9 Practical Tips to Make Your Weight Loss Resolution Last

Are you feeling discouraged about your efforts to lose weight? Get practical advice from Roberta Messner, who lost almost 100 pounds, and has kept it off for years

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- Posted on Jan 2, 2018

A man recording what foods he eats in his diet plan while eating a healthy lunch

Get organized. Be more patient. Lose weight. If you’re like most Americans, your New Year’s Resolutions List for 2018 reads something like this. Perhaps most of all, you want to get into shape and shed those holiday pounds. But did you also know that you have an 80% chance of failure?

That’s right:  A whopping 80%. Most people fail to adhere to their weight reduction plans by the time Cupid’s love notes are in their mailbox and a box of chocolates is sitting open on their kitchen counter. That’s because, experts say, typical dietary and exercise goals are way too lofty. Far better to take things more slowly and make them a way of life.

In 2001, I was diagnosed with breast cancer. I wasn’t a good candidate for chemo. I took tamoxifen instead and gave my trouble to God—just as Dr. Peale suggested in his book, "Thought Conditioners". Since then I’ve remained cancer free. -Guideposts Magazine reader

When I lost nearly 100 pounds almost a decade ago, I rarely saw the numbers on my doctor’s scales move more than one pound per week. I’ll admit, it was hard getting used to the slow progress. I wanted people to notice what was happening, and with those pitiful pounds, no one said a word.

But because some of the meds I was on kept me from losing faster, I had to accept my meager weight loss. Now I’m so glad I did because I’ve been able to keep that weight off. Let me show you some of the strategies that have worked for me after the holidays each year.

Find an accountability partner. My sister Reb fills that role for me. If I’m not being totally honest about things, she lets me know.  And because we’re in this healthy living thing together, the relationship isn’t threatening.

Use a two-pronged approach. Both dietary changes and exercise are needed for best results. Find a way to move your body that fits your lifestyle to be most successful.

Rid the house of leftover holiday foods. If cakes and candies aren’t around, the chances that you’ll consume them go way down.  Make it difficult...very difficult to make bad choices.

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Don’t put yourself down.  This only serves to add to your stress, which doesn’t help any situation. Instead, set only two or three healthy eating habits for the New Year. And don’t restrict entire food groups either. Remember, you can have just about any food in moderation, just not everything at once. We’re talking about a lifetime change, not a momentary shift in eating patterns.

Besides, overly restrictive diets lower one’s resistance to infections, and flu season peaks right after the holidays, in January and February. When I was losing, I only changed one dietary habit at a time. When I stopped losing with that one change, I then made another adjustment.

Make changes for yourself, not someone else. You are the most important person on this plan. This is not the time to try to be a people pleaser.

Drink more water. Most of us are chronically dehydrated, which makes one feel sluggish. Stay hydrated to improve overall health. Avoid fruit juices, too. They may seem healthy but many contain a lot of sugar and hidden calories.

Get enough sleep. Most people have disruptive sleep during the holidays. To repair and recharge your body (and live longer!), you require at least seven hours per night.

Keep a food diary. If you write it down, your eating is more mindful and you’re paying attention to your actual appetite. You may not think three M&Ms makes a difference, but calories do add up.

Spend more time with those you love.  An important part of any plan in any year!

Have yourself a happy and healthy 2018.

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