By Dr. Kent Sasse, author of 101 Medically Supervised Tips for Weight Loss
What if I told you there was one New Year’s Resolution which, if fulfilled, would earn you many compliments, make your feel more energetic for the entire year, measurably improve your health, create more job opportunities, improve your sex-appeal, and save you money? Too good to be true? It’s not, because if you fulfill this year’s Resolution to Lose Weight, research shows it will bring you all of those benefits and many more.
As a physician and surgeon, I know there is rarely ever anything more effective you can do to be healthier and feel more energetic than lose pounds. And there is no better time than the New Year to make a permanent break with the past, starting with a serious resolution to lose weight.
But how can you really make it stick? Here’s how: by moving from the vague notion of “losing some weight this year” to the specifics of a scientifically-based plan with specific goals that mean something important to you. These are your first steps:
1. Write down five specific goals you want to achieve by losing weight. Here are some my patients have written down:
- To look better in my clothes and meet someone special.
- To succeed in finding a better, higher-paying job.
- To feel better and less out of breath when I play with my kids.
- To have lower blood pressure and lower blood sugar.
- To complete my first 10K run or walk.
So get out the note pad – or start your own weight loss blog. Now write down your top five goals. This helps solidify in your consciousness the importance of this weight loss resolution to you and to nobody else.
2. This year, write down specifically how you are going to achieve your resolution. This means you truly have to make a plan. It could be:
- I will test my body’s Resting Metabolic Rate and percent body fat so I am armed with the information I need to succeed and measure results.
- I’m going to count my calories and reduce my calorie intake to less than 1500 calories a day – or the right number for my metabolism – until I achieve my goal.
- I’m going to enroll in a medically supervised weight loss program.
- I’m going to skip all desserts and walk, run, or work out three times a week.
- I’m quitting all sugared sodas and beverages today.
- I’m quitting any alcohol intake over one drink in a day.
3. Now write down a realistic time frame for achieving your resolution and a clear way to determine if you’ve achieved it.
- Weigh yourself today and write your weight down.
- Set a goal for your target weight in 90 days and 180 days and at the end of the year (Hint– aim for something achievable like losing one to two pounds per week.)
- Now choose a prominent place like your bedroom closet door where you will write down your weight each month. Place a box like this today.
4. Identify some non-food rewards for yourself. How I will celebrate achieving my weight loss resolution goal weight?
- A trip.
- A massage.
- A new outfit.
- Tickets to a concert.
5. Finally, remember that successfully losing weight requires a long term change in the way you live and think. Research tells us that those who are successful create mindfulness about their weight, their goals, and about what they are eating. And successful individuals vow to stay determined and not cave in to occasionally slip-ups. Probably the most important specific promises you need to make to yourself today are these:
- I will weight myself daily, or at least several times a week.
- I will pay attention to the calories and carbohydratess in what I eat and drink.
- I will not give up.
Losing weight is not easy, but you can lose weight and feel more energetic and healthy with a specific plan and some personal commitment. What are you waiting for?
*This article was written by Dr. Kent Sasse, author of 101 Medically Supervised Tips for Weight Loss.*