What’s the best way to lose weight in 2014? A tough diet and fitness regime, starting today, the very first day of the year? It works for some, but for many, motivation for that New Year’s resolution will soon have fizzled like a deflating party balloon.
Is it your fault if you fail to stick to your plan? No. Today is one of the toughest days of the year to put changes in place – and why make it harder on yourself than you need to?
Here are 6 reasons not to start today – and 3 useful things to do to keep your New Year’s resolution in sight while you’re finishing off the party leftovers…
1 Unless you’re super-organised, you probably haven’t made a plan of what to eat today or for the rest of the week, and planning – food shopping, meals, activity – is one of the keys to long-term success.
2 New Year’s Day is likely to be a day when you aren’t in your usual routine; maybe you’ve still got guests, you’re off work, or working odd hours. Long-term weight loss success is all about habits and routines, so give yourself more chance by starting on a ‘normal’ day.
3 Feeling a bit under the weather? When we’re hungover, we crave sweet, fatty foods – not the ideal time to force yourself to eat grilled fish, fresh fruit and veg.
4 If your home is still full of Christmas foods and leftovers, it’s going to be hard to avoid them. This is the start of a lifelong change – why make it tough on yourself by sending your willpower into overdrive from day one?
5 Many exercise venues – pools, gyms – are closed today, and the weather is foul. Not the best day for starting your gung-ho exercise routine.
6 Telling yourself: ‘From this special day, my life will change forever’ sounds great. But behavioural research suggests that the all-or-nothing approach can set you up for failure. Letting your goal sneak up on you, with small, easy steps, could be more successful in the long term.
3 ways to get 2014 off to a great start:
1 Go for a walk. It will help your hangover (if you have one), boost your mood and help start the habit of daily activity that can really help weight loss
2 Start a journal. Keeping a daily diary of food and feelings has been shown to help people stick to healthy lifestyle plans
3 Write a list. Plan a week’s worth of meals, working out what food shopping you need to do, so you’re clear about what you need to do when you’re ready to start.
Still keen to go for it today?
Then go for it! Happy New Year to you – may 2014 be everything you wish it to be!
• What’s your experience of New Year’s resolutions on diet and fitness? Do they work for you, or have you given up by the end of January?