(BPT) – It’s the first week of 2015; a time when many people are deciding on and kicking off their New Year’s resolutions.
If you want keep your New Year’s resolution, here are some tips from Gary D. Foster, Ph.D., Chief Scientific Officer at Weight Watchers International, Inc.
1. If losing or maintaining weight loss is on your resolution list (for the first time or fifth year in a row), remember that no matter what time of year you’re starting, one of the keys to success is setting a short-term, specific action plan. The more specific the plan, the more likely you’ll stick to it. For example, “I’ll eat more fruit” won’t work as well as “I’ll add a banana to my cereal in the morning and eat an orange instead of chips at lunch.”
2. The No. 1 reason people give up on their resolutions is because they create a plan that is too extreme (for example, stating, “I will never eat cookies again”). Short-term deprivation isn’t the answer and the most likely outcome is eventual overeating. Keep in mind that no matter what point you’re at throughout your weight-loss journey, no foods or drinks are in or out. Just know that they each have consequences.
3. Dining out, attending cocktail parties and celebrating special occasions with friends and family are a fun part of life. A crucial part of staying on track during these high-risk and unavoidable times is being conscious of what happens before you go. If your gathering is at 7 p.m. and you ate at 5 p.m., you’ll go into that party with a “better state of belly,” than if you last ate at 11 a.m. Or, decide that you’re going to “have two glasses of wine,” rather than deciding you’re going to “cut back on how much wine I have tonight.”
4. Staying on track when our emotions divert us can be incredibly challenging, leading us to gravitate toward comfort foods simply because it’s habitual, Foster says. We’re bored, or happy, or sad – but not hungry. These can be tough habits to break, but taking that extra moment to identify what you are actually experiencing (boredom, sadness) and realizing that food will not effectively address that can make all the difference.
5. Whether your day went exactly as planned or not, get right back on track with your next meal or next snack. Punishing yourself by trying to overly restrict what you eat will eventually lead to more overeating. No one is perfect; learn from the setback and get right back on track.