December 31, 2015

New Year’s Resolutions are often made and usually broken. Why do we bother?

45% of people usually make a resolution. The number one New Year’s Resolution is weight loss. If we were any good at sticking to our resolutions then overweight and obesity would not be a problem.

The drawback with a New Year’s Resolution seems to be that the idea is completely attached to the ‘New Year’ part. According to Statistic Brain Research Institute:

  • 75% of people maintain their resolution through the first week.
  • 71% manage two weeks.
  • 64% can last one month.
  • 46% are still at it after 6 months.

So if half the people can’t make lasting change, how do we go about achieving what we want?

Too many people have no idea about how to make the change. “This year I’m going to lose weight” is all very well, but how? What will you do? Is it healthy? Is it sustainable? Do you have support? Is your goal clear?

If your 2015 resolution was to lose weight and you weren’t able to make it happen, you’ll need to try something different for 2016. Instead of a Resolution, set a goal.

The term ‘lose weight’ is vague. You’re successful by losing 100 grams, though most people won’t feel successful if that’s all they manage. Being specific with the amount, eg “I want to lose 10 kilograms” makes the goal more precise, and you’re better able to evaluate your success.

Determine whether it’s actually weight loss you want, or body fat loss. ‘Weight loss’ can occur by losing fat or muscle or fluid or – dare we say – even a limb. ‘Weight loss’ is indiscriminate and the scales don’t evaluate how it occurred.

‘Fat loss’ is different. Losing body fat while maintaining muscle and hydration (and all limbs) means that your metabolism still functions well, your body shape changes, muscles become more toned, and energy levels are high.

So if it’s really ‘fat loss’ that you want, you need to eat and exercise well to make this a reality. It’s likely that you’ll need help determining all the ins and outs to ensure that whatever you do actually works for your body.

The strategy that works for your sister or friend or personal trainer probably won’t work for you. Every body is different and, as such, every body needs a personalised approach to ensure that the diet and exercise strategy is suitable. Most people need help in working this out while also creating new habits to help them keep the weight off. No wonder most people don’t last with the New Year’s Resolution.

Instead of a Resolution, decide on a goal and a realistic time-frame for achieving that goal. ‘Next week’ is unlikely to be realistic. If you need help, please contact your nearest Healthy Inspirations centre. They can help you develop the right plan for your body, so that you get fat loss, improved health and wellness, and sustainable habits.

This time next year will see you making goals that have nothing to do with weight loss.