The Christmas season is generally filled with heavy foods, less activity, and lots of festive (and caloric) cocktails. These indulgences generally lead people to make a New Years resolution & set weight loss goals. If you are focusing on weight loss in 2016, you aren’t alone. Here are some ideas to safely meet your weight loss goals in 2016:

Voice your goals

Whether you call them goals or resolutions, it all boils down to the same thing–a set determination to improve your life in the new year. The first step to meeting a goal is actively voicing it. A study published in The Journal of Clinical Psychology determined that people who actively made New Year’s resolutions (i.e. resolvers) had a 46% success rate compared with those who did not make resolutions (i.e. non-resolvers), who only had a 4% success rate in meeting their goals. Be specific when you’re making your goals, recognizing that a vague goal such as “lose weight” will be less successful than more specific goals with deadlines, such as “lose 5 pounds a month” or “lose 20 pounds by swimsuit season.”

Start a fitness routine

Fitness is an essential element of weight loss, but it won’t get you anywhere unless you are working out regularly. Figure out a routine that works for you and stick to it. Joining a gym, particularly one with personal training, will help you stay accountable and give you a wide range of options so that you don’t get bored or feel stuck in a routine. Personal trainers are motivators and coaches, not drill sergeants, and your personal trainer will help you reach your weight loss goals while making sure you stay safe in the process. 

Drink more water

A lot of people have traded good old fashioned water for unhealthy options like coke, coffee, or energy drinks. This year, make a point to swap out your unhealthy drinks for water. You’ll stay hydrated, which is essential for keeping your body working properly including keeping your digestive system on track. In addition, drinking water before meals will naturally fill you up so you will end up eating less at meals without actively depriving yourself. 

Track your progress

Keep a fitness journal, and write in it every time you have a workout. Keep track of how you feel, how many reps you do, how far you run/walk/bike, etc. This is an important step towards keeping you motivated and accountable. Write down the goals you set with your personal trainer in your fitness journal, and also keep track of when you meet your goals. A fitness journal is a great way to keep track of your fitness journey, and you’ll appreciate being able to look back and see how far you’ve come when you’re having a rough day or when you have reached a plateau. 

Keep your family involved

The people we live with can be the biggest obstacle to weight loss, particularly when those people aren’t on the same weight loss journey. Make sure everyone you live with, including your family members, are aware of your weight loss goals and understand that you’ll be making changes. If you have kids, take time now to talk about healthy choices and explain the negative impacts your current weight has on your overall health. Get your family more active by taking walks, going for bike rides, and doing activities like roller skating or playing around in the backyard or park. Take your kids grocery shopping and let them help you plan healthy meals so they equate healthy with delicious. 

When it comes to losing weight in the new year, it’s important to focus on the full picture of health rather than zeroing in on the numbers on your scale. Specify your goals, set up a schedule with a personal trainer who will help motivate you and make sure you start an exercise program safely, and make sure your whole family is involved in the process. 


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