Four Tips to Greater Fat Loss in 2011

Monday, January 17, 2011

We all make New Year's Resolutions because we think of the New Year as a new beginning, or as a chance to make changes to things in our lives we aren’t happy with.  Perhaps the most popular resolutions come in the form of changing our eating and exercise habits with the goal of losing weight.  It’s easy to set goals and be motivated around the New Year when everyone’s doing it … but what happens a month or two down the road when the motivation wears off?  How do you stick to your weight loss goal long enough to achieve it?

Research shows that after 6 months, more than half the people have given up on their New Year’s Resolutions and, after one year, that number is close to 90%! Change is difficult and we often want “quick and easy” results that require little effort. When we don’t see results quickly enough, we get discouraged and lose the motivation to continue.  Instead of feeling frustrated if you don’t see instant results, try these tips for keeping yourself patient and motivated to continue:

  1. Write down your goal and make it visible to you every day.  When we make a goal in our mind it may seem clear and definite to us in the moment, but our focus tends to fade over time.  Writing down your goal and seeing it in front of you each day will help re-motivate you and keep your aim on the target.  Sticky notes act as a great reminder since you can stick them anywhere you go.  
  2. Be realistic with your goal and the time frame in which you want to achieve it.  A weight loss goal of 50 lbs should not be set for 2 months from now. Instead, set a goal to lose 5 lbs in 4 weeks (that’s just over 1 lb. per week), and then when you reach that goal, make another one. Setting a series of small goals and reaching them will keep you motivated for the long haul.
  3. Establish a plan containing the steps you will take to achieve your goal. If you are trying to lose weight for the first time, you need a plan that is right for you.  Try hiring a personal trainer or nutritionist for a few sessions so he or she can set up a structured program for you to follow. If you can’t afford to hire anyone, come to Bradley Wellness Center and receive two personal training sessions for free. The first sessions include an assessment of your body and personal goals. The second session includes feedback from the first session along with a detailed workout regime to help get things on the right track.
  4. Prepare yourself mentally. A goal of weight loss and lifestyle change is not easy and takes hard work, preparation, persistence, and determination.  Make sure you are mentally prepared for such an undertaking before you start!  Prepare yourself for the fact that your journey isn’t going to be perfect, and you will probably have setbacks where you “fall off the wagon” for a day or two.  Instead of calling it quits at the first sign of discouragement, be ready for the hard times and keep moving toward your goal.  Remember that persistence is key!

I hope that the four steps that I have written in this article will help with your weight loss resolutions. Don’t let 2011 be like the last!  Surround yourself with people that are willing to help you reach your goals. Feel free to contact us  at the Bradley Wellness Center, at 706-278-WELL (9355) for a complimentary assessment or personal training.  We look forward to helping you!

Written by: Craig Dunn, Fitness Consultant, Bradley Wellness Center