A New Year’s resolution that involves losing weight or getting fit is as old as tradition itself. But according to Forbes, the majority of people are only able to stick to their January health goals for only two months.
There are several factors as to why so many falter in their pursuit for healthier body weights; but all of which can thankfully be addressed by practising the right methods.
Mental Health Comes First
Shedding off access weight is a daunting task, especially when it’s executed without proper guidance or a strategy. When the weighing scales aren’t tipping the right way, it’s easy to feel disheartened, reinforcing the notion that losing excess weight is impossible.
According to glamour.com, dieting can lead to a decline in mental health causing eating disorders, depression, lowered self-esteem, and reduced quality of life. So the key is to seek a physician or dietitian to help you understand your body type and what type of diets suit your goals. Oftentimes, diet plans are flexible and can include cheat days which are essential for allowing you to enjoy the finer things in life without worrying about your waistline.
For extra points, try to avoid comparing yourself with the influencers you see on your Instagram reels. The point is that at some point, you would’ve reached your target weight, regardless of how long it took compared to others.
Setting Reasonable Goals
We get it, six-pack abs and defined posterious are still all the rage – we wished we had them too. But trying to attain what typically takes years to achieve in a short span of time can be detrimental to your health (ironically).
Your long-term diet plan – be it for health reasons or aesthetic motives – should include milestones at shorter intervals. For example, focus on losing 2 kg in your first month by maintaining a caloric deficit – consume less processed foods and sugar, then move more often to build strength. Then, you can ramp up your routine and focus on losing 3 kg the next month – implement more intense exercises and explore simple fasting methods such as intermittent fasting.
By the time December comes rolling in, you’ll realise you have lost a considerable amount of weight, you’re now stronger, and can finally fit in skinny jeans!
Keep Your Diets Interesting
Nobody wants to eat boiled chicken and plain rice every day – not that we’re judging if you do – so it’s important that your daily meal plans are varied enough so you don’t develop food fatigue. Don’t be afraid to explore new types of foods or ingredients, so long as they’re easily attainable and do not break the bank.
When you’re busy, always have a go-to spot that offers variety – ours is usually the humble chap fan or economy rice. For the uninitiated, chap fan is a budget-friendly meal that lets you pick any dish to eat alongside a bed of rice. The dish is so customisable that every pilgrimage to the chap fan stall can be entirely unique.
Other similar dishes include the nasi kandar, bento, build-your-own salads, and tapas. The only rule of thumb when selecting your dishes is that they should contain portions of protein, roughage, and healthy fats (such as nuts and fish).
Motivation and Discipline
Your fitness resolution is uniquely your own and so are the motivations that drive you from the very first month. Because of that, it is also entirely your responsibility to see your goals achieved – and this is the hardest part about losing weight, and also keeping it off. To stay disciplined, always remember why you want to shed the weight in the first place; perhaps it’s to fit in the wedding attire that you love, or maybe it’s part of your bucket list.
Always having your goals at the back of your mind acts as a filter for when you’re bombarded with thoughts of binge eating or having one-too-many fizzy drinks. Form a routine around checking your weight perhaps once a week or once a month – this way, you can keep track of what strategies work, and what doesn’t.
While it’s okay to skip the gym once in a while or indulge in a three-cheese pizza during a night out, it’s important to have the willpower to jump right back into your plan so you see the numbers go down the next time you check.
With these tips, you’re well on your way to starting, and most importantly keeping your New Year’s diet resolution on track for the year.