part of the top 5 New Year’s resolutions. Unfortunately, according to the SBRI, the length of time people maintain their resolutions drops off over time. Per SBRI the length of time resolutions are maintained is as follows:
- Through first week: 75%
- Past two weeks: 71%
- Past one month: 64%
- Past six months: 46%
These statistics reflect the fact that certain resolutions are easier said than done. It doesn’t mean that the resolutions are not doable. It just means that you have to put in the time to break bad habits and develop new ways of approaching the same problem. Also, it means that you have to commit to the change that you are wanting to achieve. Losing weight and staying fit isn’t easy. If it were, the rate of obesity in America would be much lower. Losing weight takes work, effort, time and patience. The question becomes, are you willing to do what it takes to get to where you want to be?
Questions you should ask yourself
If you answer yes to any other of the following questions, then its time to make a change:
- Are you tired of looking in the mirror and not seeing the person you want to be or used to be?
- Are you tired of being tired?
- Are you disappointed that you can’t keep up with your kids because you are out of shape?
- Are you feeling overwhelmed by personal hardship, loss or stress?
- Are you depressed or anxious?
- Have you been diagnosed with an illness such as Pre-Diabetes, Diabetes, High Blood Pressure or High Cholesterol?
If you answered yes to any of the above questions, you have to realize that you have to commit to the long haul if you want to achieve your goals. You have to be prepared to put in the work.
Here are some tips to help you along your weight loss journey:
- First, learn to love yourself as you are.
- Identify the barriers that are holding you back.
- Be realistic about your goals. You didn’t become overweight overnight, so don’t expect to lose all those extra pounds overnight. Healthy weight loss for women is about 1 to 2 lbs per week.
- Enjoy the moment. Appreciate the fact that you are taking the steps to getting healthy and making yourself a priority.
- Make changes that are realistic. If you choose temporary measures for losing weight such as taking weight loss pills, than expect your weight loss to be temporary as well. Make dietary changes that you can follow for the long term. The changes you make should be a lifestyle change that you can maintain for the long term.
- The power of positive thinking is real. Visualize yourself achieving your goals.
- Stay focused. If you have a day where you over indulged, don’t beat yourself up for it. Just get back on the bandwagon.
- Surround yourself with folks who will support you and who will not derail your efforts. Also, invite them on your weight loss journey since chances are they are probably overweight too.
- Plan to eat more whole foods such as fresh fruits, vegetables, whole grains and lean protein. Cut back on salt, sugar, fried foods and processed foods.
- Plan ahead of time. Plan your workouts and healthy meals ahead of the time.
- Get plenty of rest
- Drink plenty of water.
- Plan to exercise everyday. The CDC recommends 150 minutes of aerobic activity or 75 minutes of vigorous activity per week. But for maximum effort, work towards 60 minutes per day, every day. Twenty-four hours equates to 1440 minutes. Exercising 60 minutes per day, accounts for only 4% of your day.
- Add weight training into your exercise routine. Lean muscle will help you burn more calories.
- Find activities that you enjoy.
Your weight loss journey will be an uphill battle. But don’t worry, you can do it. Plan to put in the time. Plan to work hard. Plan to make healthy food choices most of the time. Think about how great you will feel when you achieve your weight loss goals. Give it your all because your life depends on it. Jump into 2016 and make it your healthiest year yet! I’m right there with you! Good luck and Happy New Year.