Have you decided to lose weight this New Year? Weight loss is a perennially popular New Year’s resolution, along with “exercise more”, “spend less money” and “quit smoking”. The sad fact is that most people don’t stick to those resolutions for more than a month and by the end of January, a third of those who have made resolutions will have let them lapse, and by July more than half will be forgotten. However, according to research reported in the New York Times, if you make a resolution, you’re already ahead of the game and are more likely to succeed in reaching your goals than those who don’t bother with resolutions. Here are some of the strategies that can work for you:
Be specific: Instead of resolving to “lose weight”, experts advocate choosing more specific goals, perhaps to lose a pound a week. I suggest choosing five healthy habits you can commit to for the next 14 days. Some suggestions: drink one extra glass of water daily; eat one extra cup of vegetables daily, find an accountability buddy, exercise one extra day each week, write in a food journal every day. You’ll find more suggestions in my book The Omni Diet*. The Omni Diet will help you lose weight, but more important things are going to happen. I’m willing to bet that following the diet for just two weeks will lead to big changes in your health and your outlook including mental clarity, more energy and vitality (plus a slimmer waist and smaller butt). Those changes will be inspirational and can help keep you focused on the Omni Diet to change your life, your health and the size of your body.
Go Public: Announcing your plans to your friends via email or Facebook can help keep you focused on your goal. For the Omni Diet good strategies included planning meals a week in advance, purging your house of junk food, scheduling workouts with friends. Choose an “accountability buddy” to help you stay focused on the changes you’re making in your diet, exercise and health.
Bet on Success: Seriously, several studies have found that making a money bet can keep you focused and help you lose weight. One of the first, from the University of Pennsylvania, found that people given financial incentives to lose weight were more successful than those in a control group who followed the same program. About half of those in two groups vying for financial payoffs succeeded in losing 16 pounds in 16 weeks and on average people in these two groups lost more than 13 pounds compared to an average loss of only 3.9 pounds in the control group. I believe that to really, truly commit to a new way of eating and living, you’ve got to have some skin in the game. You have to make specific promises to yourself and identify what the consequence will be if you don’t keep your promises. Those consequences should be something that is uncomfortable for you, but beneficial in some way, either to yourself or others. Here are some that have worked for people in my Omni Diet classes:
Happy New Year and welcome to the Omni Diet* route to good food and lasting good health.
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