If I see one more commercial about quitting smoking or joining Weight Watchers, so help me God, I am calling the FCC to file an official complaint. I have nothing against people creating goals for themselves, or even using the beginning of a new calendar year to jump start more healthy decisions. But too often, people create resolutions that aren’t really resolutions at all, they’re delusions.
“I’m going to lose 50 pounds.” That’s not a resolution. That’s a dream. And that dream will only become a reality if you make some hard daily (sometimes hourly) choices, over an extended amount of time. You want a resolution you can stick to? Resolve to create a plan. And then stick to the plan.
So how do you make a plan, so your resolutions aren’t delusions?
First, you need a clear, unbiased assessment of where you currently stand. If your goal is to lose weight, Bod Pod Assessments are the industry standard in understanding your body composition. The assessments take about 20 minutes, and at the end, you are left with three undeniable numbers that will help formulate your plan: what percentage of your body weight is muscle, what percentage is fat, and how many calories you need to eat on a daily basis.
Second, change your mindset. The world has told you that to lose weight, you have to give up everything you love and only eat kale salad. That couldn’t be further from the truth. In fact, most people that I’ve worked with come to find that they are not eating nearly enough! True, your choices may need to change, but the number of calories you need to eat will be higher than you think—meaning that you aren’t going to go hungry on your journey.
Then, change your mindset again. This isn’t the biggest loser. You aren’t going to have some crazy body transformation overnight, and definitely not in the first week. For most people, it takes at least 6 weeks of new, healthy habits in order to begin to see and feel results. (Once again, healthy habits doesn’t mean eating a boring kale salad every day.) It means eating lean protein, complex carbohydrates, vegetables, and getting enough calories so your body can begin to work off excess fat.
Build in some accountability. My newest clients always send me photos of the meals they are eating, so they know that someone else is seeing what they’re about to consume. Get someone in your life to help keep you honest—commit to send them those pictures when you eat (several meals during the day).
Don’t use a scale, use a mirror. This is one of my favorite before and after photos.
You know why? Guess how much weight this woman lost between week 1 and week 3. Most people guess somewhere in the 10 pound range. Nope. Way too high. This client lost just 5 pounds in the first few weeks. But when you’re eating right and exercising, your body sheds fat, not muscle. Losing fat makes your body look different. The softness goes away, revealing the compact muscles you want to show the world. So do yourself a favor. Don’t get on a scale. Take some before and after photos of your own, and use the mirror as your litmus test for success.
Watch the numbers change. The great thing about starting a plan with numbers, is that you can measure your success—and not in pounds, but in percentages. Set a goal for your plan—how long will you commit to a new way of eating? Once that time is up, take another Bod Pod Assessment, and check out how your numbers change.
The goal isn’t to become a different person. It’s not to go hungry or change overnight. It’s to make small, meaningful steps with conviction and determination. So take that new year’s resolutions. We’re doing it. And we’re not remotely delusional.