8 Ways to Stick to Your Weight Loss New Year’s Resolution

Setting health goals for 2024

As the New Year approaches, many people set the goal of losing weight and improving their overall health.

Although this is one of the most popular New Year’s resolutions, it’s also one that most people tend to abandon within a few months.

That’s because sticking to your weight-loss resolution can be difficult, especially if you don’t have the proper tools in place to help you succeed.

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Why Do Weight Loss Resolutions Fail So Often?

Weight loss resolutions are notoriously difficult to stick to for a number of reasons. Many people tend to start with enthusiasm but find it hard to maintain their commitment over time.

Understanding why these common obstacles occur can help you avoid them, making it easier for you to achieve your weight-loss goals.

Lack of planning

One of the key reasons people struggle to stick to their weight loss resolutions is a lack of planning for their health journey.

Losing weight isn’t just about deciding to eat healthier or exercise more. It requires a comprehensive plan that includes setting goals, scheduling workouts, and meal planning.

People often underestimate how much time and effort is required to fit exercise into their schedule or prepare healthy meals. This can lead to frustration and abandonment of their goals.

Without a clear plan, it’s also easy to fall back into your old habits, and you may even gain more weight in the process.

No motivation

Another common challenge is maintaining motivation over time. The initial excitement of having new goals can fade quickly and leave you feeling uninspired to keep going.

Weight loss is also typically a gradual process, and without seeing immediate results, many people feel discouraged and lose their drive to continue.

Motivation can also decrease if you fail to set a realistic goal or your expectations are too high. This can leave you feeling like a failure and may cause you to lose interest in your healthy resolutions.

Lack of support

A lack of support can also have a significant impact on your ability to stick to any weight-loss goal.

Without support from others, the journey can feel lonely and may even become too overwhelming — especially if you’re not seeing immediate results.

People may also be more likely to give up if they feel like they’re going through it alone, as opposed to having support from friends, family or professionals.

8 Ways to Stick to Your New Year’s Resolution to Lose Weight

Set realistic goals

One of the most important steps in maintaining your resolution is to set realistic and achievable goals.

Rather than striving for rapid, drastic weight loss, aim for something more practical, like gradual and sustainable changes.

For example, setting a target to lose one to two pounds per week can be more manageable and less daunting than a vague goal of dropping a large amount of weight quickly.

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Key Point: Use the SMART Method for Setting Goals

The SMART method — which stands for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-based — is a popular way of setting realistic goals. It’s laid out as follows:

  • Specific: Your goal needs to have enough details to ensure you know what successfully reaching it looks like. Use the 5 W’s (who, what, when, where, and why) to guide you.

  • Measurable: You’ll need to be able to see all of your progress, so make sure you can track your achievements. We’ll go into more detail about this a bit later in this article.

  • Achievable: Your goal should challenge you without causing burnout or excessive amounts of stress. Think about similar goals you’ve managed to achieve in the past and use those to guide you.

  • Relevant: Your goal should align with your current phase of life, fitness levels, and abilities. Don’t set out to achieve something you know won’t benefit you in the long run.

  • Time-based: Determine a period of time in which you want to achieve your goal — remember to be realistic!

This technique is meant to encourage you to think about all aspects of your goals to help you make them more manageable.

Learn about nutrition

Weight loss isn’t just about eating less — it’s also about consuming the right foods and macronutrients.

Understanding the importance of various nutrients and how they affect your body can help you make better food choices that will help you reach your weight-loss goals.

Identify triggers

Before you start your journey, it can be helpful to try and identify things that trigger unhealthy eating patterns that cause you to gain weight.

For example, strong emotions — like stress or boredom — are common factors that cause people to overeat. When these emotions are left unchecked, the indirect impact can be significant weight gain.

Triggers can also be situational — such as social events that may prompt you to consume more calories than necessary.

By identifying these triggers, you can prepare for them and put healthy coping mechanisms in place. This can help you avoid overeating and may aid your weight-loss efforts over time.

Construct a meal plan

Meal plans typically involve three main dishes — breakfast, lunch, and dinner — with healthy snacks in between.

It should be balanced, varied, and tailored to your individual needs and nutritional goals.

When creating your meal plan, try to include a mix of macronutrients in each meal. This means incorporating the following into every dish, as far as possible:

  • Lean proteins
  • Whole grains
  • Healthy fats
  • Fruits or vegetables

A well-thought-out meal plan is a powerful tool for helping you stick to your weight-loss resolutions.

Planning meals in advance can be great for controlling portion sizes and ensuring proper nutrition to help you achieve your goals.

This may help reduce the temptation to make impulsive eating decisions that could be unhealthy.

Having a meal plan can also simplify your grocery shopping, reducing the stress of deciding what to eat every day and helping you save money by avoiding buying overpriced snacks.

Create an exercise routine

Establishing an exercise routine is essential for sticking to and reaching your weight-loss goals.

The key is to find activities that you enjoy and can realistically fit into your daily schedule.

For some people, this may include going to the gym for an hour every day, but for others, home workouts or running may be more practical.

It’s crucial to remember that consistency is more important than intensity, and even moderate (but regular) exercise can lead to significant results.

Track your progress

Monitoring your progress is a great way to keep yourself motivated and stick to your resolutions.

With goals like weight loss, it can be easy to become demotivated if you don’t see results quickly.

However, when you consistently track your progress, you’ll be able to see how much has actually changed over time.

You can use tools like fitness apps, journals, or even simple spreadsheets to track your exercise routines, food intake, and weight changes.

Remember that progress isn’t just about the number on the scale. Becoming stronger, improving your fitness, and looking after your overall well-being are all equally important.

Prioritize a balanced lifestyle

A balanced and healthier life is the key to long-term success. This means not just focusing on diet and exercise, but also doing things like:

  • Ensuring you get enough sleep
  • Managing stress
  • Allowing flexibility in your routine
  • Treating yourself to less healthy foods every once in a while
  • Not restricting or pushing yourself excessively

Balance helps to prevent burnout and makes your weight-loss journey more sustainable and fun.

It’s also important to establish this lifestyle so that you can maintain weight loss beyond your resolution period.

Create a support system

Don’t underestimate the power of proper support during your weight-loss journey.

Whether it’s from family, friends, fitness groups, or professional counselors, knowing that there’s someone you can reach out to can go a long way in keeping you motivated.

This support system can provide encouragement, share tips, and help you make healthy choices that aid your weight-loss efforts.

When you’re struggling to stick to your routine, having someone there to keep you accountable is a great way to ensure you keep going, too.

Where Can You Learn More About Weight Management Strategies?

If you’re looking for a healthy and sustainable way to lose weight and keep it off, LifeMD has got you covered.

With LifeMD’s Weight Management Program, you can talk to a medical professional who can provide guidance on healthy eating habits, weight loss medications, and other weight management strategies — all from the comfort of your home. Just answer some questions about your weight loss goals and medical history to find out if you qualify.

Make an appointment today to learn more about sustainable ways to manage your weight and take control of your health.

Harmony Vance, APRN

Harmony is a family nurse practitioner and has been caring for patients for over 20 years through various roles in the medical field. She graduated in 2018 with a Master's Degree and a focus on family care.

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This article is intended for informational purposes only and should not be considered medical advice. Consult a healthcare professional or call a doctor in the case of a medical emergency.

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