How to Keep Your New Year Resolutions

  • By Sharon LaCroix
  • 17 Jan, 2017

Learn why most people fail, and how you can succeed!

Reach your weight loss goals
Keep your diet resolutions

Now for a not-so-uplifting post holiday prediction: most people are not going to keep their resolutions all year long. We start out with the best of intentions but the worst of strategies. By the end of January, a third will have broken our resolutions, and by July more than half of us will have lost our way.

Most people fail because we eventually run out of willpower. As it turns out from scientific studies that willpower is a real form of mental energy, powered by glucose in the bloodstream which is used up as you exert self-control.

How Does Glucose Affect Will Power?

This is very interesting: a research study which tracked people’s reactions to temptations throughout the day showed that people with the best self-control are the ones who use their willpower - less often. 

Instead of fending off one urge after another, these people set up their lives to minimize temptations. They play offense, not defense, using their willpower in advance so that they avoid crises and conserve their mental energy. This strategy is especially important if you are trying to lose weight. 

Weight loss is one of the most prevalent of New Year’s resolutions as well as one of the most difficult. The science behind glucose and the brain makes perfect sense as to why so many people fail in their diet resolutions. Which is why having a very defined program and coaching support during a weight loss program truly makes a difference in being successful on your diet, and in keeping the weight off after you’ve worked so hard to lose it.

If you are just counting calories, or starving yourself, your brain’s glucose supply can get way out of whack and that means less willpower. Because of this vicious cycle, even people with great self-control in the rest of their lives can have a terrible time remaining slim.

Doing a supervised low carb/high protein weight loss program means that you are getting just the right amount of glucose for your brain and other body functions. In fact the body does something amazing on a low carb diet. The protein in muscle will actually create glucose for the brain and bodily needs in a process called gluconeogenesis.

Now lets go over some general guidelines to be successful in achieving your goals. Goals are after all, the same as resolutions. 

First Strategy :

Be realistic. If you have a laundry list of resolutions your attention, energy, resources and will power will all be diluted and it is likely you will not achieve many, or any of those goals.

Limit yourself to one to three, max, resolutions for the new year.

Second Strategy:

Make your goals achievable. If you say you want to be 3 clothes sizes smaller by Valentines, that may not be very realistic (unless you are in a structured program with great coaching support like at BonVie Weight Loss & Nutritional Wellness).

If you are trying a do-it-yourself program it may be more realistic to develop a strategy for each single smaller clothes size. In other words, break down your goals into smaller achievable steps. You know how to eat an elephant don’t you? One bite at a time.  Pardon the pun…

Third Strategy:

Write out a specific  game plan.

And when I say “write” I do mean analog. Studies have shown that people who commit pen to paper are more successful in achieving their goals then those using digital devices. Write down your goal and the steps to make it happen in the present   such as: “I have lost 20 lbs by (the date)” rather than “I will lose 20 lbs by (the date)”.

Fourth Strategy:

Make each step measurable, that means quantifiable. Only that which can be measured will be achieved.
Here is an example of steps 2 and 3 in an outline form.

Using the 20 lb weight loss resolution as an example, it might look something like this:

I have lost 20 lbs by (your date) by losing 2 lbs per week

Then write:

Week One (with its date) – I have lost 2 lbs

List your strategies. For example:

-      I eat lean protein 3 times a day and low-sugar veggies with each meal

-      I do not eat carbohydrates or fried foods

-      I drink 64 oz of water each day

-      I do not drink alcohol, soda, juice

You can actually repeat this same plan for every week until you reach your goal, adjusting as appropriate. I know it seems simplistic but reaching your goal in small specific chunks like this is very effective.

Include a Plan to Avoid Slip Ups.

Intentional or unintentional deviations happen but you can go a long way in avoiding them by being prepared in advance. For example you would write:

“I always eat before I go out with friends or family”. “I eat small portions every 3-4 hours”.

And when you do slip, write down why the deviation happened:

I was tired, I was hungry, I was emotional, I had cravings – whatever it is. Try to recognize a pattern because most likely, there is one.

For each of your reasons, write down a solution to avoid the same thing happening again. And remember, get right back on your horse; one slip does not need to be a slippery slope to failure.

Get Support!

Share your weight loss goal and what you need to do to achieve it as much as is appropriate with family, friends, co-workers, and especially your relationship partner. 

Ask them to help support you, or at the very least - not to sabotage you. And for those who do, you may want to take a break from them for a bit while you are taking care of yourself.

From BonVie Weight Loss & Nutritional Wellness, we wish you the best health and happiness for 2017.
Good luck with those resolutions!

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