Keeping Your Weight Loss Resolution

New Year’s Day has always been an important point of reflection for many of us. Not only is it a time for looking back on the past, but much more importantly, a time that we can take a gander at what’s in store for us in the coming year.

The beginning of January is a great time to reflect on the changes we want (or need) to make and resolve to follow through on those changes. Oh yes, let the New Year’s Resolutions begin.

For many, New Year’s resolutions are easily made, but do we ever really keep them? The unfortunate side of resolutions is that many times, they are made to be broken. Regrettably, most of our good intentions get derailed within a few weeks.

One of the most common resolutions (and probably the reason you are reading this) is to lose weight. So, how can you make this the year to slim down and keep the weight off for good?

Here are some great tips to keep the weight off in 2006 (and beyond)…

Don’t Make Too Many Resolutions. If you decide to lose weight, quit smoking, get organized, and get your finances in order all at the same time, you may have too much “resolution” on your plate. Not only is it overwhelming, but too many resolutions (and life changes) can cause stress and ultimately backfire. Concentrate on one thing at a time to achieve success.

Know What Your Risk Factors Are. First things first, check with a health care professional to see if you have diabetes, high blood pressure or high cholesterol. Determining your risk factors to start with can help you set realistic goals.

Set Reasonable Weight Loss Goals. While consulting your health care professional, have him or her determine a good starting point for your weight loss goals. Determining a large number of pounds to lose right off the top can be discouraging and intimidating. A good rule of thumb when starting to shed the pounds is to lose 10% of your total body weight. So, if you weigh 200 pounds and your ultimate goal is to lose 60, a good first goal to set is to lose 20 lbs. Weight loss is much more manageable and attainable when you set small goals and achieve them in small increments.

Calculate your Body Mass Index(BMI).Calculating this measurement with your health care provider can help you determine a healthy weight and exactly how much you need to lose.

Get a Support Group. After figuring out your weight loss goal, finding a support system is crucial to long-term weight loss. Whether you join a group such as Weight Watchers, work with a dietitian, or do something else, it is helpful to share your weight loss successes, and challenges with experts or others who can relate. These people can also be a source of new ideas and strategies and let you know that you’re not alone.

Lose Weight Slowly. Who lost more weight, the tortoise or the hare? The most successful dieters typically lose 1-2 pounds per week. Although it might be frustrating at first and seemingly take forever, it’s a proven fact that people who lost weight slowly found it easier to maintain whereas quick weight loss is more apt to come back.

And Finally….

Write It Down. Writing down exactly what you eat forces you to be aware of just how much you’re eating and makes you accountable for what’s going in your mouth. If you know you have to write down that milkshake or hamburger, you may not be so apt to eat it. A food journal also helps you realize what your doing wrong—sometimes we “forget” we ate that bag of chips, right?

Hopefully these little tidbits can help us all keep our New Year’s Resolutions—here’s to a Healthy, Happy and slimming 2006!!!