It’s hard to believe, but as quickly as it began, Christmas is now over for another year. If you’re reading this at the time of writing, you are probably taking down your decorations now, putting any unwanted gifts up for sale on eBay, and making a start with your new year resolutions.
And when it comes to your resolutions, you might, like many of us do, have a few health goals in mind for the year ahead. So, you might want to cut out some of your worst habits. You might want to take extra steps to improve your overall wellbeing. And, in the context of this article, you might want to do more to lose weight this year.
But here’s the thing about new year resolutions. Many of us make them in January, but months down the line, we realise we haven’t taken all of the steps necessary to help us achieve them. We might make mistakes too, and go back to old ways, and so we don’t find success with the goals we set ourselves. Don’t let that be you this year. While we can’t cover all of your resolutions within this article, we do have some tips when it comes to your weight loss goals.
#1: Remember the reasons why
So, you want to lose weight! That’s great, but what are your reasons for doing so? If you can remember the reasons why the more incentive you will have to stick to your goals. It might be that you want to lose weight for health reasons. Or you might want to lose weight to role model good behaviour to your children. You might even want to lose weight to give you the opportunity to finally wear your funky leggings! Whatever your ‘why,’ make a note of your reasons, and refer to this note whenever you are tempted to give up on your goals. Hopefully, it will give you the impetus to continue with whatever weight loss programme you have put yourself on.
#2: Avoid the danger zones
We are thinking of the cake aisle in your local supermarket. We are thinking of those restaurants that only serve up less than healthy meals. And we are thinking of any store, online or off, that is only going to tempt you into making unhealthy choices when it comes to food. If you know of any places that could be considered your ‘danger zones,’ make every effort to avoid them. There will then be less chance of you falling back into old eating habits, and there will then be less chance of you failing to meet your weight loss goals.
#3: Find a diet plan that works for you
There are all kinds of diet plans out there, many of them fads that have no long-term benefits. There are also diet plans that are effective, but that may not be right for you. They might ask you to eat foods you don’t like, for example. Or they might set you targets that are unrealistic for your personal situation. So, be mindful of the diet plan you choose. Commit to research online, and pick one that you think might be achievable for you. To get you started, this article at Healthline lists some of the more popular diet plans for weight loss, so have a read and consider the options presented to you.
#4: Track your weight loss progress
Standing on the scales is one way to track your weight loss progress, but it doesn’t always give you the full story. This is especially true when you’re trying to lose weight on certain parts of your body. It’s important to find different ways of tracking your progress then. So, you might get the tape measure out daily to monitor those problem areas of your body. You might take pictures of yourself each day or week to give you an idea of how your body is changing. And you could download a weight loss tracker on your smartphone to measure your BMI. These are just a few ideas, but there are all kinds of other ways to track your progress, so continue your research online. By finding a method that works for you, you will then know how well you are doing, and how far you need to go to meet your goals.
#5: Seek support
It can be tough to meet any new year goal, especially when you are going it alone. So, don’t become a lone ranger! If you have friends and family members who are also trying to lose weight, draw on them for moral support, and work together. And even if they don’t have the same goals as you, it might still be a good idea to ask them to refrain from any tempting food offerings when you are around them. You will then be less likely to indulge yourself. Check out local community groups too. There could be weight watch classes in your area, so sign up to something, and benefit from the support given by professional instructors and your peers.
#6: Engage in regular exercise
Regular activity is good for your health in all kinds of ways, not least when it comes to shedding those pounds. So, try to fit exercise into your daily or weekly schedule. So, you might ditch the car more often when going to work or to the supermarket, and use your feet instead. You might want to join a local fitness group or take up a regular sport or active hobby that will help you to lose weight. And you might want to consider ways to stay active at home, perhaps by following fitness videos on YouTube or by using gym equipment. Of course, whatever you do, make sure it’s something you can stick at. So, don’t take up a sport that you are likely to quit after two weeks, and don’t push yourself too quickly into workouts that aren’t attuned to your physical state. Be mindful and seek advice from friends and health professionals if you need to.
#7: Consider medication and other supplements
While a mix of healthy eating and exercise should be considered a necessity when trying to lose weight, you might want to consider buying something on prescription too. Weight loss medications such as Orlistat can be prescribed to you, so speak to your doctor or follow the previous link to connect with somebody online. There are all kinds of other weight loss supplements available from health stores too, in both capsule and liquid formats, so visit those stores that are local to you. Combine them with your regular weight loss programme if it is appropriate and safe for you to do so.
#8: Learn how to cook
If you don’t know how to cook, you might be more inclined to eat takeaway foods or those processed microwave meals that fill up the shelves in your local supermarket. You might not have the ability to integrate the necessary meal ingredients that can help you to reach your weight loss goals either. So, if you can’t cook, and if one of your other new year goals is to learn something new in the months ahead, let this be the obvious next step on your weight loss journey. Check out tutorials online, or look for a cookery class in your area. Here are some healthy recipes to try if you’re keen to get started.
If you set your mind to it, and if you follow the suggestions we have given you here, you should be able to reach your weight loss goals. We wish you every success with this and all of your other new year resolutions going forward.