7 ways to make your weight loss resolution work

1. Set the Right Goals

Step one of any weight loss resolution is making the resolution itself. However, the manner in which you create the goal could have you doomed from the get-go. “One of the biggest mistakes people make is having a certain weight be their primary goal,” says Lemond. “Obviously people want to lose weight, but the goal has to be bigger than that.” Instead of just aiming to drop a few pounds, strive for more energy, increased stamina, and better sleep, too.

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2. Be Consistent

One bad meal won’t torch your efforts, but habitual poor choices will. “The best way to look at food is not by seeing food as ‘always’ or ‘never,’ but it’s more about your patterns of eating,” says Lemond. Your patterns of eating are the choices you make day in and day out. Choosing healthy options the majority of the time, with a few cheats here and there, is more sustainable than an “all or nothing” mentality.

3. Plan Ahead

“Try to load your workplace up with plenty of appropriate snacks for the whole week, and try to shop in advance,” suggests Lemond. “I teach this stuff all day long, but if I get that hungry, I don’t have a tendency to crave foods.” If you’ve got healthy food on tap, you’re more likely to make healthy choices.

4. Don’t Cut Out Entire Food Groups

Another way to sabotage your weight loss efforts is by cutting out entire food groups. “A lot of times when people do these New Year’s resolutions, they cut so much out that it’s something that they can’t sustain for any length of time,” says Lemond. “The facts speak for themselves: You’re putting yourself at risk for a lot of nutrition deficiencies that have a lot of minor and major implications.” The whole point of making a resolution in the first place is to implement healthier habits that will stick in the long term. Consume everything in moderation for healthier and more sustainable results.

5. Measure Progress in More Than Pounds

You’ve got to track your progress beyond just logging the numbers on the scale. Developing healthier habits and pursuing a leaner physique is much more complex than pounds lost or gained. Take into account other measures of fitness like body fat, waist circumference, and even sleeping patterns and stress management.

6. Snack with Purpose

Don’t eat because you’re bored or because others around you are eating. Reframe your approach to eating altogether. “Focus on foods that you should eat, not foods that you shouldn’t eat,” suggests Lemond. “By making sure you’re adding as many plant-based foods in your diet as possible, you’re naturally pulling out a lot of high-calorie foods.”

7. Balance Energy In and Energy Out

Be careful about going too hard with your resolutions. Restricting your calorie intake too much and overdoing it in the gym can have adverse effects. “Even fit minded individuals have to be careful about balancing energy in and energy out,” says Lemond. “Too-fast weight loss is going to yield muscle loss (and puts you at a higher risk to regain that weight). If you’re not very overweight, a 1-2 pound weight loss per week is where you should be.” Be consistent with your diet, and get those workouts in, but also allow yourself the time to see results.

This content was originally published here.

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