Put the pieces together to achieve weight-loss goal

Paula Reece

Your New Year’s resolutions likely will include weight loss. Given the year we’ve had, it’s understandable weight loss will be an even more common goal than usual.

You might think it’s easy to jump in on Jan. 1. Perhaps you feel excited, motivated and committed. Even with the best plans, weight loss constitutes a difficult endeavor. How do you stay on the right path to fulfill your goal?

Keep in mind that weight loss is a multi-faceted goal. That’s what makes it so difficult. You get set in your ways, and making changes can be tough. Successful weight loss involves nutrition, exercise, motivation, time and a specific mindset. Here are some tips to help you in each area:

Nutrition goes hand in hand with weight loss. It’s your fuel for everything you do. In simple terms, if you consume more calories than you burn, you’ll gain weight. Although it’s not actually that simple, try to think of it as “good” choices versus “bad” choices. Choosing to eat an apple is a better choice than eating a cookie. Be sure to drink plenty of water. Sometimes you’re just thirsty rather than hungry. Eating several small meals a day will keep you from becoming so hungry you snack and binge. The best tip? Avoid mindless eating — while you’re on the telephone, in front of the television or in your car. Those are the calories that add up. Instead, take time to enjoy the foods you’re eating.

Exercise not only aids in weight loss, but also provides numerous health benefits. Strive for a workout to raise your heart rate. This strengthens your heart and burns calories. By adding strength training, you’ll gain muscle that burns more calories than fat. Not only will you be burn more calories, but you’ll also become more toned and look better.

Setting a goal is the easy part. Sticking to it is the hard part. Staying motivated EVERY DAY can be a challenge. Consider weighing yourself once week and making a log of your progress. Tell others close to you what you goal is and share your ups and downs with them. This will keep you accountable. Write down a motivational quote every week and put it on your mirror where you can see it daily. Keep that goal in front of you. Keep your eyes on the prize.

Weight loss is a time-consuming process. That’s why it’s important to plan your weekly meals. Shop and cook on weekends to prepare for the coming week. Write down your exercise classes and workout times in your daily planner. Schedule them as if they’re an appointment you can’t miss. Make time for yourself. This goal is important to you, so make it happen. Make time for what’s important.

Achieving your weight-loss goal is a mindset. You’re the only one who knows how important it is to you. The reasons behind your weight-loss goal are unique to you. Maybe it’s your self-image, a special event or health issue. Make sure you remind yourself every day why you’re doing this.

By putting the pieces together, you’ll be successful not only in losing weight, but also creating a healthy lifestyle.