According to a recent study, about 45 percent of Americans make at least one New Year’s resolution. And what’s the most common resolution people make? You guessed it: to lose weight. If you’re among those hoping to slim down, congrats on your decision to make healthier choices. But before you hit the ground running, take a look at our recommendations for starting out right.
Accept that Change is Possible
It’s common to believe that you’re stuck with the body you have because of bad genes or bad luck, but the fact is you have the power to start changing today. "We all know that eating broccoli is better than eating a candy bar and if you choose to eat broccoli today, you’ll be instantly healthier," says Chiro One Wellness Centers of Schaumburg East Chiropractic Director, Ashlin Gasiorowski. "Every cell in your body will immediately benefit from that one healthy choice."
How much do you move? If you’re very sedentary, don’t start by running five miles today. Instead, shoot for a 10-minute walk and build up to more. If you’re reluctant to exercise or doubt the powerful effect that movement can have, try Dr. Ashlin’s experiment: Take quick notice of your energy level and mood right now. Next, bounce up and down, lightly, for about 30 seconds. When you’re done, reevaluate. If you’re like most people, your energy level will be higher and your mood improved. Just 30 seconds makes you healthier, so imagine the impact of regular exercise!
When you know what leads you to grab a bag of chips or lie in front of the television for hours, you can take steps to manage those situations better. "Your triggers might come from a tense conversation or work-related stress," says Dr. Ashlin. "You can’t make those things go away, but you can reach out for the support you need, through relationship help or books, to deal with your triggers in a healthier way." Plan exercise or healthy eating with your triggers in mind so you’re less likely to give in to old habits.
Discover your "WHY"
Dr. Ashlin says that the most compelling stories of health and wellness usually involve a truly meaningful purpose. "Success is dependent on finding a reason other than wanting to look good," he says. "Whether you want to live longer for your family or have religious reasons for the healthy changes you plan to make, determine your true purpose for your weight loss goals."
Know you’re not perfect
Making room for less healthy choices and accepting them as part of life will increase the likelihood of staying on track. Strive to make 80 percent of your choices positive ones, realizing that being perfect is just not possible. And stick with it, trying each day to do better than you did the day before.