Go on you can tell us – what are your big plans for 2018? Are you planning a nice holiday? Attending a special event? Or perhaps you’re aiming to have a quieter year than the one that’s just been.

Whatever lays in store, it might be wise to think of a New Years Resolution that’ll boost your weight loss progress and benefit your overall health.

While exercising more and losing weight are two of the most popular resolutions according to a poll by The Telegraph, with 38 per cent and 33 per cent taking this vow respectively, their long term success is somewhat ill-fated.  In fact, research indicates only 8 per cent of people manage to stick to their resolution and achieve their goals. Yikes!

But why is this? We think it might have something to do with the kind of resolutions being made. Committing to ‘exercising more’ isn’t particularly clear. What does ‘more’ mean? How will it be measured? What is the expected outcome?

With this in mind, we are going to show you how to make the right kind of weight and health related New Years Resolution, and which ones to avoid.

1. Your Resolution Should Be Specific

Specificity aids clarity, and when you’re clear about what you’re doing, it’s easier to achieve something. Too often, resolutions are vague. For example, ‘I am going to lose a lot of weight in January’ is an unclear goal. But adapting this to ‘I am going to lose a total of 11lbs in January and a further 16lbs by March’ gives a measurement to aspire to.

And you can be even more specific that that! Why not split your ideal loss into mini goals so that you can really stay on target? For example, you might decide to lose 3lbs per week for four weeks, and then 2lbs a week for another two months after that. If you become a member of The Hairy Bikers Diet Club, you can complete a weekly weigh in and chart your progress to stay on track.

2. Your Resolution Should Be Realistic

Frequently, life goals can be a little overly ambitious, so your best chances of success lay in realistic goal setting. If you work in a largely immobile job, spend long hours driving and live in the middle of the countryside, you’re not likely to visit a gym each morning, so best steer clear of gym-based resolutions. Instead, make sure each milestone is achievable, that way you won’t flatten your motivation during the first week.

Here’s an example: If you live in a remote area, you might decide to take a stroll twice a week around the village and work out your expected weight loss according to that routine. After a few weeks, you might turn one of those strolls into a jog. You get the idea!

3. Your Resolution Shouldn’t Punish You

Just because you’re trying to slim down doesn’t mean all of your favourite food is off the menu. If you set a New Years resolution to eat more salad, but you don’t really enjoy salad, you’re simply punishing yourself and will eventually fall off the wagon. Think about the healthy foods you do enjoy and see if you can find a way to incorporate more of them into your diet. Similarly, eat the treats your enjoy, but consider reducing the portion sizes or investigate sensible ingredient swaps. As for exercise, find an activity or sport you actually look forward to, and avoid committing to something you know you’re going to dread.

4. Your Resolution Should Tie In With Your January Budget

With an anticipated 370,000 of us seeking debt advice in January, it’s crucial that New Years resolutions are affordable.

Should your January meal plan consist of expensive ingredients that’ll push you into your overdraft, you might want to give it a reshuffle. Get out your calculator and predict how much your month’s shopping will cost. Now, add that figure to your other January outgoings and deduct it from your expected income. If it’s looking a little tight, select meals that are typically cheap to make (for example, The Hairy Dieters Chicken and Vegetable Pasta Bake) and cook those in bulk to freeze for later in the month.

Other easy-to-freeze meals include

And there are bucket loads more recipes available when you sign up to become a Hairy Bikers Diet Club Member!

So, what will your health related New Years Resolution be? Here’s some ideas:

  • To lose x amount by [date]
  • To lose x amount per week for x amount of weeks
  • To reduce your waistline by x number of inches by [date]
  • To swim once a week at the local pool for 30 minutes
  • To join a gym and commit to x number of sessions per week/month
  • To take a daily/weekly x-mile walk with friends or a walking group

Happy New Year and we look forward to celebrating your weight loss success in 2018!

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