Don’t Wait Til January To Lose Weight!

Photo: Liz Navarrete

If you plan to start your new diet or weight loss plan in January, why not start today?!! Why not make today Day 1 of your weight loss journey? Today is December 14, so if you get started today, you will jump start your weight loss more than two weeks early, and it will motivate you to continue in the new year! Weight loss is a long and tedious process, so the sooner you start, the better! There are so many people that make a New Year’s Resolution to lose weight, but do you want to be one of the many people that start well but then quickly fall off the bandwagon?

Think about if you had a jump start to quit smoking. Imagine you were hospitalized and unable to smoke for three weeks. By the end of the three weeks, your body was already adjusting to being smoke-free! It would be sooo much easier to then continue your life without smoking.

Being overweight started with unhealthy habits, so losing weight will require forming new habits. Anyone can start a new habit by repeating the desired activity every day for several weeks. So if you start a healthy habit on December 14, your new habit will be almost formed by January 1st! And by the end of January, it will be a solid and natural part of your lifestyle!

Any part of your weight loss that is not changing your unhealthy habits for healthier ones will likely not last. You can make drastic changes to lose large amounts of weight quickly, but if you are not forming long-term healthy habits, you will gain back the weight once your lifestyle reverts back to your old ways. So here is my action plan for you…today!

Step 1. Select your weight loss program, and write it down at the top of the first page of a journal, notebook, or note page on your phone. For example: My Weight Loss Plan: Dec 14, 2017: Weight Watchers. I will begin weight watchers today and complete it for two months.
Step 2. Select your exercise plan, and write it down. Example: I will walk in my neighborhood for twenty minutes per day, 5 days per week, for the next two months.
Step 3. Share your plan with someone who will hold you accountable regularly (every week or even every day).
Step 4. Weigh in. Write down your starting weight. You will not weigh in again for at least 1-2 weeks, if you are consistent with your new eating and exercising habits.
Step 5. Write down your plan for tomorrow that includes your new habits. For example, I will exercise for twenty minutes at 4:00 pm.  I will not drink any Coke. I will not buy any fast food.

Here are some other examples of healthy habits you may want to incorporate:
-I will start a “Subway Diet”, which includes a 6-inch sub for every lunch this week (instead of fast food).
-I will replace chips with light popcorn.
-I will decrease my soda intake by 50%.
-I will eliminate sweet tea from my diet and replace it with unsweet tea.
-I will decrease fast food meals from three times daily to one time daily.
-I will pack my lunch for work this week, including healthy and fresh items.
-I will drink 5 glasses of water every day instead of sugary drinks.
-I will go to a Zumba class two days per week.
-I will not buy ice cream to keep at my house.
-I will join Planet Fitness and go there every day on my way home from work.
-I will watch one less hour of TV and replace it with cooking/cleaning.
-I will write down everything I eat tomorrow and share it with my accountability partner.
-I will buy a pedometer or Fit Bit, and take at least 10,000 steps every day.

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I am a Physical Therapist and Ergonomics Consultant, based out of Columbia, SC. My passion is to write about and speak about pain/injury prevention. I started Pain Talks as a consulting business in 2018.

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