Weight loss is tough. You know what’s even tougher? Sticking to a New Year’s resolution. According to Statistic Brain Research Institute, weight loss is the most common resolution that Americans make — ahead of goals to save money and quit smoking.
While a desire to get healthy is great, the problem is that Americans tend to fail big time when it comes to sticking to their New Year’s resolutions. In fact, Forbes has just eight percent of Americans meeting their goals come December. If that’s not bad enough, nearly a third of all resolution-makers will give up by the end of this coming week.
If your goal for this year as to lose weight and you’re tempted to walk away, you’re not alone. However, that doesn’t mean you should feel encouraged by your decision to give up. Instead of throwing in the towel, perhaps it’s time for a few new tactics.
— Prevention Magazine (@PreventionMag) January 25, 2016
The first step, as mentioned in the linked Forbes article, is to make simple goals. If you planned to lose 20 to 40 pounds in like four weeks, it’s no wonder you’re disappointed. Massive weight loss in a short amount of time isn’t just difficult, it’s rarely recommended.
Instead, try to lose a half-a-pound to two pounds per week. That may seem like a minuscule amount, but this type of goal is both realistic and usually safe. Also, just as it’s true with weight gain, those lost pounds add up over time. If your overall goal is to lose 50 pounds and you manage to lose an average of a pound per week, by the time next January rolls around, you’ll have met your goal!
By taking the pressure off yourself and saying, “I only need to lose a pound” vs. “I need to lose 50 pounds” you’ve made your weight loss goal much more psychologically achievable. When it comes to weight loss and the long-term, simple goals and doable plans are often for the best.
— FitFluential (@FitFluential) January 24, 2016
Next, you need to have an honest conversation with yourself about your calorie intake. It’s not about just trips to the local gym. A calorie deficit (more calories burned than calories ingested) is what’s need to lose weight. If there’s no calorie deficit and you’re instead ingesting way more calories than you burn, there will be weight gain rather than weight loss.
To avoid this, you need to keep track of how many calories you’re eating. Keep a food diary to write what you eat or monitor your calorie intake with sites like Loseit!. Either way, you’ll have a better grasp of what foods may be interfering with your weight loss goals. You then have to decide how to cut back your calorie intake to help achieve your desired loss of weight.
— The Crackin’ Egg Co. (@CrackinEggCo) January 14, 2016
Weight loss isn’t just about what you eat or how much exercise you get. There are other things you could be doing (or not doing) that’s interfering with your ability to fulfill this new year’s resolution. For instance, how much sleep do you get each night?
That might not seem relevant, but not getting enough sleep each night can interfere with your ability to lose weight. WebMD notes that poor sleep habits can throw off your metabolism, which can negatively impact your ability to lose weight.
Another habit that could be standing between you and weight loss victory? Not drinking enough water. TIME published a study that showed that people who drink 16 ounces of water before every meal are more likely to lose weight. Not only that but regular hydration can help cut down on excess “water weight.”
Drinking water is just good for you in general — as is a good night’s rest.
— Fitness Living (@fitnesslivinghi) January 24, 2016
These little adjustments may not seem like much (especially when bombarded with “quick and easy” advertisements), but sometimes small changes are all you need to make big things happen. So don’t give up on your weight loss resolutions for 2016. A readjustment or two can have you right back on track.
[Photo by Ian Gavan/Getty Images]