Happy New Year! You know what that means…resolution time. As a registered dietitian, I tend to shy away from resolutions. I believe in small, realistic, attainable GOALS. If you want to lose weight in 2017, you are not alone. Saying, “I want to lose weight” is one thing, but actually setting goals will lead to true success. To start fresh in 2017, I recommend 3 main pieces of advice.
Accept it is time for a real change: Losing weight and making a lifestyle change is not a quick fix or magic pill. Successfully losing weight is a slow, gradual process. Sign a contract with yourself right now promising that you are committing to a healthy lifestyle. As silly as it may sound, a study done by Gail Matthews at Dominican University found that those who wrote down their goals, accomplished significantly more than those who did NOT write down their goals.
Finding support from loved ones: Whether it be a friend, family member, co-worker, spouse, boyfriend, or girlfriend—find a like-minded health buddy! Schedule healthy hangouts such as a walk, jog, or healthy lunch date. Meet with each other weekly to re-cap your progress, obstacles, or success. Keep each other accountable. Whether you support each other in-person, through an application (MyFitnessPal), through a gadget (Fitbit), or through technology (Facebook or email)—all support helps! As study done by JAMA Internal Medicine found that both men and women were more likely to make a healthy lifestyle change (quit smoking, lose weight, getting in more exercise) if their partners made a change as well.
Be specific with your nutrition: Nutrition is extremely individualized. There is no such thing as a cookie cutter diet that works for everyone. Your calories and macronutrient intakes should be calculated based on your height, weight, goal weight, age, gender, physical activity level, schedule, sleep patterns, and food allergies. Your diet should be tailored to YOU and only you!