There are some of those people that will undoubtedly use the rest of the year to pack in as many stale Christmas cookies as possible before the ball drops on New Year’s Eve, and then start their New Year’s weight loss resolution that morning. Or the morning after.
Despite what the calendar says, the time to start your New Year’s resolution is now. Right now. No excuses. The sooner you make the next right and healthy decision means the sooner you will hit your weight loss goals.
Kick start your diet today by taking the necessary steps to set yourself up for success.
Set small goals. You can’t just say “I’m going to start watching what I eat” or “I’m going to lose weight in 2011.” How? When will you know if you reach your goal? What is your motivation? There is a specific way to set effective goals, so once you set yours, compare it to our S.M.A.R.T. goal checklist to make sure it is motivating instead of discouraging.
Plan your attack. You need a plan in order to reach your goals. Systematic steps that will further you to your end result need to be laid out before you begin. How many calories are you going to eat per day? How many days are you going to hit the gym? How are you going to measure your weight loss progress? If you stay on track, when should you reach your ultimate goal? Setting a goal is important, but more important than that is how you intend to reach it.
Keep a record. Food journals are a common way to track calories, but don’t forget about your workouts, too. We live hectic lives and it can be easy to forget, but even if you skip a day, don’t toss your journal out the window. Pick it right back up when you get a chance, and move forward. The simple act of keeping the journal is what will keep you in line, not necessarily the story it tells after it is perfectly filled out.
Always do the next right thing. This is my favorite dieting advice, but it works for everything. Always make the next right decision. You may have had a scone for breakfast, but instead of skipping lunch to make up for it, do the next right thing and have a light healthy lunch full of protein and fruit and vegetables. Each time you make a bad decision, your motivation wanes. The opposite is also true: if your last food choice was a healthy one, you are more likely to continue on that path. Forget what happened before, and make your next choice your best choice.
Make it work for you. If you are choosing a diet plan, it’s going to come with a lot of rules. A lot of people need the structure of a well-planned, regimented diet plan to acheive success, but don’t feel like you are boxed in. If there are aspects of your new diet you know just don’t work for you, change them. For example, if you diet says you cannot eat past 7 pm, but you know, no matter what, you have to have a snack right before bed, don’t try to fight it and end up “failing” every night. Just change the rules. A successful diet is more about if you feel successful on it- not feel guilty every night for not being able to follow the rules perfectly every day. The better you know your own food tendencies, the better chance you have at life-long results.
What’s your diet resolution this year? Do you already have a plan?