It’s January and you’ve decided that 2014 is the year that you finally get a grip on your weight.
Of course, you could do the usual. Look for the newest, most popular diet of the moment. But where has this ever got you?
It’s time to rethink your approach.
With most diets, the underlying principle is drastically cutting back what you eat for a few weeks in the hopes of losing some weight. Instead of this short-term focus, what you need to do is create habits that keep working for the long-term.
6 Tips to lose weight the right way in the New Year
So, with that in mind, here are 6 tips for the right way to lose weight in the New Year.
1. No more deadlines
If you’re like most people, you think that the best way to motivate yourself to lose weight is to give yourself a deadline.
Perhaps you want to get into a new swimsuit by summer?
Or look great for your daughter’s wedding?
The problem with deadlines is that they create pressure. And pressure is bad.
As soon as you have a deadline, you become more concerned with the speed of your weight loss rather than sustainability.
You start getting frantic when you haven’t lost weight for a week and you get ever more tempted to do short-term things like starving yourself (even though that doesn’t really work).
As hard as it is, if you can abandon the deadline and think about being slim for life, you can focus on doing things that last.
2. Don’t completely change your diet
Although many diets revolve around you jettisoning your normal eating patterns and following their menu plans religiously, this is not a recipe for long-term success.
When you make wholesale changes, you might be able to stick with them for a few weeks, but as soon as something different in your schedule crops up (like a busy period at work, getting the flu or going on holiday) it’s much harder to stick with it.
A better approach is to stick with your regular diet, but make small alterations (more on this later).
3. Have a life
Similar to point #2, don’t drain the fun out of your life when you’re trying to lose weight.
You still need to be able to eat out, go on holidays and have fun. You won’t be able to maintain your weight if you don’t figure out how to eat less and enjoy life at the same time.
4. Increase your awareness
How do most diets address things like comfort eating and self-sabotage?
Quick answer: they don’t.
Is it any wonder why most diets fail? You need to get a clearer understanding of your eating behaviour. Keep a food diary. And then look for patterns of eating. What do certain eating situations have in common? Why do you always that food at that time?
Also look for triggers. Is there something that always leads to you eating a particular food (for example interacting with a particular person, or going to a particular place).
Thoughtful analysis can help you to make changes that take into account your unique situation and are therefore more likely to succeed.
5. Keep adding one change to another.
Here are some good changes to begin with:
a. Slowly reducing portion sizes (if they’re too big)
b. Stopping second servings
c. Cutting down a more-ish snack
Start slow. Even cutting back 5-10% of your portion sizes is a great start.
But then the key is to keep going. Always be looking for more changes you can make. When you look at your food diary and evaluate what you’ve already done and most importantly what’s worked, you can see what new things to try.
Each week, if you keep adding more and more changes, the results will amaze you.
6. Never give up
Most people think that the hardest part of losing weight is deprivation. But if you’re making small changes you shouldn’t feel deprived.
In fact, the hardest part of losing weight is being patient and sticking to it no matter what happens.
And believe me there will be ups and downs. Sometimes progress will slow, stagnate or even reverse. You’ll be tempted to give up so many times.
But if you can keep going, making more and more small changes, adjusting your approach and not giving up, then success will surely follow.