Happy New Year!
You said goodbye to 2020, and you’re excited to start this next chapter. Chances are you have made your New Year’s Resolution, and this is going to be the year that you’re finally going to take control and lose weight.
This might have been your resolution in the past, but by mid-January, you had lost sight of your goal and given up.
What are you going to do to make this year different?
How will you measure your success?
Below is a list of 21 of the most helpful tips to ensure you will succeed at losing weight in 2021.
1) Start small
So you’ve set a big goal for yourself in 2021, and you are feeling confident that this will be the year that you will finally lose that 20+ pounds!
While it’s great that you are eager to tackle those goals, setting a massive goal could hinder your success.
Keep that end goal at the back of your mind, but focus your attention on setting smaller goals that are easier to attain. It’s easier to measure success if you celebrate meeting smaller milestones along the way.
Look at short term goals such as losing 1-2 pounds a week; by doing this, you’ll be much less likely to give up when you feel like your destination is out of your reach.
2) Set non-scale goals
Because weight loss is so much more than the numbers you see on your scale, it’s essential to pay attention to other ways you can nurture your health.
Hone in on a specific area that you’d like to improve. Maybe your water intake could be better, so you set a goal to drink a liter of water every day for a week, or you’d like to be more active, so you make a goal of walking to work at least three times per week.
Brainstorm things that you can do to promote a healthy lifestyle without thinking about the numbers. Don’t worry, weight loss will follow!
3) Positive affirmations
Negative words and thoughts can hurt!
Before you roll your eyes and claim that your self-doubt has no bearing on achieving your goals, think again!
A huge component of weight loss is your mentality. You are likely to make better choices if you believe that you are capable of it. You’re more likely to resist temptations and continue to make healthy choices if you make a habit of complimenting yourself.
Check out these positive affirmations from Motivation Weight Management
4) don’t overestimate calories burned through exercise
Many fitness apps and programs give you a daily allotment of calories based on your weight, height, and amount of weight that you’d like to lose. This is the number of calories you need to consume to lose weight. Because a healthy lifestyle also emphasizes the importance of being active, many of these apps give you back some calories when you input your workouts and or steps.
The problem is that sometimes the program or you can overestimate the number of calories you burned, resulting in consuming way more calories than you should to lose weight.
5) Learn from your mistakes
Forming healthy habits takes time and patience—and resiliency! When embarking on a new lifestyle, there are going to be bumps along the way.
One of the most comforting things about making a mistake is that you can always learn from it and understand why it happened so that you won’t repeat the same behavior.
This is why tracking your calories and mood is essential if you are trying to lose weight. Having the information right in front of you can pinpoint how you felt before and after the slip-up.
In the future, you can look back on where you went wrong and remember the feelings that resulted from having an overindulgence.
6) Stop comparing
Do you find yourself envying others?
We are all on a different journey—comparing yourself to someone else is not a useful or healthy way to measure your success.
The grass is always greener on the other side! Despite you believing that your skinny best friend is perfect or the super-fit person you spot in the grocery store has it all together, you’re wrong!
Every person has their challenges and unique strengths.
So tune out all that other noise and focus inwards.
You are doing a phenomenal job; celebrate the success you have made!
7) Treat yourself
Before you eat a pint of ice cream or indulge in a giant slice of cake, wait! That’s not the kind of treat we’re talking here. Treat yourself with a delectable non-food item.
Maybe you have been eyeing a new pair of shoes or would love a relaxing massage. Go for it!
Just make sure that it’s special and and a rare splurge.
When you’re working hard towards something, it’s nice to have a little something to look forward to once in a while. Sometimes a little incentive goes a long way.
8) Be consistent
This is probably the most critical component of any weight-loss plan. It takes time for habits to form and to see the changes reflecting on the scale.
Don’t become discouraged if things don’t happen as quickly as you would like. It took time to put on the weight, and it’s going to take time to lose it.
A study has shown that people generally give up on their New Year’s Resolution by January 19th. That’s not even 21 days!
You have to be committed and stay the course to see the results. If you fall off the wagon, dust yourself off, and get back on!
9) celebrate small successes
You’re working hard and crushing your goals. Be proud of the progress you have made, even if you haven’t noticed the numbers on the scale dropping.
Maybe you have avoided the temptation of having something sweet after every meal, or you’ve avoided eating after dinner for a whole week!
Great job. Pat yourself on the back, and congratulate yourself as a friend would.
10) Make sleep a priority
Getting quality sleep is a vital component of weight loss. When you don’t get enough, your diet almost always will suffer.
When you’re feeling exhausted, your body craves more calories. Your hunger hormones take over, and your body becomes a carb-craving machine.
Lack of sleep also affects your energy levels, making you less likely to want to be active. You may feel inclined to skip that workout and lay on your couch.
Aim for at least eight hours every night for optimal results.
11) Beware of the Haters
For whatever reason, there are going to be people who question your weight-loss journey. Whether it’s due to a lack of understanding or just plain jealousy, they are going to roll their eyes at you and make unhelpful comments.
