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Help with your New Years resolution weight loss

It’s a new year and you’ve decided that this year is the year you are going to lose those extra pounds or get that body you always wanted. In this post I’ll try to help you stick to your new year’s resolution with tips and advice to help you achieve that goal.

We all do it…….make that new year’s resolution and almost all of us that do, never achieve or get far with them. Of course possibly the most popular new year’s resolution is weight loss. So here are a few things you can do to help stick to your weight loss resolution:

Are you motivated enough?

You have got to want to do it and do it for yourself and not for anyone else either. It’s OK to just say that you want to achieve something, but in order to actually make it work, you need to really want to achieve it personally and unequivocally yourself. Don’t look at your resolution as an excuse to give up when the going gets tough, as many people see them as a short term choice that they are expecting to fail at. What you need to do is actually make it a positive change to your life and not a form of punishment. Remember the important part of weight loss is to reduce body fat and improve your overall health, so get motivated to improve your health for the future, while also improving your self esteem at the same time. However, let’s not pretend here, in order to fulfil your weight loss endeavour you will need to put effort into it and there is no easy route, no magic pill, just hard work and dedication. But I’ll also say it doesn’t have to be boring, you can plan it to be fun and enjoyable to make the journey easier. Create motivational notes to remind you why you are doing this and need to stick to it. See motivation.

Create a nutritional plan

Create a nutritional plan that fills you up and not leave you wanting. Don’t create a plan that leaves you feeling hungry and deprived. People who go on a diet that leaves them struggling often drop out after a short period, so create a proper long term plan. Having said that it is important to realise that in order to lose weight you need to be able to consume less calories than you use, there needs to be a calorie deficit. It also doesn’t have to be complicated, so get educated about nutrition. Make small changes and gradually work your way to a more healthy nutrition plan. Learn to cook or prepare simple and healthy meals.

Find healthy alternatives to food you like

So, if you like chocolate, try dark chocolate, if you like sweets, try natural honey or fruit. The reality to trying to ditch your bad eating habits, is most people will last a week or two before giving into their new diet and fail. Try to find alternatives that can keep you on track for much longer and create a nutritional plan that is more sustainable.

Shop smarter

When shopping, shop after you have eaten and not when you are hungry. Stick to your shopping list from your nutritional plan and don’t buy tempting foods. If you don’t buy the wrong food and they are not in the house, you simply can’t just help yourself to them when you have a weak moment.

Have a specific goal and plan it out

Try to be specific about your goal/goals to help create a viable and easy to follow plan. In fact use the plan of organising your food and exercise plan as a way to learn to organise your daily/weekly activities. Planning and writing down what needs to be done helps to keep you on track and on top of things that need doing.

Write down why you might want to lose weight. Apart from the healthy aspect, write down some motivational goals, maybe you want to improve your love life, take part in a sport, live longer for your kids/grand kids or improve your health to travel more.

Learn about food and learn about exercise and create a plan of attack, but don’t over complicate it, while there’s a lot of info on my website, my actual process of eating healthy and exercise is quite a simple one.

Trying to eat healthy and working out aimlessly can lead to a haphazard approach that will fail quickly. Have an aim, but be realistic with your goals and make it measurable and keep a record/journal.

It is OK to have an overall goal, but break it down into smaller goals. For example if you want to lose 28lbs, break it down into 7 x  4lb goals, so maybe aim to lose 4lbs per month and if you don’t or can’t hit 4lbs per month, try 14 x 2lbs instead. It doesn’t matter, as long as you are going in the right direction and the changes are manageable.

Setbacks happen to all of us, including me, so don’t view them as a failure, but a time to either reset the goals, make a change or come back fighting.

Notice how the goals I use above as an example are small steps, not lose 20lbs in a month examples. I am not a believer in quick fixes or fad diets, you need to make your goal a sustainable change, a lifestyle change for the long term. While you can certainly lose lots of weight quickly by reducing your calorie intake significantly you run the risk of ill effects and slowing your metabolism down and either stopping progress and going back the other way. There is no point working hard to lose weight, get to your goal and then put it all back on again. Having a plan helps you to stick to a nutritional and exercise plan. So aim for between 4-8lbs per month, less if you are looking to add muscle, as muscle weighs more than fat. The only exception to this is if you need to lose weight faster due to health/medical reasons.

Leave notes on your fridge or on your computer desktop to remind you of your goals. This will remind you on a regular bases to avoid eating too much, spending too much time seating in front of the computer and be a constant reminder of your goals. Read about exercise goals here.

Keep a journal 

Keeping a journal, diary or record of your progress can help keep track of what is or isn’t working for you. It will also help you monitor and measure your process keeping you going in the right direction.

Do you need to do exercise to lose weight?

No not really. As long as you are burning/using more calories than you consume you should lose weight. However, if you reduce the calories you consume and still lead a sedentary lifestyle it is likely that your metabolism will slow down in order to compensate the reduction in calories. This then leads to a vicious circle of you needing less calories again to reduce more body weight and worst still is if you stop you will gain the weight back even faster and be in worse situation than you started. There are so many benefits to exercise in today’s sedentary lifestyle that increasing  your fitness seems to be just an added bonus. Plus you can actually increase that all important metabolic rate to compensate for your body trying to slow it down and therefore burn more calories. Yes exercise has been shown to be less effective at burning calories for fat loss than simply reducing calories consumed as it takes 30-60 minutes of steady cardio to lose just a few hundred calories, but the benefits can be many. The important part is to not get exercise hungry. What I mean by this is don’t exercise so you can eat more or have a treat. Doing this will likely mean you will actually eat more calories than you burnt off doing the odd exercise session. Use exercise as a form of lifestyle change to become fit and healthy.

If you don’t want to exercise, try to get busy instead, find a hobby, preferably an active one that will get you away from your TV, computer or games console.

Make exercise enjoyable

Got time to exercise and want to exercise? Then don’t make it a chore or a form of punishment. If you don’t enjoy a particular type of exercise, try something else until you find something that you do like. If you get bored of exercising easily, try rotating different types of exercises/activities.

Don’t get obsessed

Make it a change in mind set and lifestyle, rather than a chore. The more natural the process is the longer it will last and if you hit your goal you may even find you continue with this new lifestyle and carry on getting continued improved health for the future. The longer you can sustain this healthy process the more likely it will become a part of your natural routine and will not even require much effort to do any longer.

If you slip up by missing a workout or two, eat foods you know you would be better off not eating or not hit one of your goals, look at it as just a temporary setback, forget about it and then get back to it as soon as possible.

Get friends involved

Whether they join you in your exercise and eating lifestyle or give you positive encouragement, use them for support and motivation.

Join a group

Join help groups to stay motivated and get inspiration. make friends with others doing the same as you and it will help keep each other motivated and encourage you to hit your goals and targets.

Set up a reward system

If you hit a goal you can do something like put some money in a reward box. Say if you lose 3lbs in a month you can put a money reward in the box and use this to build up a saving for some new clothes once you hit your overall goal.


Be positive and believe you can do it. Start now in your planning and get going as soon as the new year comes in.

Also see these other useful posts:

Why am I always hungry?
Cardio vs resistance training for fat loss
Help in losing weight over 40
Measuring body fat
All about snacking
Body fat