There are two times during the year that I hear a dramatic spike in talk about calories and weight - Nov – January and pre-beach weather. The questions come late at night in atypical settings after a food & alcohol guilt sets in. First, I’m listening to a conversation about the NFL lockout and all of the sudden, just like that, there’s an abrupt change in topic:
“I heard there are some foods that help you burn fat, have you heard about this? And what do you think about carbs? Do I need to cut out all carbs to lose weight? I’ve got this belly I just can’t seem to lose.”
After a month of throwing moderation out the window and choosing the shopping mall and holiday parties over the gym, its panic time for many people. Clothes aren’t fitting, work is about to get busy and the gym will be slammed in the New Year. So what’s a person to do? Follow these steps to lasting weight loss in the New Year:
• Consider what works and what doesn’t work for you. While the sound of a brand new diet promising big results is very enticing, it may not fit your weight loss style. Likewise, if you hate the idea of attending meetings and counting the points in food, Weight Watchers is not for you. Just because it worked for your neighbor, why start something you know you’ll quit when you could design a plan that fits your needs and lifestyle (a dietitian/personal trainer combination can help you figure this out).
• Always think success. If I had a dime for every time I heard the words “I can’t lose weight” I’d be sitting outside my vacation home in Tuscany right now picking grapes. The saying “if you think you can’t, you can’t” is oh so true. I don’t care if you don’t believe yourself right now, continue positive self talk: “I can and will lose this extra weight.”
• You must combine good nutrition habits with an effective exercise routine. I have seen many people go to the gym year after year and not lose the weight. And, they are doing one or two things wrong – not exercising the right way and not watching what they eat. I don’t care if you do CrossFit every day, if you don’t change what you are eating, you’ll never get the results you are looking for.
• Surround yourself with people you want to be like. Oprah says this all the time for a reason. When it comes to weight loss, there are people who will, often unknowingly, want to sabotage your efforts. Why? Because they don’t feel good about themselves or they feel guilty so they want you to eat that plate of chili cheese fries with them. Do you have any friends that weigh you down? If so, you’ve got to watch this Oprah Show on this topic.
Weight loss can be boiled down to finding what works for you, incorporating it into you life, surrounding yourself with people who cheer you along the way and sticking with it. It isn’t magic but it is easy once you find a plan that fits your lifestyle.