A well-structured New Year’s resolution should be easy to remember, simple to monitor and achievable. If your resolution includes weight loss, here are some touch-stones.
- Keep it simple
Make your new year’s resolution something you can say in a sentence. “I resolve to lose that extra weight, forever!” Or turn it into a motto, “A moment on the lips, a lifetime on the hips.”
- Make it measurable
While a motto or a short sentence is fine for explaining your decision to others, a quantifiable resolution is more likely to succeed. Who, how, by how much, when, and why all require an answer. I’m going on a diet! is a typical short-term resolution. A better long-term resolution might be,
I’m going to change my diet today, so that I lose X kg in six months, so that I can get into my favourite dress, reduce my carbon footprint and maintain a strategy that will ensure that the weight never returns.
It’s the maintenance part that’s the real challenge. It is so often forgotten in the rush to get slim, yet it should be at the top of your agenda even when you embark on a diet.
- Make it sustainable
Studies show that we aren’t very good at making change simply for our own benefit. That’s one of the reasons why I recommend manoeuvring your diet in a more sustainable direction. If you are ever tempted by over processed, packaged gunk, remember that type of eating is as bad for the environment as it is for you. Your aim should be to tread lightly on the planet, in all senses of the word. Don’t lose weight for your own benefit, do it for your grandchildren.
- Tell your friends
Don’t be embarrassed or shy about telling your friends, family and even business acquaintances that you’ve decided to diet. They can help you; they are your best allies. If you find that some people try to undermine your diet, challenge them. They may simply be hiding their own guilty eating secrets. You’ll find most of your friends will be wonderfully supportive and some may even welcome less consumption oriented socialising.
- Seek help
It is very difficult to make changes alone. There’s loads of rubbish out there pedalled by unqualified and ill-informed people. Don’t believe what you read, even if it is written by a doctor. Nutritionists aren’t doctors, and medical doctors aren’t taught nutrition (though some are knowledgeable). Choose someone who is qualified and sympathetic. If you plan to pay someone to help you, make sure you engage a nutritionist registered with the Association for Nutrition which is the UK recognised registration body. Statistics show that people who seek help and support for their weight loss journey tend to lose more weight and keep it off.
But above all remember that a resolution to lose weight is achievable. Hundreds of people do it every year and benefit from the boost to health and vitality that weight loss can offer. Be assured, you can succeed.
There are some rather good resolutions here from Benenden Health that I helped formulate.