Every year people make the same resolution – “to lose weight”, and every February, 90% of these people have given up. It may be that they just didn’t want it enough, but more likely it’s because they didn’t set a clear enough goal or it was just plain unrealistic. Here’s how to start your resolution this January and keep it going for the rest of the year, not just the rest of the month!

My fail-safe way of making a weight loss resolution is to break it down into tiny parts. You could for example, break your resolution up into months. This makes it far less daunting and less of a dramatic overhaul of your life, which as we already know is difficult to maintain!

Start off by weighing yourself to assess where you are right now. From this information, set yourself an ‘end goal’ to reach a year from now, whether this is your ideal weight or body fat percentage, or both.  The counselors at PWLC can help you determine a healthy weight goal and body fat percent. If you haven’t got much weight to lose, you’ll probably reach your goal well before a year (bonus!). If you have more than a year’s worth of weight to lose, then by following this year-long plan, you’ll find yourself well on track by the end of this year and be able to carry on with your amazing progress!

The key to remember with healthy, sustainable weight loss is that it needs to be steady plodding, instead of say, fasting for 2 weeks (or whatever silly fad is the latest fashion right now) to just lose all your results as soon as you return to normal. So the idea here is for the plan to be gradual, healthy and simple enough that you won’t hate doing it and then give up.

PWLC’s plans are designed to help you lose weight the right way.  Not only do our plans incorporate all the tips listed below, but they also include a comprehensive, medically supervised weight loss program, including an additional six month maintenance program to ensure that once the weight is off, you will know how to keep it off for a lifetime.

Focus on water. Just get your 8 glasses a day in every day this month. This alone will help with water retention, causing you to drop ‘water weight’ and feel a bit slimmer already! Plus, it’ll curb your appetite so you’ll automatically snack less, boost your energy and concentration levels and clear your body of all those holiday toxins!

Cut back on the condiments – the salt, sugar and extra sauces. Cutting down on salt will reduce the bloat.  If you find yourself needing extra flavor, try adding herbs and spices. Instead of adding sugar to your cereals in the morning, try pieces of fruit, as these are naturally sweet.  Ditching Mayo alone will help you shed pounds if you have a bit of a mayo-smothering habit. Leaving it off your food will save 100’s of calories, resulting in very easy weight loss, and you haven’t even had to break a sweat to do it!

Switch to whole grains for bread, cereals and pasta. Whole grains are far more filling, so you’ll find yourself naturally using a smaller portion (reducing calories).  Also, they keep you fuller longer, so you’re less likely to go looking for a sugary fix by 11am or 3pm. They also keep the digestive system working smoothly!

Buy smaller plates.  You’re less likely to feel ‘cheated’ by portion-controlled meals (if you don’t already, use a food scale to weigh out certain foods, like pasta, meat and cheese as these can be calorific, so try to keep to the portions suggested on the packet) and psychologically trick yourself into thinking you’ve eaten your normal portion as your eyes will just register a full plate of food.

Switch to leaner protein if you frequently cook with ground beef or pork.  This will instantly reduce the calories and saturated fat levels. The lean version of beef could have 193 calories and 4g sat fat per 100g, whereas the regular version could have around 257 calories and 11g sat fat!

Increase everyday activity. Just simple things, like parking a bit further away from the office, getting off the bus 1 or 2 stops early, taking the stairs, walking anywhere within a mile radius (bonus money saving on fuel!) hand washing the car, cleaning the house a little more, or even dancing wildly to your favorite music when no one else is around.

Cut down on alcohol and fizzy drinks. Fizzy drinks and alcohol (especially cocktails) are likely to fuel a bit of a sugar addiction, making you want to eat more sweet things, plus they contain loads of calories!

Try some new foods and create some recipes. I’ll bet there’s loads of vegetables and new fruits that you’ve never tried! It’s warm and bright outside (hopefully) so it’s the perfect time to get creative in the kitchen with exotic fruit smoothies and colorful salads! Aim to come up with about 5 healthy recipes that you can master over the summer so that you can whip them up all year long!  By the time you’ve compiled all these recipes and tried all these new foods, you’ll be well on your way to getting your five-a-day!

Add in some basic cardio workouts – go out for brisk 20 minute walks or runs, try an exercise DVD, buy a games console that you can play fitness video games on. Go swimming if you feel confident enough (if you don’t yet, you soon will!)

Try a radically different workout. Now is a prime time to join the gym. The quiet period between summer holidays and Christmas means that gyms will offer more affordable prices. Now have a look around the gym. How about a Zumba class? Self defense? Martial Arts? Yoga? Get in there and try anything that’s new to you.  You’re bound to fall in love with something and want to carry it on.

Add in some strength training. Basically, anything involving weights, resistance bands, body weight (squats, lunges, triceps dips). There are a multitude of good books on the topic to inspire you. Bottom line on why you need strength training: Increased muscle = looking more toned and burning more calories all day long!

Increase protein intake. If you’ve been carrying out November’s task, you will see why you need more protein. This will keep you feeling energized and full. Protein will also help repair and rebuild muscle, making you lean and toned!

This list is just a suggested outline.  You may choose to mix it up or make one of your own.  No matter what you do, PWLC is here to help you reach your goal of improving your health and well-being this year.  We have the knowledge, tools, and expertise to lead you step-by-step to your weight loss goal.  If it all seems a bit overwhelming, that’s okay.  We are here to guide, support, and encourage you through your transformation! Please give us a call or stop in to schedule a consultation.

The first step is always the hardest.  Once you take it, we will be with you for the rest of this amazing journey!  We can’t wait to see you this year.