Weight loss ranks among the top three most popular New Year resolutions Americans make every year. Research shows that the second week of January is usually the busiest time of year for new gym memberships, but that roughly 80 percent of new gym-goers will drop their fitness and weight-loss routines just one month later by the second week of February.
Have you committed to losing weight this year? Make this your best year yet by following these five weight-loss tips that can help you stay on track!
1. Forget the gym membership — exercise at home
Instead of heading to the gym alongside millions of other ambitious Americans after the new year, develop a workout routine at home first. Make exercise a major part of your life before building the gym into your routine. Do a series of strength training exercises, go for a run in your neighborhood, or exercise to HIIT videos in your living room. Then, if you decide to join the gym later on, you’ll already have a solid routine you can stick to — one that isn’t dependent on paying steep membership fees or going out of your way every day.
2. Don’t ban your trigger foods — keep them in your life
Instead of swearing off your favorite fattening foods like potato chips, donuts, and chocolate, make peace with the fact that these are your trigger foods, then find ways you can continue to enjoy these foods without hurting your waistline. Banning trigger foods for good usually backfires, and can lead to binge sessions and bad eating habits. Limit yourself to small portions of your trigger foods once per week, or find healthier versions of these foods that lack harmful ingredients. For example, trade in your sugar-laden candy for a piece of dark chocolate.
3. Come up with a realistic weight-loss plan
Many resolution-makers will give up on their weight-loss goals only because their goals weren’t realistic in the first place. Weight loss often requires people to make a series of gradual healthy lifestyle changes, and progress may be slow. People who plan on losing weight without making lasting dietary changes or making exercise a priority will often fail, and give up completely when they don’t see progress. Remember that losing 1-2 pounds per week is a realistic goal, and you may go through periods where your weight stagnates, but that doesn’t mean your health isn’t improving or your body composition isn’t changing. Taking photographs and measurements is often a more reliable indication of your progress than the number on the scale.
4. Have others hold you accountable for your weight loss
Losing weight takes hard work and dedication, and the journey can often be made easier when you have people in your corner holding you accountable for your progress. Let your closest friends and family members in on your weight-loss goals, and ask them to help you with staying on track. For instance, make plans to go for a walk every morning at 7am with a family member or neighborhood friend — as this will prevent you from ditching exercise when left to your own devices. This is especially important for people who respond best to external expectations.
5. Look forward to the lifelong health benefits you’ll reap
Many Americans tend to associate diets with deprivation, strict rules, and general unhappiness. The key around this is to stop thinking of healthy eating as “going on a diet,” and instead as a healthy lifestyle practice that can boost your overall quality of life. Eating healthy will allow you to live longer, and can do wonders for your appearance, mood, and immunity. Fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and other healthy foods don’t have to be bland and boring — find delicious, hearty ways to eat these foods and look forward to reaping the benefits of good health in the new year, and many more to come. Remember also that your tastes change over time; you may think you don’t think vegetables, but if you start working them into your diet more often, you may eventually grow to like them!
Need help reaching your weight-loss goals? Garcia Weight Loss and Wellness Centers offer personalized weight-loss plans customized for your goals and lifestyle. Contact us today for your no-cost consultation!