Foolproof Strategies to Make Your New Year’s Diet and Fitness Resolutions Stick
It’s that time of the year again—the time when you make and break promises to eat healthy and workout more. Weight loss is one of the most common New Year’s resolutions people make, and it comes as no surprise that January is always the busiest time of the year for gyms.
There’s enough research to show that most resolutions are abandoned within a couple of weeks following Jan 1, but does that mean you should give up on your plans to be healthier in 2017? We say no.
How to Stick to Your New Year’s Resolutions
Staying on track is difficult, but it’s not impossible. To improve your odds of achieving your goals, you need a plan that sets you up for success. With planning, hard work and conviction you could make 2017 your healthiest year yet.
If you’ve made a New Year’s resolution to lose weight like the rest of us, check out these tips to make those resolutions last. The following strategies will help you stick to your New Year’s resolutions so you won’t have to start again next year.
1. Set goals that are realistic.
The first step of achieving your New Year’s resolutions is making the resolutions itself. However, it’s important to set goals that are realistic and measurable. Don’t set yourself up for disappointment. For example, if you’ve never lifted weights before, planning to lift heavy weights seven days a week is quite unrealistic.
Start with small changes—with diet and fitness—and move up the scale as you get more practice and training. For instance, don’t think about the 20 pounds you want to lose—focus on losing the first five. The changes you make initially should fit into your lifestyle seamlessly. This way you’ll be able to stick with them for a long time.
A common mistake we all make is having a specific weight be our primary New Year’s resolution. Weight loss is a great resolution to decide upon, but the goal needs to be bigger than that. Don’t just aim to shed a few pounds—aim for more energy, better sleep and overall health.
2. Identify your trigger foods.
First, list the foods you can’t say resist—especially those you binge on. Second, make peace with them. You don’t have to cut junk foods from your diet completely. Doing so will only make you crave them more.
As you probably know by now, food cravings almost always end up in binge-eating episodes. You’ll eat it, eat too much of it, regret it, and then most likely revert back to your old unhealthy eating patterns. Whether it’s candy, fries, ice-cream—banning them from your diet is bound to backfire.
Eat small portions of your favorite foods once or twice a week. Don’t keep them stocked up at home or you’ll be more likely to give in to temptation and binge.
Aim to choose healthy options most of the time. That, along with a few cheat foods here and there, is a more sustainable approach to healthy eating than an “all or nothing” attitude.
3. Get an early start.
Ideally, you should start working out and eating healthy before the New Year. Make sure your plans are in place before January 1. Don’t start with a bang—you’ll be more likely to fail and give up on your resolutions.
Easing into a healthy lifestyle is important if you want to sustain it for the long haul. Start working out and eating healthy at least a week before the New Year. This will give you more time to adjust to your new lifestyle.
4. Track your progress
Monitoring your progress from the day you start your new healthy eating and fitness plan will keep you motivated and on track. There are two ways to do this. You could pick from hundreds of apps that help you track your activity, calories and dietary choices. These applications allow you to input your current stats as well as your desired weight. Many, like Kudolife, are designed to provide you with personalized nutritional advice and insight based on your goals.
The second way to track your progress is more traditional—maintaining a food diary. Writing down what you eat and your workout efforts can help you observe your diet and fitness patterns and make healthier changes.
5. Count each small success.
When you’re trying to follow a healthy lifestyle it’s important to recognize your efforts and reward yourself. Make a list of all your short-term goals and reward yourself for every accomplishment. This will help keep you motivated. If you exercised five days in a row, treat yourself with a cupcake.
6. Invest in gear.
If you’re serious about losing weight, and with time you realize you’re going to stick to your fitness plans, consider investing in decent gear. Buy yourself a good pair of running shoes, walking shoes, dumbbells or a yoga mat. Invest in gear that will make you look forward to exercising. New shoes or workout clothes can help boost your confidence and motivate you to get to the gym.
7. Manage your time well.
Time management is essential if you want to achieve any goal. The same holds true for fitness. Plan your workouts for the week. Working out in the morning is a great way to start the day. Early morning exercise also encourages you to make healthier choices like moving more and eating right throughout the day. If you’re not a morning person, choose a time of day when you’re full of energy. Make your fitness regime work for you.
Meal planning is also another great way to help you to stay on top of your healthy eating plan. It helps you save time and prevents you from eating unhealthy meals on the days you feel too lazy to cook. Planning is a big part of making New Year’s resolutions, so use your time efficiently to stay ahead of your goals.
8. Stay positive.
Finally, it’s essential to maintain a positive attitude to stick to your New Year’s resolutions. Don’t fret about setbacks—they’re bound to happen and are harmless as long as you get back on track. Be positive about your plans. Your goals is to be a healthier, better you in 2017 and it’s totally achievable.
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