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We’re officially in a new year, and odds are good that, like most of us, you’ve already started to feel like your New Year’s resolution for weight loss is getting away from you. The good news is that you can give yourself a break. Many of us are working on New Year’s resolutions, and we’ve got some weight loss tips to help you get on track, stay on track, and meet your goals.
Best Weight Loss Tips
The traditional weight loss New Year’s resolution is one of the most common goals across the U.S. While focusing on your health is great, it’s easy to get sidetracked with the busy pace of the modern world. Let’s start off by making sure we’re setting realistic weight loss goals.
1. Understand Why New Year’s Resolutions Sometimes Fail
There are lots of reasons that New Year’s resolutions are notoriously difficult to follow through on. Identifying some of them can help you ensure that you don’t let those common pitfalls get the best of you. We’ve found that many resolution end up failing because of:
- A lack of clear, articulate end goals
- An all-or-nothing mentality that doesn’t allow for backsliding
- A lack of knowledge on how to set weight loss goals
- Flagging motivation
By not being clear about end goals, we often set nebulous resolutions like “lose weight” or “get in shape.” These aren’t clearly defined, so we end up not knowing what success looks like for that resolution. In turn, that can lead to a loss of motivation. Coupled with an all-or-nothing mentality that sees the goal as a destination rather than a process, all of these issues can make you feel like you’re defeated before you even start.
Instead, it’s better to set definite goals that you can wrap your head around and that seem reasonable and realizable. For example, it’s better to set your goal as “lose 30 pounds by the end of the year” rather than simply “lose weight.” You can even get granular with it, setting a specific amount of pounds you want to lose per month or week.
Just remember that a misstep isn’t the end of the world. It’s okay to backslide. To err is human, after all. The important bit is that you’re taking your personal health seriously and you’re working on bettering yourself in pursuit of your own fitness goals. That’s how to keep a New Year’s resolution.
2. Integrate Your Resolution Into Daily Life
In our age, it’s super easy to shrug off our resolutions due to the sheer magnitude of the demands that are made on our time. Our schedules simply don’t have enough time, it seems, to fit in additional responsibilities like working out. One way to alleviate this calendar congestion is to find ways to integrate activities that can help you meet your New Year health resolutions while doing the other stuff you’d normally do anyway.
We’ve got a few ideas for you. First, try breaking down your overall goal into more manageable slices of time. Instead of deciding to exercise for half an hour every day, it might be easier to fit in two 15-minute sessions or three ten-minute ones.
Next, consider the “subject” of your weight loss plan. If its main focus is to engage in more physical activities, choose ones that you already have an affinity for. If you like walking or hiking, make that a weekly goal rather than running on a treadmill. If swimming is more your thing, set a goal of taking a dip and doing some laps. Have a favorite sport? Let a weekly game be a part of your exercise regimen. (Oh, and if you prefer to head to the gym, make sure to check out our guide to gym bag essentials!).
As long as the activities tied to your realistic weight loss goals are ones you enjoy, you’re much more likely to do them and thus much more likely to fulfill your New Year’s resolution.
3. Remember That Your Favorite Treats Are Okay
Psychologically speaking, it’s not good to declare cookies or donuts or other sweet treats as totally off-limits. Beware the tendency to beware of food. By separating those food items out from the herd, we can be more inclined to desire them, making resistance difficult.
In fact, registered dietician Evelyn Tribole wrote in her book Intuitive Eating that people often end up craving the “forbidden foods” more when they make those foods verboten. Instead, she recommends going ahead and getting the treats you want. It’s okay to have a pack of cookies or a box of donuts in the house every once in a while. Let them be regular items in the kitchen, and your mind will cease to desire them constantly.
Also, we hate to echo ourselves here, but declaring foods off-limits often means that any relapse into eating those foods results in a feeling of complete failure. In turn, people tend to give up on their New Year’s goals as soon as that first piece of cake or ice cream hits their mouths. When the food isn’t forbidden, the stress and mental anguish of a perceived “failure” goes away, allowing you to treat yourself every now and then without feeling like giving up.
4. Ask Yourself: Should You Even Set a “Weight Loss” Goal?
New Year’s resolutions for health and fitness are wonderful. However, it might not be the best idea to have your goal be a simple numerical reduction in your weight. It’s not uncommon for people to gain weight after working out, actually, as lighter fat is replaced by denser muscle. Even if your ultimate goal is to weigh less, setting that as the end-all-be-all of your New Year’s resolution might actually be counterintuitive!
Instead, many health experts recommend setting specific goals related to activities you want to pursue for your health. An example of that is the goal of being more mindful of your eating (which could be goals like reducing calorie intake, eating with only fresh ingredients, or taking longer to finish a meal). Your weight loss resolution could take the form of walking a certain number of times per week, lifting a certain number of reps, etc. Another gamified version is the step goal for weight loss, where you use a step tracker to reach specific goals for how many steps you want to take per day.
In short, it might be better and more attainable to focus on healthier activities to engage in consistently rather than making your goal a specific reduction of pounds.
5. Hydrate Your Way to Success
You knew this one was coming, right? Weight loss New Year’s resolutions are hard work. Changing up your lifestyle, even in small steps, can be difficult. But one crucial way to make sure your body feels great even as you workout and exercise is to drink plenty of water. Obviously Iron Flask takes hydration seriously, but it’s for a great reason. Did you know that water actually helps with muscle building?
And wait, there’s more. Your body needs water, and the best practice is to drink about a gallon of water every day. Doing so greatly improves many aspects of your mental and physical health. For example, drinking water helps the body flush out toxins, giving you a clearer and more vibrant complexion. Hydration also boosts your body’s ability to engage in exercise and can reduce cramping, which is a perfect fit for keeping up with your New Year’s resolutions.
However, remember to get in touch with your doctor about your body’s individual hydration needs. While experts generally recommend slightly less than a gallon of water per day, people with certain medical conditions may need to tone it back. Too much of even something as necessary for life as water can have unintended and deleterious side effects.
Those are our weight loss tips to help you stay in tune with your New Year’s resolutions. If it all seems overwhelming, just remember that even reading this page is a step in the right direction. It means you’re concerned over how to meet your health and fitness goals and are taking your wellness seriously. So congratulations, be kind to yourself on your fitness and/or weight loss journey for 2022, and stay hydrated!