Each and every year a large group of the population makes a new years resolution. The most popular resolution? You guessed it, weight loss.
According to the University of Scranton¹, Journal of Clinical Psychology less than 8% of all people who made a resolution in 2015 actually achieved their goal. I don’t know about you, but I certainly don’t think those aren’t great statistics.
One of the biggest problems encountered when choosing to lose weight in the new year is losing the “holiday pounds” (usually ranging between 5 and 10 pounds) which are gained in a very short period of time. In addition, if these pounds happen to be lost, they generally only stay gone for a few months just in time for the rush to lose again for the “bikini season”.
My solution? Start now, start slow, stay consistent, and if you can’t lose weight yet… aim to maintain, not gain this holiday season.
With these five tips, you can be well on your way to achieving AND maintaining your weight loss goals:
- Start an exercise regimen that fits your schedule, levels of energy, and convenience now. This can be a sport, a class, dancing, running, weight training, and more. The goal here is to start an exercise routine that you enjoy and can do consistently. Remember, don’t choose something that is too inconvenient, this will keep you from going. For example, if there’s a blizzard outside and you need to make it across town to the gym, there’s a pretty good chance you won’t be making it. If you want to start something that can be done at-home to avoid the harsh winter weather, go for it!
- Start tracking your calories now. Whether or not you feel like you can realistically lose weight yet isn’t the point. Getting an idea of what you’re eating, what you are maintaining on, and how calorific your favorite foods are will set you up for success once you’re ready to lose. Aim to eat at or around maintenance each day with a splurge only on the day of the holiday (Christmas and New Years). This is already setting you up for a 5-10 pound advantage in the new year!
- Eat at maintenance to allow for holiday parties, pot lucks, and events. During these events it’s often easy to go overboard and binge on highly calorific foods. Instead, try and eat around maintenance which will allow you a small cushion of extra calories (think a small slice of pie). The goal during these events is to have a great time, enjoy yourself, and eat great food with friends and family… in moderation. Leave the true-over indulgence for the big day.
- On the “Big Day” like Christmas or New Years, try intermittent fasting. Note: this is only suggested to those who have a healthy relationship with food, I don’t want to encourage binge-eating or eating disordered behavior. In any case, you may find that limiting the feasting to a few hours may help you tremendously cut down on the total calories consumed. For example, instead of feasting and grazing all day long on breakfast, snacks, lunch, snacks, a large dinner, dessert, wines, etc. try having a small breakfast and lunch or limit the majority of consumption of calories to the planned main-meal.
- Learn to let slip-ups go! Don’t let a small mistake turn into a week long binge. It’s pretty common to feel guilt and shame after eating copious amounts of food. A simple slip up can result in “oh well, I’ve already messed up anyways” behavior. By choosing to let it go and be self-loving you can start over right here and now, not tomorrow or next week.
There are 365 days a year and the holidays only account for 18 days of it! That’s only 4% of our total year! Physical fitness and body composition is a direct result of our consistent habits over long periods of time. The takeaway? You can still indulge during the holidays… but don’t let this turn into a 6-week period of overeating.
If you need further help on how to transition into a healthy lifestyle TODAY, check out our comprehensive lifestyle transition plan EVOLVE.