The holidays are officially behind us, which means all eyes are on the new year ahead. The top three New Year’s resolutions for 2019? Diet/eat healthier, exercise more, and lose weight. Staying true to weight-loss goals isn’t always easy, but it’s more than possible for those who are intentional about sticking with it over the long haul. Here are some tried-and-true weight-loss tips for the new year.
Get Clear on What You Want to Achieve
Experts say that getting specific with our goals makes us more likely to achieve them. Instead of simply vowing to “lose weight,” pinpoint a goal number that feels realistic and motivating—like losing 20 pounds before the year’s end. How would getting there make you feel? Spend time each day imagining yourself hitting that target and feeling healthy and strong. There’s a growing body of research linking visualization to success.
Be SMART About your Goals
Now that you’ve got your New Year’s weight-loss resolutions in place, it’s time to be “smart” about them. SMART goals are ones that are:
S – Specific
M – Measurable
A – Attainable
R – Realistic
T – Timely
SMART objectives put real muscle behind ordinary goals, making you more likely to follow through.
Establish a Support System
Going it alone can make the weight-loss journey an isolating one. Enlisting the support of friends or family members can make all the difference. The same goes for joining an exercise meetup group or community of gym-goers. Social support can be a powerful tool. In fact, we’re more likely to lose weight when we have a strong social support system, according to the American Psychological Association. It looks like a little accountability can go a long way.
Celebrate the Wins
Be sure to pat yourself on the back along the way. Going too hardcore on your weight-loss goals will likely lead to burnout—and backsliding. Research actually shows that allowing yourself small splurges may actually keep you on track over the long term. In fact, scheduling “cheat days” appears to sustain motivation and keep us centered while working toward losing weight.
Don’t Quit After Crossing the Finish Line
There’s a reason yo-yo diets don’t work—they aren’t sustainable. The key to long-lasting weight loss is adopting healthy living habits that include eating well, exercising regularly, and getting plenty of sleep. It’s less about counting calories and more about adopting a healthy lifestyle. Weight-loss gimmicks are anything but reliable.
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