Health & Fitness

Strategy tips weight-loss resolution scales in your favor

Vague resolutions don’t work. The intensity of the promise will evaporate. Instead, give yourself a deadline or “end date.”
Vague resolutions don’t work. The intensity of the promise will evaporate. Instead, give yourself a deadline or “end date.” Dreamstime via TNS

Now that Christmas is in the rearview mirror and the new year is on the horizon, many of us are loosening our belts and preparing to make the most commonly broken resolution of all time: to lose weight and get in shape or get fit.

Those terms are so vague, they’re meaningless.

You may want to lose weight and you may want to put on some muscle, but by the third week, your motivation is gone. So here’s a tip: Don’t approach a promise to yourself by leaving it hanging in thin air — because the intensity of the promise will evaporate.

Instead, roll your vow into a specific time frame. For example, “I will eat less and work out three times a week until the end of January.” It may then be easier to extend that time frame out until the end of February or March.

If you start by making a beginning and an end time to your promise, you’ll find it much easier to keep your motivation hot and burning. For example: “I will keep this resolution until the end of March.”

Now you’ve removed the pressure. You only have to do it for a few months. Make a time frame that seems easy to you (it can be as little as three weeks). If you can see the end point, it will do a lot to remove temptation.

You don’t need to wait for a new year to make time-frame resolutions. Choose the next four weeks or the next month, and vow to cook for yourself during that time as much as possible.

There’s also a factor that works in your favor when changing your eating habits. It takes one to two weeks for your eye and your appetite to adjust to what looks like a less full plate. If you can make it past the adjustment period, you’ll feel full despite eating less food.

At the same time, it will take genuine effort for your body to get back into action after a period of being sedentary. And before stating it as “wanting to get fit,” define your goal further. Fit for what? What is the goal?

Do you want to run a mile without gasping for air at the end? Do you want to double your speed on the treadmill?

A thoroughly defined goal will make the achieving of it much easier.

Wina Sturgeon is the editor of the online magazine “Adventure Sports Weekly,” which offers the latest training, diet and athletic information.