It’s not your job to justify making your health a priority.
So when a friend or a family member complains that you are no fun because you won’t have a second (or third) glass of wine with them, just remember that you don’t need to sabatoge your progress to make others happy.
Anyone who really cares for you should be supportive.
12) plan ahead
A fair amount of planning goes into achieving a healthy lifestyle. No matter how great your intentions are, there is always a little thing called life that gets in the way, making it easy to fall off your diet.
Whether its a spur of the moment decision to eat out at a restaurant or realizing that you are missing some key ingredients for cooking that healthy dish—things are bound to happen.
A little planning can go a long way.
Consider precooking your meals for the week and storing them in Tupperware containers, or making sure you have looked over the dinner recipes for the next few days. This will be incredibly useful
13) diet breaks
A caveat for readers: if you are just beginning your weight-loss journey, you may want to steer clear of taking breaks as it may slow down your progress.
On the other hand, if you have been dieting for a while and are having a hard time losing those last few pounds, taking a controlled break from your diet may be the answer to breaking through that plateau.
Now, before you hit up the nearest all-you-can-eat buffet, check out this article from Men’s Health about diet breaks.
Post you’re before pictures on Instagram, Tweet your goals to your followers, tell the world what your plans are!
By sharing your commitment to a healthier lifestyle, you’re more likely to stick with it than if you hadn’t shared.
A little thing called accountability. No one likes to fail in front of an audience—people crave positive reinforcement.
So tell all your friends and keep up the great work!
15) take your vitamins
This one’s pretty self-explanatory, but you’d be surprised how many people are deficient in vitamins without being aware!
If you hope to lose a significant amount of weight, it may be a good idea to ensure your body is getting enough nutrients to thrive.
According to this study, weight-loss may be more challenging if you suffer from an underactive thyroid or you are low on Vitamin D.
16) Learn to Say NO!
Start practicing now; saying no is an art that all participants in a weight loss journey must master.
There are going to be temptations—the donuts in the break room, happy hour with your co-workers, your best friend’s birthday—and you’re going to have to find a way to resist them.
Whether you come up with a little white lie as to why you can’t have that third glass of wine with your friend, or you simply refuse without feeling like you have to explain, have a plan, and don’t break under peer pressure.
It may be uncomfortable initially, but once you make saying no habit, it will get easier. That glorious donut may give you a euphoric sugar high, but it will be short-lived and leave you feeling sluggish and guilty for giving in. Resisting temptation will boost your confidence—which will be a dopamine high that will last all day!
17) Lose the All-or-Nothing Mentality
Adopting this way of thinking will never help you on your weight-loss journey.
Sure, in the beginning, it may be the kick in the butt that you need to give it your all.
But not giving yourself any wiggle room or making clean eating and exercising your number one priority 100% of the time isn’t going to get you to your goals faster.
It’s a sure-fire way to crash and burn.
Why? You are not going to be motivated all the time. Sometimes, you’re going to go over your calorie budget, miss a workout—and that’s okay!
Put less stock into perfection and focus on consistency.
Show up for yourself every day and get back on the wagon when you fall off—this will translate into far better results in the long-term than punishing yourself for small slip-ups.
18) combat stress
Much like lack of sleep, stress can undermine your efforts and lead to weight gain.
When your “fight or flight” response is always activated, your body begins to create cortisol. This stress hormone can wreak havoc on your body.
Read about how cortisol works here.
With that being said, you must find ways to cope with keeping stress levels down.
Exercises like Yoga and hiking can be meditative and calming. Other ideas include using essential oils, massage therapy, and guided meditation.
19) find support
When you’re feeling discouraged and ready to shove copious amounts of cake in your face, a reliable team of cheerleaders can make all the difference.
This team could consist of a group of people or only one person that you can count on to motivate you when you need it.
This person or group of people are going to be your lifeline when you’re stuck in a rut; they are the people that will remind you how far you’ve come and point out how awesome you are.
So choose wisely, and don’t forget to ask them if they are comfortable being your cheerleader. Being that person isn’t for everyone—it can be a huge emotional commitment.
20) Believe in yourself
This is probably the biggest one of all—to stay the course.
Whatever your plan may be, you need to be able to follow through and be patient. This means giving your body sufficient time to adapt to your new routine. I am not talking days or weeks—it often takes months for you to obtain measurable results.
You’ve heard it before: a twenty-pound weight gain didn’t happen overnight, and on the flip-side, it’s going to take more than a couple of days of healthy eating to see results.
You will have horrible days, and you will have days that you feel infinitely motivated. Stay for the long haul, and reap the rewards of your dedication.
21) make peace with the process
Losing weight takes dedication and patience. It’s a lot of trial and error—learning what works and what doesn’t.
Don’t give up if you do not see results right away. Often, that plateau you’re trying to break through is right around the corner.
Find happiness in the journey, and know that by showing up for yourself every day and doing the best that you can is another day you are closer to your goal.