Each January, millions of people keep with the tradition of creating a New Year’s resolution. For some, it’s to lose weight and get in shape, while for others the goal might be saving more money or simply taking better care of themselves. Regardless of the specific goal, the decision to better oneself in the year to come can be greatly beneficial, reflecting a general desire to improve and become the person you’d most like to be. Unfortunately, while many people create a new year’s resolution, not everyone creates a resolution that lasts. In fact, a good number of resolutions are broken by the time February rolls around. But, it doesn’t have to be this way.
Blount Memorial registered dietitian Angie Tillman says, if weight loss is your goal in the New Year, there are some strategies that will help you avoid that February breakdown. “One of the most important things you can do when beginning a weight loss resolution is to focus on the ‘why’ instead of the ‘how,’” Tillman said. “Instead of immediately joining a gym, starting a six-day-a-week workout routine and jumping into a strict new diet, spend some time thinking about why losing weight and getting healthier are important to you. Are you just trying to fit into a smaller size, or look better in a swimsuit? Or is it about feeling better, having more energy and improving your overall health?” she explained. “This will help you gain some perspective and further commit to making changes,” she added.
Setting positive, realistic goals also can help you succeed. “Don’t just focus on avoiding ice cream and pizza,” Tillman said. “That kind of thought process often can lead you to crave these foods that you’re trying to avoid. Instead, focus on eating fruits and vegetables at each meal, and drinking water instead of sodas. Try taking a 30-minute walk each day, or take a new class at the gym. Also, try packing your lunch more often, rather than relying on fast food. You should definitely avoid extremes. Eating ‘perfectly’ and exercising intensely every day are not realistic goals for most people,” she said. “I prefer the 80/20 or 90/10 rule. That means that 80 or 90 percent of the time, you should do your best to make healthy food choices and get constant, regular exercise. The other 10 or 20 percent of the time, allow yourself a treat, and take a rest day from your workout,” she explained.
Ultimately, Tillman says, seek the advice of experts if you’re having trouble achieving your weight loss resolution. “If you have a significant amount of weight to lose or you have medical problems, a good registered dietitian and a certified personal trainer can be great resources to help you get started on a realistic plan toward long-term, successful healthy living,” she said.
If you’re setting weight loss goals this year, the Blount Memorial Weight Management Center’s “Winning at Weight Loss” class can help you get started down the right path. The 12-week weight management program is hosted by registered dietitians and exercise physiologists who will teach you the skills necessary for lasting weight loss. The program includes weekly weigh-ins, weekly education or exercise sessions, an individual nutrition consultation, and individual sessions with a personal trainer. This month’s “Winning at Weight Loss” class begins Monday, Jan. 27 at 6:30 p.m. at the Blount Memorial Wellness Center at Springbrook. Space for the class is limited. For more information or to register, contact Heather Pierce at 865-980-7119 or Chad Hodson at 865-980-7110.