Why Do New Year’s Weight Loss Resolutions Fail?

Beat the Quitters Day Odds

Recently, on LinkedIn, I asked how many people would make a New Year’s Resolution related to weight loss, health, fitness, or simply eating healthier. I also posted a video discussing how while well over 80% of people make that kind of a New Year’s resolution, well over 60% give up on what is sarcastically referred to as Quitters Day, the 2nd Friday in January. My responses to my poll question were typical; 50%, albeit a small sample, said they would be making a New Year’s Resolution involving one of those categories. Our clients at Maynestreet Weight Loss & Wellness continually let us know how when this time of year rolls around, THEY DO NOT HAVE TO MAKE THIS SAME RESOLUTION AGAIN. We invite you to experience that same amazing feeling. We are here to help. Here are some tips to help you if you choose to make this journey on your own.

So, what’s going on? Why do many people relinquish their New Year’s Resolution before the first month? Here are some thoughts and tips on beating those odds and making this New Year’s Resolution to get to your ideal weight, get fit, eat healthier, and be more beneficial than the last time you had to make it.

Challenge – We tend to stuff ourselves from Halloween through New Year’s Day, already permitting ourselves, because we will stop all that on January 2. Poof, just like that, we will alter all of our less-than-positive personal habits. Here are a couple of tips for BEFORE January 2.

Tip – Understand that when you do the “it’s okay, January 2, I will stop all this eating and couch potatoing,” you are simply giving yourself an excuse to eat and drink as much as possible while binging on shows, enjoying football, or claiming that it’s much too nasty outside to go for a walk. WHY NOT STOP PERMITTING YOURSELF TO PIG OUT? Try this approach; I will enjoy the holidays, spend time with family and friends, and savor the positive energy of the holiday season. I will remember that I AM IN CONTROL, and while I may make some less-than-healthy food and drink choices, I will limit this to one or two days a week, not every day. I will fill my plate once with whatever I want, focus on healthier choices for the largest portions and not go back for seconds. Who needs bread with all the other yummy stuff on the holidays? Dessert, pick your favorite and have a small piece, savor it.

Tip – Lead by example. Your family and friends may pressure you into “one more slice of pizza,” another freshly baked chocolate chip cookie, or a late-night fast food binge. Please bring something to the gathering that you can freely munch on and help them eat healthier—a fruit platter, veggie platter, raw nuts, unsalted popcorn, etc. Make a big salad to bring or bake using liquid Stevia instead of sugar OR buy a No Sugar Added cake or pie. No, it’s not the BEST choice if you are already working on weight loss, but it is a BETTER CHOICE. Choose liquor straight with fresh fruit or club soda—vodka soda with lime, tequila with fresh orange squeezed in, bourbon and water, or light beer. Do not have sweet drinks, stay away from wine, and, of course, drink water, water, water throughout the day/evening.

Challenge – Make a New Year’s Resolution that you can stick to.

TIP – Start with a reasonable goal that feels doable. For example, I will eat clean and healthy 80% of the time for the next month. How best to do this? Crowd out the starches, bread, fats, fried foods, sugars and dairy products. Fill your plate or bowl (I eat everything out of a bowl) with tons of non-starchy vegetables, having fun creating a very colorful variety. You get the idea: greens, broccoli, cauliflower, green beans, cucumber, tomato, onion, red, yellow, orange peppers, carrots, zucchini, asparagus, and celery. Steam them, air fry them, and throw them on the grill. I love onions softened in the microwave in a bowl with some water and then wrapped in foil and placed on the grill. Add lean protein; meat, poultry, fish, seafood, tofu, tempeh, or eggs (try 1 whole with 2 egg-whites.)

TIP – Get out and walk. Start slow if you haven’t been doing any exercising. Settle on 10 minutes per day, three days per week. Enjoy the fresh air, bundle up if it’s cold, put a book on your phone, listen to music, whatever it takes. JUST 10 MINUTES THREE TIMES PER WEEK FOR ONE MONTH. You will love it and drive your motivation to do more. Finding that you are doing more than 10 minutes is GREAT; that’s a bonus. Congratulations.

TIP – The Scale. It would be best if you didn’t become obsessed with a number, but weighing yourself daily will give you an idea of progress. It also helps you understand what works best for your body. We are all different regarding food and how it works or doesn’t work for us on our health journey. Pay attention to the days the scale goes down. It would be best to use a digital scale because every ounce matters. If the scale doesn’t move or goes up a bit, consider it part of your experiment to learn about YOU. Keep going. Many of our clients notice a definite pattern for a couple of weeks.

TIP – Last but certainly not least. Drink half your body weight in ounces every day. Plain water; do not count your coffee, tea, club soda, or anything but WATER. You don’t need alkaline water; that is marketing hype. Set a timer on your phone to remind you and work on getting it in before six, so you aren’t up late at night (especially at the beginning).