Article credit www.pritikin.com
DO YOU START OUT STRONG IN JANUARY BUT FIZZLE BY FEBRUARY?
Here are five key recommendations, distilled from recent research on human behavior, on how to keep New Year’s Resolutions for health and weight loss.
“These five recommendations can help you eat better, exercise better, and live more joyously all year long,” encourages Dr. Coral Arvon, Director of Behavioral Health and Wellness at the Pritikin Longevity Center.
“When you have a concrete plan,” explains Dr. Arvon, “you have concrete direction.”
Tack your goals to your refrigerator or other location you pass by frequently. Seeing them every day means you won’t forget them. Plus, it’s a lot harder to dismiss them. They’re a commitment, in black and white, that you’ve made to yourself.
They’re also highly motivating because they’re a constant reminder, particularly the Life Goals, of the priceless rewards that await when you’ve achieved your goals.
Your Health Goals…
List all your Health Goals by completing the statement below. And do discuss your Health Goals with your physician because you want to make sure they are safe and achievable, and certainly, your physician may have tools/suggestions to help you along.
Your Life Goals…
To discover your Life Goals, ask yourself the following questions:
Take a little time determining your Life Goals. Sleep on them. Talk to family members. Jot some ideas down. Fine-tune them. Most importantly, read and repeat these Life Goals to yourself daily. They are your destination. And every day, time travel. “Drive” yourself into the future, imagining that your Life Goals have come true. Doing so might drive you, like nothing else, to stick with your New Year’s Resolutions.
List your Life Goals by completing the statement below.
I want to be healthy enough and energetic enough to…
Now you’re ready to begin! Congratulations! And always remember that each step toward your goals is a victory in and of itself.
Keep your snacks and lunches simple. For lunch, for example, Pritikin alum Rose Christo often needs just 2 ingredients – a box of frozen spinach and a container of low-sodium Tabatchnick Soup (located in the freezer section of supermarkets). She combines the spinach and soup, zaps them in the microwave, and voila, she has a big, steaming bowl of satisfying, low-calorie-dense, nutritious soup.
Real success isn’t about being the biggest loser. It’s about being the longest loser. For years, scientists involved with the Registry have been gathering information on men and women (they now total more than 10,000) who have been amazingly successful at shedding weight and keeping it off. The average Registry member has lost about 66 pounds and maintained that weight loss for more than five years. Researchers wanted to know: What makes these 10,000-plus people so successful? What are their habits? It turns out they tend to have a lot in common. Here are common characteristics that fuel their success:
Behavioral scientists have found that people who set aside money for forfeiture if they fail to meet weight-loss goals (realistic goals – no more than a pound or two a week) lose more weight over the course of several months than those in control groups. Money isn’t the only motivator. Making a commitment to exercise with a friend, for example, has also proven effective. That’s because your friendship is now on the line. You’re much more likely to get out of bed when the alarm goes off if you know your friend is waiting for you at the gym.
No one signs up for pain. Listen to your body while exercising. When it says “enough,” it probably is.
And take time for yourself every day, even if it’s only for a few moments.
Above all, focus on the positive. People who believe they will succeed are more likely to do so. Praise yourself, for example, for losing five pounds, but don’t punish yourself for gaining one back. Remind yourself that every day is a new day – and an opportunity to try again.