5 Tips for Starting Your New Year’s Diet off Right

New Year's Resolution diet

Follow these tips to help make your weight loss goals a reality this year (photo credit: BigStockPhoto.com)

Amongst people who set New Year’s resolutions, losing weight and eating healthier are always at the top of the list.  But in truth, these kinds of resolutions are rarely effective and for many, they won’t even last until February.  There are a few reasons choosing this type of resolution doesn’t always work.  For starters, we are almost always too ambitious in our goals.  This creates unrealistic expectations and sets us up to fail from the start.  Another reason we are often unsuccessful is that we try to change too many things at the same time.  Overhauling your entire diet over the course of a year would be a fantastic feat, so it’s no wonder that we struggle to accomplish something that big on day one.

However, this doesn’t mean you shouldn’t use the energy of the New Year to attempt big lasting changes.  It just means you may need to go about making those changes in a slightly different way.  If you didn’t bother to set any healthy eating resolutions this year or if you are already faltering, here are 5 tips for getting you on the right track.

1.     Start Small

While your end game may be to lose 50 pounds, cut out sugary drinks, and drink more water, your likelihood of success is lower than if you started with a smaller goal like losing a pound a week.  You can still accomplish all three of those goals over the course of the year, but taking small steps and making small changes over time is more likely to get you there.

2.     Seek Out Support

One of the best ways to make big changes to your eating habits and to lose weight is to find a buddy who is in the same boat.  The buddy system creates an instant source of support and an external source of accountability.

3.     Track Your Food

One of the challenges we all face when we try to lose weight is that we often underestimate our caloric intake.  You don’t necessarily need to track everything you eat and drink every day but it is a good idea to do so for a few weeks here and there to ensure you know how many calories you are taking in.

4.     Keep a Journal

Another challenge many people face is emotional eating or unconscious eating.  We eat for many reasons that are completely unrelated to hunger, like boredom or anxiety, but we may not see the connection.  Writing down not only what you eat but why you are eating can help you see the unhealthy habits and patterns that you need to break on your road to success.

5.     Be In It To Win It

You didn’t gain those extra pounds overnight and you are going to lose them overnight either.  Quick fixes aren’t the answer.  Set your mind toward achieving your goal and understand that it is going to take time to get there.  Taking time, being patient, and treating yourself kindly on the way will also make a big difference in your ability to persevere.

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