Saturday, December 29, 2012

Weight Loss is My New Year's Resolution... Again!

If you find that "lose weight" is your resolution New Year after New Year, it might bring some choice "F" words to mind because it's not working, right? I've come up with a list of  choice F words myself--'do's and 'don't's that will assure you stay on the right track first thing this year, and make sure next year allows you to come up with some really good resolutions that don't involve losing weight again!

Some things you need to do differently this year:

First, Don't be fooled by empty promises of "losing weight while you sleep" or "no diet or exercise needed!" If there were really a magic pill you could take and lose weight with zero effort, we wouldn't see any overweight people on the planet, would we?
Don't put yourself in a financial bind by desperately pouring money into a weight loss scheme that's expensive. It doesn't cost any more to eat healthy, when all you might actually have to do is stop buying soda, chips and sweets.

What you have to do will take some work:

Focus is of utmost importance. In order to start eating differently and being more active, a lifestyle change will have to be a priority in your life. It helps some people to make a list of the top five reasons you want to lose weight. If you can't think of that many, it's not going to be important enough to you to pass up on the snacks and desserts when a craving hits.

Form new habits: If you keep going on a diet--and then going off it when something upsets your normal schedule--it's time to think about making more permanent changes. Learn to incorporate healthy foods, smaller portions, pre-planned meals and more activity into your day. Don't worry about what you "can't" eat--instead, pay attention to things you can add to your diet that will be filling and satisfying. Drinking more water, eating more high fiber foods like fruits and vegetables, and finding more ways to be active during the day will keep your calorie intake lower and your calorie burn higher--this is the key to weight loss, after all.

Consider keeping a Food Diary. Simply writing down what you eat has been shown consistently over decades of research to promote weight loss. Of course, the way this works is by helping you think about what you eat, and often helping you realize you aren't really hungry whenyou impulsively reach for something. Writing down the 6000 calories you consume isn't magically going to lead to weight loss!

Set short term goals and rewards to keep feeling good about your accomplishments, no matter how small. If you started eating fruit or walking every day, these are habits to be rewarded, regardless of what the scale says today. Try to make it fun with games and contests, even if you're just playing against yourself. Check out my Healthy Eating Line-up game that plays like bingo: cover a square when you do something to be rewarded and try for a win every day!

Find a plan that's flexible. You should be able to exchange one food for another or one day for another. A diet that says, "this is your lunch on Thursday the 10th" doesn't allow for things that come up: what if you didn't get to the store yesterday or don't like beets?! Rigid diets are difficult to follow and just give another excuse to go off them when the going gets tough.

Finally, look for a plan you could potentially follow forever. Eating balanced meals, cooking at home more, incorporating activity into your day--these are actions that don't require going on and off a diet. If you learn to live healthier you'll naturally achieve a lower body weight and stay there.

Consider joining our Lifechanging! Weight Loss series of teleclasses. We'll follow along with the Beck Diet Solution workbook to learn new skills and techniques, support each other, and think thin. Call in once or twice a week from anywhere in the world, or participate on our chat board. Click here to register and get more information.