Effective Weight Loss Resolutions

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weight loss resolutions

Losing weight is a common New Year’s resolution. For many people, this resolution is made and broken year after year. Dieting to lose weight, and then gaining it all back again, can easily become a vicious cycle. Make this year different and lose weight permanently.

In the absence of a true medical condition, the concept of weight loss is simple. Consuming fewer calories than are used results in weight loss. Taking in more calories than are used results in weight gain. Although this is an easy concept to grasp, making the necessary behavior changes required to achieve permanent weight loss requires commitment and consistent action.

Resolve to Stop Dieting and Avoid Fads

The first step toward permanent weight loss is to stop dieting. For most dieters, everything is fine while adhering strictly to a given diet plan. As soon as the diet is over, however, the lost weight returns. As seen in weight re-gain statistics cited by the National Eating Disorder Information Centre, diets are notoriously ineffective in achieving long-term weight reduction.

Fad diets and various dieting aids can be especially detrimental. Eliminating entire food groups, or relying on pills or supplements, seeks to manipulate weight through external controls and may even be damaging to health. Successfully losing weight and keeping it off over the long term requires changes in lifestyle and attitude. Stop dieting and resolve to focus on lifestyle and attitude changes instead.

Resolve to Develop a New Relationship with Food

Eating for reasons other than hunger is common. Many people eat due to boredom, unhappiness or stress. Happy occasions often revolve around food as well. Most celebrations include a cake or other dessert and holiday meals usually invite gluttony. This encouragement to overeat must be controlled from within. Eat whatever foods are desired but commit to eating only when hungry and to stopping when comfortably full.

Begin to view food as simply fuel for the body. Just as a car holds only a certain amount of gas, each person’s body needs only a certain amount of fuel to function. Just as you wouldn’t continue to add gas once the tank is full, learn to recognize when your body needs fuel and resolve to stop eating when enough fuel has been added.

Resolve to Change Your Habits

Small diet and lifestyle changes are essential to permanent weight loss. Start by identifying areas where painless changes can be made. For instance, according to the National Dairy Council, whole milk contains almost twice the calories of skim milk. If consuming just one cup of milk per day, simply switching to skim results in calorie savings that add up to the equivalent of about 7 pounds over the course of a year.

When eating out, downsize portions. Request a to-go box when the meal is served and remove half the food before beginning to eat. Fast food restaurants may offer smaller sizes of popular items. For example, the Whopper Jr. at Burger King is simply a smaller version of the regular Whopper but contains 309 fewer calories. Choose to forgo the mayonnaise and significantly reduce the calories and fat even further.

Eat consciously. While eating, focus on the activity at hand. Eat at the table only. Concentrate on the meal and really enjoy the flavor, texture and aroma of each food item. Do not eat while watching TV or reading. Do not eat while standing or talking on the phone. Avoid late night snacking.

Final Thoughts

Perhaps the most important step in achieving permanent weight loss it to learn to love and be at peace with your body. Bodies come in all shapes and sizes and most bear little resemblance to those seen on TV or in magazines. Realistically assess your ideal weight based on factors such as height, age and body type. For the upcoming year, focus New Year's resolutions on fitness and health rather than on a number on the scale.

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