Weight loss does not magically occur on its own. It requires dedication, sustained effort, and motivation. With a new year upon us, now is the perfect time to focus on losing weight and adopting a healthier lifestyle. Below are ten tips to help you enjoy a healthy start to the new year.
1) Sign up for a gym membership
The path to a new you begins with a plan to improve your physical fitness. From group fitness classes to personal trainers, to weight loss challenges, today’s gyms offer more options than ever to help people achieve their fitness goals. And with average monthly membership fees that are nearly 20% less than they were in 2009, you can hardly afford not to sign up for a gym membership!
2) Strive to get at least 7-8 hours of sleep each night
People who sleep for 7-8 hours each night tend to be in better health than people who are sleep-deprived. Some of the specific health benefits of a good night’s sleep include a lower risk of stroke, a stronger immune system, lower rates of depression, and reduced risk of Type 2 diabetes. By carving out more time for shuteye, you can also ensure that you have sufficient energy for a session at the gym.
3) Declutter your home and office space
If you are like most people, you feel happier and more productive when your living space is neat and clean. You can rediscover that feeling by picking a day to declutter your living space. Your possessions should fit into one of three categories: Items you wish to keep; gently used items that you can donate to charity; and items that are broken or in poor condition to discard. Start with the area of your home that has the least amount of clutter to boost your confidence. You will get there!
4) Restock your fridge and pantry with healthy foods
Once you have successfully decluttered your visible living space, it is time to clean out your refrigerator and pantry. In addition to discarding old or outdated foods, clear out the fatty, preservative-laden foods. Then, gather your grocery coupons and head to the store to invest in some fresh fruits, vegetables, and protein-rich foods. With a fridge and pantry full of healthy food options, you will be more successful in your weight loss efforts.
5) Adopt a positive attitude
According to the Mayo Clinic, positive thinking “helps with stress management and can even improve your health.” If you admit that you are a pessimist, do not despair. You can learn positive thinking skills and reduce your negative self-talk in the new year. You can put yourself on the road to positivity by identifying the areas of your life that you have negative thoughts about and choosing one to approach in a more optimistic light. You can also try to find humor in everyday events, and resolve to smile more.
6) Establish weight loss goals
Setting weight loss goals serves two purposes: First, you have a target to focus on. And second, you can track your progress as you move forward with your weight loss efforts. Be sure to strike a balance between setting goals that are unrealistically high and choosing targets that are too easy to achieve.
7) Learn how to say “No” – especially to unhealthy foods and behaviors
“Saying No is one of the most important ingredients in a life filled with peace of mind and contentment…With the ability to say No comes balance and healthy boundaries.” – Paul Huljich, Mind Wellness Awareness
You only have about 16-18 waking hours in each day. The last thing you want to do is to spend a large chunk of your day doing unhealthy things that you don’t even want to do. So this year, find the strength to say no – especially to requests that would lead to overeating, overworking, or drinking too much.
8) Always be on the lookout for healthy alternatives
Temptations seem to be the greatest when you are trying to adopt a healthy lifestyle. Sometimes it can seem like every dinner invitation is for beer and pizza and every day at the office, one of your colleagues suggests a potluck assortment of fattening casseroles and cookies. Rather than declining these invitations, you can respond politely and suggest a healthy alternative. Here is a sample response:
“Wow – thank you for suggesting we get together for beer and pizza! I can’t wait to see you! But why don’t we check out that new restaurant on the corner? They have an entire healthy living menu that we should check out.”
9) Surround yourself with health-conscious people
The journey to successful weight loss is more enjoyable when you can share it with like-minded friends and family. On the other hand, that journey can be incredibly difficult and full of setbacks if you are derailed by people who are continually coaxing you to practice unhealthy eating habits and behaviors. If you are having a tough time finding people who encourage your efforts, then consider joining a weight loss support group.
10) Reward yourself for achieving weight loss milestones
Losing weight is not easy. It requires a long-term commitment and willpower that can be difficult to muster up at times. You can help keep yourself on track and motivated by rewarding yourself as you reach the goals you have set for yourself. And rather than rewarding yourself with food, consider treating yourself to a day at the spa or a short trip when you have reached your first goal.
The Bottom Line
As outlined above, there are many steps you can take to start the new year off on a healthy note. By following the ten tips above, you can put yourself on track to lose weight and adopt a healthier lifestyle.
To embark upon the fastest, safest path to weight loss, contact the weight-loss experts with Simonds Metabolics and Weight Loss. We offer a variety of weight loss services including nutritional counseling, prescription medications, and healthy supplements to help you shed weight efficiently and safely. We invite you to contact us today to schedule an appointment with one of our skilled weight loss consultants. We look forward to helping you achieve your wellness goals in the new year!