Making resolutions for the new year is a 4,000-year old tradition, so if you’re hoping to make 2014 the year you get healthier, fitter, or happier, you have about four millennia worth of company. To help you on your way, we’ll be posting 10 science-backed action steps for a popular resolution every day through January 10. Be sure to check back for hints and tips to kick off your best year yet!
If you’re looking to lose weight after an indulgent holiday season, you’re not alone. A 2012 survey estimated that the number of American adults who are dieting jumps from 34 million during the holidays to 50 million in the first two weeks of January. Use these tips to stay on track and meet your weight loss goals — plus check out our massive list of tricks for losing weight the healthy, science-backed way.
1. Set a realistic goal.
Think about what you can reasonably expect to be able to lose given your routine, lifestyle, upcoming trips and parties, and so on. Setting goals that are too lofty can hamper long-term weight loss.
2. Pump iron.
Strength training gets you toned, buff, and it boosts metabolism, which aids in weight loss.
3. Expect success and fight to stay positive.
Weight loss can be as much a mental game as a physical one. Successful weight loss is associated with positive expectations.
Almost every favorite dish can be made healthier with a substitution.Try trading avocado or unsweetened applesauce for butter and vanilla for sugar. Heck, even sugar-laden desserts can be swapped out with healthier desserts.
5. Picture yourself eating something.
Research shows that picturing yourself eating a particular food can decrease our desire to eat it.
6. Keep a diary.
Successful weight loss and food diaries are a match made in heaven — research shows that recording what and when you eat aids in losing weight. If you’re more likely to tap on your phone than scribble on a pad, move your food diary to a mobile or desktop app. Research has shown that using online tech to track progress aids weight loss efforts.
Short, intense bouts of exercise like tabatas can help reduce body fat and provide a powerful workout in a short time.
8. Curb overeating.
Portion control makes all the difference when it comes to weight loss.
9. Savor every bite.
Eating slowly gives your body a chance to feel full, making it less likely that you’ll overeat.
10. Guzzle water.
Drinking water keeps us feeling full, which means fewer calories consumed.
Which of these tips will help you most as you try to lose weight in the new year? Let us know in the comments below or get in touch with us on Twitter.