It's nearing that time again when New Year's resolutions begin. Many of us will resolve to lose weight, quit smoking, start exercising more, spend more time with family... etc.,the list is endless.
Lots of people join a gym, or buy exercise equipment around the first of the year. In fact, Psych Central calls January, the Gym month. These first of the year people even have a name - and are called January People, or Resolutioners. Sadly though, statistics show that most people don't follow through. They quit before they've accomplished their "New Years" goal.
There are other strategies though, without strict or fad dieting that can help you achieve those goals of weight loss. Without expensive gyms or exercise equipment.
Don't assume exercise isn't going to help reach your goal, it's essential to weight loss and good health, but what you put in your mouth is just as important.
First and foremost, be aware of the diet craze that takes place just after New Years. According to the Mayo Clinic - fad diets just don't work for the long term.
Some strategies that are proven to work:
1. Making that commitment, and sticking to it. Write yourself a contract, or a schedule - anything that will remind you each and every day of your goals. Set specific dates and times for meals. Create menus and exercise strategies for the year, and then follow them. Experts say it takes 21 days to change a habit - give it a month.
2. Motivate yourself. Find that new dress or suit you want to fit into, or even an event that you want to attend in the future, as a slimmer you, that can help you remain steadfast in your goals.
3. Set goals - when you set goals such as how much weight you want to lose each week, month or for the year, make sure they are reasonable. Most weight loss that remains permanent is 1-2 pounds per week. Setting goals that accomplish more than this are unrealistic and difficult to achieve.
4. Eat Healthy Foods - not enough can be said about eating more fruits and veggies. They are low in fat and high in fiber and nutrition. Lay off fatty or highly processed foods. Find pleasure in foods and complex carbs such as brown rice, potatoes and yams and whole grain breads. They fill you up, not out.
5. Get more active - such as walking instead of driving if a location is within a mile or two. Try parking farther away from your destination. Take walks in the country and enjoy the hiking trails that exist everywhere.
6. Portion Control - this is probably one of the most important goals to achieve. Putting smaller portions on your plate - eating slowly and avoiding foods that are high in trans fats and high-fructose corn syrup. Fatty meats and cheeses should be avoided as well, or consumed in very small portions.
Most of all - be happy, find a way to de-stress and enjoy life's simple pleasures. Taking up a new hobby could divert urges to snack, so can drinking tall glasses of water or eating an apple before each meal.
Image via Wikimedia Commons