It’s almost time for New Year’s resolutions! After singing three rounds of Auld Lang Syne tipping our glasses to a hearty toast, we look at our friends and loved ones and declare…
I need to lose weight…
…and come mid-February, we ask ourselves why on Google Earth we’re so guilty for lying to ourselves yet again! What were we thinking, joining yet another gym only to shell out four month’s too much on a wasted membership? Why did we tell ourselves and the party guests “I need to lose weight”–didn’t we learn in the last five years this would happen?
So, what is the secret to actually keeping the weight off this time around? Is it possible to keep New Year’s Resolutions? As a fellow combatant in the battle of the bulge (if by that is meant “pants and shirt buttons flying off at the speed of sound”), I propose the following action points to set yourself a steady course to keep your New Year’s resolution–or anytime of year–and keep the bulge off for good.
Action Plan To Lose Weight and Keep It Off
1. Get a buddy or two. One of the best ways to keep yourself motivated is to simply find other people who are trying to fit in those special pair of jeans. Don’t go this road alone this time–get some friends to keep you on your game.
2. Set real goals. Setting the bar so high is great if you’re planning on walking underneath it. If you want rather to attain the goal, then be sure you set yourself some realistic goals. Say, “I’m going to lose 15 pounds by Spring,” that’s actually attainable. Make your weight goals something you can track. Write them down and put a deadline on them.
3. Don’t change everything at once. Listen, your body is used to its diet and lack of exercise. Don’t do too much at once, just make a change a week or so. These need to sink down and become habits, not just more good intentions.
4. Diet and exercise. This is the brass tacks truth–to succeed in the long term, you need to get regular exercise and change your diet. Anything less won’t succeed long-term. Sure, you want to change a little at a time, but you need to attack the weight problem on all fronts. Building muscle will help you burn more fat.
5. Regular cardio. Cardio workouts don’t have to be really complex. If you have an elliptical trainer, then all the better–it’s low impact for the joints and gives you a whole body workout. If you don’t have one, get to a gym where they do. Other cardio workouts include jumping rope, running or jogging, aerobics, and stationary bikes. Just make sure you get at least 1.5-2 hours a week if you want to keep your New Year’s resolutions to lose weight and get into shape.
Whatever exercise you choose, it should be something you enjoy. If you get bored, then change it up: spend 10 minutes on the elliptical, quickly hop on the tread and run for another 10, then change it out to the spin bike for the remaining 10-15. Aim for about 30-45 minutes at a time.
6. Set up a reward system. Celebrate your success! Once you have a diet and exercise regimen in place (Weight Watchers has a fantastic, easy-to-use program, by the way), then you should reward yourself when you reach certain milestones. Don’t be overly hard on yourself–live a little and have fun with it. Give yourself a pat on the back when you make certain goals. This will make sure you want to succeed and continue.
If you want to lose weight and keep it off, these steps should become habitual. You don’t have to be the same old you, with the big jeans and low self-confidence, this next year. You don’t want to reach another year’s end to declare, “I want to lose weight!” and start all over. Anyone can lose weight and keep their New Year’s resolutions if they set their mind to it, plan and have a support group to help along the way. Good luck!
Tags: Resolutions, Weight, Years