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Stick to Your Weight Loss-Resolution

Donít be another diet statistic, make this the year your resolution to lose weight lasts the whole year (and maybe even longer!).

By Mindy Hermann, R.D.

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scale illustrationWith the chime of the clock at midnight, you whip out your list of resolutions. Sure they’re the same ones you made last New Year’s—lose weight, exercise more, eat more healthfully—but maybe this year will be different. So what if psychologists say that over one-third of people who make resolutions drop them within the first month?

Don’t be among the statistics. We asked several leading health experts for their tips to help you succeed through January and beyond.

Find a Weight-Loss Partner
Experts say New Year’s resolutions are easier to keep when you have a buddy. “Choose a person you really like, whose company you enjoy, and who is likely to keep you motivated with encouragement and positive feedback,” suggests Hinda Dubin, M.D., director of psychotherapy education at the University of Maryland Medical Center. “Decide together on a resolution-related activity, for example, walking together every other morning. You’ll have so much fun laughing, chatting, and pulling each other along that keeping your resolution will be easy.”

Put Action Before Motivation
Take a small step toward more healthful habits, even if you’re not yet ready to make all the changes. “If you wait until you feel motivated, you’ll never stick to your resolution,” Dubin says. “Instead, take a few small, doable steps, such as getting on the treadmill for just 10 minutes or avoiding dessert a few times per week.” Motivation and inspiration will follow your success at making small changes.

Get a Diet Cheerleading Squad
“Tell family, friends, and coworkers about your resolutions and ask them to be your cheerleaders and support system,” says Karen Miller-Kovach, R.D., chief scientific officer of Weight Watchers International. Be sure to tell them what type of support works best for you, such as calling you daily or weekly, giving you a push when your motivation flags, listening to your challenges, or offering inspiration. Kovach says being accountable to others helps keep your commitment strong.

Give Your Kitchen a Healthy Makeover
Stock your refrigerator and pantry with healthful foods and beverages that you’ve resolved to eat and drink, such as cut-up fresh veggies, whole grain cereals, and a pitcher of cold water. “At the same time, get rid of as many personal temptations as possible,” advises Kerry Neville, R.D., a spokesperson for the American Dietetic Association. “It’s easier to eat more healthfully when nutritious foods are on hand. By the same token, it’s hard to cut back on cookies and chips if they’re front and center in your cupboard.”

Snack on Nuts
People who include peanuts and other healthful fat sources, such as olive oil, are more likely to stick with their diets, according to research by Kathy McManus, R.D., and her colleagues at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston. The scientists found that adults whose diets included moderate amounts of fat lost more weight and were more likely to remain on their diets for at least 18 months. Why? McManus suggests that nuts and oils make healthful foods like salads and vegetables more enjoyable to eat.

Continued on Page 2: More Tips for Sticking to Your Weight-Loss Resolution

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