How To Keep That 2013 Weight Loss Resolution In Shape

NEW YORK (MainStreet) — Millions of determined Americans will step on a scale today, committed to a diet and exercise program that will help them shed excess pounds for a healthier 2013.

After all, it is the beginning of January, and that’s when New Year’s resolution’s are at their strongest.

But hold the phone — or, more accurately, hold that slice of cheesecake.

Studies show Americans don’t last too long on their New Year’s weight loss resolutions.

The web site StatisticBrain.com, reporting on data from the University of Scranton and the Journal of Clinical Psychology, says the top resolution this year is losing weight.

But while 75% of Americans will work hard and keep that resolution going through the first week of the year, by July 1 that number drops well below 40% as the months peel off the calendar.

It really doesn’t have to be that way. Losing weight and being diligent isn’t easy, but it’s highly doable.

At least, that’s the opinion of researchers from the University of Houston’s Obesity Research Center.

While New Year’s self-promises can “fizzle out quickly,” the center says that with a little discipline and some serious effort, those resolutions can be achievable. Here’s a snapshot of some key strategies researchers maintain can turn a broken New Year’s promise into a highly successful realized one:

No beating yourself up. If you do slip up and miss jogging for a few days, or break down and have an extra cheeseburger while watching this week’s Patriots-Texans playoff tilt, there is no need for despair. If you miss a jog, get up and go first thing the next morning. If you eat too much, eat less the next day.

Take notes. Your chances of keeping a resolution active and rolling are better if you keep a journal, or at least “document the evidence.” Write down your successes and failures (start with your daily weight figure) and log your daily physical activities. With your resolution down there in black and white, staring right back up there at you, it’s easier to stay motivated and keep your weight loss campaign online.

Aim for 30. University of Houston researchers say a minimum of 30 minutes per day of exercise will wake a world of difference and yield measurable results. Also, be creative with your 30-minutes mission. “This should make you sweat a little bit, like walking fast, but even vigorous housework can count,” says University of Houston researchers. “Take yourself sightseeing or plan an activity where you will be able to move around. Even window shopping is better than sitting on the couch. Daily physical activity significantly improves your body functioning on a cellular level, and your body is better able to lose and avoid gaining weight.”

Get help. Build a support team and use it to meet your weight loss goals. Friends and family can root you on, hold you accountable and act as a sounding board when things get tough. Ask them to jog with you or join you for a salad. When it comes to losing weight, there really is strength in numbers.

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