Many vow to quit smoking or drinking, get organized, save money, attend church more often or spend more time with family and friends, but according to www.statisticbrain.com, the top New Year resolution is to lose weight.
It is also the most commonly broken, and a quick on at that.
Studies have shown that twenty-five percent of New Year resolutions are abandoned within the first week, and only forty-six percent have it in us to maintain our resolution for six months.
By the end of the year, ninety-two percent of us have fallen off the resolution wagon completely.
Experts agree that it usually takes twenty-one days to reform your bad habit.
Here are a few easy tips to help you with your declaration of health for the New Year (some may be applied to other resolutions as well):
1. Start the year optimistically – Instead of using negative phrases such as "stop eating fast food", "quit blowing money" and "get rid of my flab", state your resolution using positive phrases such as "start eating more meals prepared at home", "begin and follow a savings and investment plan", and "become physically fit". Using positive language promotes positive behavior and makes it easier to stick with your new commitment.
2. Write down your goal – Designate a small notebook just for tracking your progress. On the top of the first page write your goal and beginning date in bold letters. Underneath, list your reasons for changing. For each entry, write the date, list your accomplishments and challenges (not problems – remember to keep it positive), and feelings (some of these may be negative at first, but that will change over time). Keep entries during the week short. On the weekends, take time to reflect on your weekly entries and how they and you have changed over time.
3. Reward yourself – Make a list of rewards for yourself. For example, "When I lose 5 pounds I will allow myself to indulge once in my favorite treat." Or "When I lose 10 pounds I will treat myself to a new pair of sandals." It may be easier to keep your reward system in chart form. This can also help with visually monitoring your progress. Be sure to include verbal praise. Everyone likes to hear and think nice things about her/himself.
4. Drink water in the morning – You body is 75 percent water. Drinking water helps flush out toxins and carry nutrients to your cells. A glass of water in the morning before beginning your daily routine can help decrease appetite and increase metabolism, according to livestrong.com. It also aids in digestion when consumed after a meal.
5. Down size your super-size - Opt not to get the largest portion offered by restaurants. This can save you from consuming up to 300 extra calories per meal and keep you from feeling like a stuffed Butterball turkey. If you are going to super-size, make it a large glass of ice water.
6. Unclutter the dinner table - Leave the serving bowls in the kitchen. You are more likely to eat less if extra food is out of sight.
7. Park your vehicle further from your destination – Parking your car at the other end of the parking lot and walking a little further to and from the store entrance can help burn a few more calories. It can also help avoid random dings your car may acquire from careless shoppers and their buggies.
8. Share and share alike – When dining out, order a meal that you can share with a friend, spouse, or child. Split a gym membership or personal trainer. It's easier to maintain the resolution if you have someone to share the experience with.
9. Eat at the same time everyday – You can avoid hunger and grazing if your body knows when to expect meals and snacks.
10. Reflect while you eat – A study suggests that hanging a mirror opposite your seat at the dinner table can serve as a reminder of why you are trying to lose weight and help reduce your food intake by up to one-third.
11. Eat with the opposite hand - It will take longer to get your food to your face, which allows previous bites to digest and you will feel fuller faster. Forcing yourself to eat when you are not hungry is never a good idea.
12. Spare them all - Spare your waistline and the feelings of loved ones by not putting things on your plate you don't enjoy eating.
13. Skip it – Bypass foods that are served regularly such as sausage balls and pigs-in-a-blanket. Instead, moisten your palate with those served only during special occasions, like Nannie's homemade German chocolate cake.
14. Fill 'er up - Fill your plate with fruits and veggies in the buffet line. Take a small sample of sugary items you like.
15. Brush your teeth - Brushing after every meal can send a signal to your brain and body that mealtime is over.
16. Dress your best – Wear your most flattering outfit when dining out with family and friends. You will receive many complements, which can reinforce you to watch what you eat.
Quick tips to cut calories:
1. Drinking one less cup of soda daily can cut your caloric intake by 100 calories.
2. On your sandwich, trade regular slice cheese for slice cheese made with 2% milk, which only has 45 calories per slice.
3. On your salad, trade regular mild shredded cheese for shredded mozzarella cheese, which has 30 less calories and 4 less grams of fat per serving.
4. Using a fat-free or light mayonnaise in your dishes can save you thirty or more calories per tablespoon.
Sticking to some of these small, simple changes can keep your New Year resolution of losing weigh from being an uphill battle and keep you from feeling defeated. Whatever you do, remember any change toward your goal is a step in the right direction.