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The average American who wants to lose weight will make four attempts this year and only one in six of them will see long-term success. Statistics also show it takes 21 days to create a habit and if the results aren’t coming, giving up becomes easy. This year, instead of giving up on your resolution, stay motivated and push through.
As you renew your personal resolutions this month, check out these six strategies to recharge your health engagement.
* Get rid of the diet mentality. Many people talk about “diet” as a verb and focus on the act of restricting. Dieting is a temporary effort and one that forces too many changes all at once. On top of this, dieting doesn’t allow enough time to show change, cultivates a negative mindset and focuses on deprivation instead of nourishment. Begin to think of diet as a noun to refer to the kinds of foods you choose to eat and envision your healthy lifestyle as an “in it for good” behavior change.
* Enlist the power of visuals. Make healthy outcome goals more visible in your daily life to serve as a reminder to stay motivated. Visual prompts can be powerful cues to make good choices and keep the faith in your journey. Use a picture of yourself at the beach at a time when you felt your best, a collection of photos doing active things or create a motivational bulletin board. Hang an inspirational quote on your mirror or choose a goal outfit and hang it in plain view.
* Track progress, not perfection. Set specific behavior goals and monitor the progress with a simple yes or no. Focus not on perfection but on progress and set an achievable target to make the behavior impactful and meaningful. For example, if your goal is to lose 20 pounds of fat over the next year, look at the built-in progress-markers and instead average that out and you can see it will only take 0.38 lbs of fat loss per week to reach that outcome.
* Recruit a healthy eating/workout buddy (or advisor). Put some skin in the game by partnering with someone who can help you (or challenge you) to comply with the key behaviors in your program like strength training two-to-four times per week, taking a few walking breaks at work each day, or preparing a pile of vegetables with each meal. Sharing the journey with someone else drastically increases motivation and progress. If you need advice or accountability, consider working with a trainer. Trainers will customize a workout to help keep you on track with fitness resolutions and can show you some new exercises to help target an area you want to focus on, hold you accountable and be a great shoulder to cry on during the tough days.
* Get your assessments done. Eliminate the guesswork and create certainty that your health-focused time and efforts are effectively addressing your biggest metabolic barriers. Using assessments allows you to hone your program down to the day-to-day behaviors. For example, if insulin resistance tendencies are discovered in a blood test, you will be able to confidently work with a personalized strength training plan two-to-four times per week and customized “smart” interval training a few days each week while replacing much of your dietary starches with fibrous vegetables, proteins, or healthy fats to seriously cut belly fat and improve your metabolic health.
* Hit the ‘reset’ button and detoxify yourself. A more intensive re-boot option is to embark on a safe and effective detoxification program, like Life Time’s D.TOX. Whether you’re trying to kickstart your weight loss, break through a plateau in your program, reset lifestyle habits, or simply support your body’s ability to remove the toxins you’ve harbored over time in body fat, a few dedicated weeks of cleaner living, eating, and resting can leave you feeling (and looking) younger and more resilient.
Regardless of your goals, don’t give up. Reset and recharge your approach to fitness, nutrition and overall health and focus on living a healthier lifestyle from here on out.