Chances are if you’ve set a New Year’s resolution it has something to do with losing weight. Weight loss was last year’s number one resolution according to researchers at the University of Scranton, yet only eight percent of people achieved their goal.
Up your chance for success with these three secrets to attaining a healthy weight:
Set a realistic goal and plan.
When setting your healthy weight goal, it’s essential you don’t bite off more than you can chew. Yes, it’s critical to set a goal, but it’s equally important to make that goal a realistic fit for you and your lifestyle.
Remember, your primary care provider is a wonderful resource for helping map out a tailored plan for eating the right foods and getting enough exercise. Also, if you’re struggling to meet your goal, your provider may discover an underlying medical issue holding you back. Your provider is your personal health partner, but only if you start the conversation.
Find a workout buddy.
Studies consistently show the power of having a workout buddy. One study published by the Society of Behavioral Medicine in 2012 showed that people who rode an exercise bike with a buddy rode a whopping 87 percent longer than when they rode solo. A friend can provide support, accountability and the motivation you need to meet your goal, plus they provide healthy competition.
Depending on your schedule and lifestyle, a good workout buddy may be a co-worker, friend, spouse or family member. The important thing to remember is it’s best to have someone who has similar goals and fitness level. For Anne Arundel Medical Center (AAMC) employee Tyraia Colbert, her mom is the perfect workout buddy.
Struggling to find someone? Join a fitness class and search out someone of a similar fitness level. Or, enlist your dog as your buddy. Enjoy a walk or run while giving your dog some much-needed exercise.
Track your progress.
Have you ever had a car that showed your average miles per gallon at the touch of a button or a thermostat that showed how much your heat was on throughout the day? It comes as no surprise that people who use this sort of technology end up getting better gas mileage or lower energy bills. Similarly, technology can help you stay on track with your healthy weight goal, too.
Whether you use an app to track the foods you eat or a fitness bracelet that tracks your steps and heart rate, there are lots of options out there to help you track improvement. And when you see your progress, it helps you see what’s possible.
Ultimately, these three tips are all about building an effective support and accountability system to help you make healthy lifestyle changes. With this system in place, you’re much more likely to beat the odds and stick to your weight loss resolution.