The first week of January has been dubbed Diet Resolution Week. Losing weight is one of the most popular New Year’s Resolutions, along with eating healthier and getting fit. In your plan for 2021, try including some of the following:

1. Determine your why.
Before you begin, establish your why. Why do you want to lose weight?

2. Figure out what is your highest need—Safety & Security, Connection, Significance, Freedom and Joy.
If you don’t know, take the assessments here

3. Develop a reason that matches your highest need.
For example, if your reason for losing weight was so you could be healthier, but Safety & Security is one of your lowest needs, that reason likely won’t carry you all the way to your goal. My highest needs are Connection and Freedom, so when I began my weight release journey in 2020, I found it helpful to construct a reason that spoke to those needs. My answer for why I wanted to lose weight is so I can have more time to be active in the lives of my grandchildren (Connection) and the ability to be free from the aches and pains so common in overweight individuals (Freedom). These are the reasons I remember when I consider deviating from my weight release plan.

4. Write out your reason.
Post it in multiple places where you might be tempted to regress to prior habits—on the refrigerator door, the dash of your car, your phone, your wallet or your bathroom mirror where you brush your teeth. Remind yourself of the deep, burning desire—why you are embarking on and completing this journey. 

5. Find the plan that works for you.
There are so many weight-loss plans available. There’s Weight Watchers, KETO, South Beach, Jenny Craig, Nutrisystem and Intermittent Fasting just to name a few. They don’t all work the same for everybody. Research, experiment and learn the one that works the best for you, your body and your goals.

6. Be sure to consult your doctor or a nutritionist.
If you are working to lose more than 20 pounds, be safe and talk with your doctor or a nutritionist about your plans. The mother of one of my girlfriends died following the liquid protein diet of the ‘70s. It is also possible to develop an eating disorder without proper supervision. Be safe and work with a professional.

7. Add instead of subtract.
When tracking your weight loss, track pounds released instead of counting down from how many pounds you want to lose. There is a psychological advantage to adding instead of subtracting. 

8. Talk about the weight you’ve released instead of the weight you’ve lost.
No one likes to lose things. 

9. Listen to your body.
Keep track of what you eat and how you feel afterward. Your body will tell you what’s good for you and what causes you to feel gassy, fatigued, anxious or energized. Pay attention.

10. Drink lots of water.
It is recommended that you drink half of your body weight in ounces daily. For example, if you weigh 240 pounds, you need to drink 120 ounces of water daily. If you weigh 160 pounds, drink 80 ounces of water each day.

11. Eat more vegetables and protein than carbohydrates, especially sugars.

12. Don’t deny yourself guilty pleasures.
But don’t overindulge, either. You will have cravings; this is normal. When you get them, tell yourself that you can eat anything you want but that you don’t want to right now. This satisfies the Freedom need. You’ll find that cravings often disappear after simply waiting them out. If you can’t abate the cravings this way, give yourself permission to have a bite or two. This also satisfies the Freedom need; just exercise enough self-control to stop with moderation.

13. Sleep seven to eight hours each night.
Humans require seven to eight hours of sleep each night. When you get less, it stresses your body, creating an excess of cortisol and adrenaline which messes with your ability to sleep well, causing your body to hold onto fat. This makes it more difficult to realize your weight-release goals.

Follow these tips along with whatever eating plan you choose, and watch the weight you want to release disappear. Happy New Year!

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