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12 Tips to Succeed at Your Weight Loss Resolutions

by
author image Jess Barron
Jess Barron is head of editorial at LIVESTRONG.COM.She has appeared on MSNBC's "The Most," ABC News Now, and XM satellite radio. Barron's writing has appeared on Wired.com, Yahoo! and Poprocks.com.

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12 Tips to Succeed at Your Weight Loss Resolutions
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Living a healthier lifestyle and losing weight were among the top New Year's resolutions in 2016, according to personal finance website GOBankingRate.com. With the CDC reporting that more than 70 percent of Americans are overweight, it is highly likely that fitness, health and weight loss will top many people's resolution lists again this year. The good news is that people who deliberately make resolutions are 10 times more likely to meet their goals than people who don't. Unfortunately, only 8 percent of those people are able to succeed at them entirely to their satisfaction. Break that statistic with these tips to ensure your weight-loss success.

1. Make Your Goals Measurable
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1 MAKE YOUR GOALS MEASURABLE

For example, instead of saying that your resolution is to "lose weight," it is more effective to set a well-defined measurable goal such as "I’d like to lose one to two pounds per week until I reach my goal of fifteen pounds lost" or "my goal is to fit back into my favorite pair of jeans." Similarly, if you have a fitness resolution, rather than saying your goal is to "get strong" or "get fit," it's likely to be more effective if you set concrete goals such as "my goal to be able to do 50 push-ups" or "I will go to the gym 5 days per week." Instead of saying that your New Year's resolution is to "eat healthy," you'll be more likely to achieve the success you're looking for if you set a goal such as "I will eat 4 servings of vegetables every day."

2. Commit Yourself to Your Goal
portrait of young girl hugging her dog

2 COMMIT YOURSELF TO YOUR GOAL

It may sound stupid, but writing it down is a way to focus and commit yourself. Write in your notebook or a day planner or in a Facebook status or on Twitter. “This January and February, I will do 30-minute workouts 6 days a week to complete the STRONGER 8-Week Challenge,” is what I wrote. You might write: “I commit to tracking my food daily on LIVESTRONG’s calorie tracker for 30 days.” Or you might write: “I will walk for 40 minutes a day during my lunch break.”

Related: LIVESTRONG.COM's Free MyPlate Calorie Tracker

3. Tell Your Friends and Family
owner caressing gently her dog

3 TELL YOUR FRIENDS AND FAMILY

Share your resolution with your friends and family, and ask them what their resolutions are. This way, they understand your intention and what you are aiming to do, and some of them may even support you in it. You might also find that some of their goals are also to lose weight, eat healthy, exercise more or get fit.

4. Use Your Social Network for Support and Accountability
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4 USE YOUR SOCIAL NETWORK FOR SUPPORT AND ACCOUNTABILITY

Letting your online network know your resolution is also helpful. They can help you to stay accountable. If your goal is to work out every day, log your workouts as status updates on Facebook or Twitter and tell what you did and how you feel afterward. If your goal is to eat more vegetables, take photos of your meals and upload them to Instagram or a food blog. Your friends will likely leave comments praising your good efforts. Additionally, if you are having trouble getting motivation to work out on a particular morning, you can post a status update that you need motivation, and people might provide some or post inspiring quotes for you.

Related: Facebook STRONGER Challenge Support Group

5. Find a Workout Buddy
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5 FIND A WORKOUT BUDDY

Having a workout buddy can help increase your motivation on those days in mid-January where you may be feeling less than thrilled about doing your workout. Scheduling time to to go running or lift weights with your buddy can make exercise more fun, and it can also make you less likely to skip your workouts.

Related: LIVESTRONG's Facebook Support Group

6. Join an Online Group
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6 JOIN AN ONLINE GROUP

If you don't have any friends around who share your fitness goals, you can find likeminded people in the LIVESTRONG.COM Community Conversations. You can also join an official Facebook challenge group. The camaraderie, healthy competition, and support from the challenge group members in our Facebook group can help get you through times when you want to reach for that glass of wine or slide of cake.

Related: LIVESTRONG's Online Community

7. Remove Temptations
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7 REMOVE TEMPTATIONS

To succeed at weight loss or dieting, before you even begin, it's important to remove temptations in your refrigerator, pantry, cupboards or on your countertops. Find any junk food or high-calorie foods that are too tempting and throw them away. If you're concerned about wasting, just make yourself think of this moment and agree with yourself that you won't buy any more of the offending food item for the first 6 months of the year.

8. Prepare Your Meals Ahead of Time
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8 PREPARE YOUR MEALS AHEAD OF TIME

Rather than letting your appetite decide what you want to eat for every meal, plan out what you will eat for the week ahead and prepare it in advance. Choose a day of the week when you'll have time to do this. Cook up large batches of healthy and nourishing food, portion your meals out and pack them into lunch-size Tupperware containers. Then, each day as you're heading out the door, grab one and plan to heat it up in the microwave at work. Also, prepare some healthy snacks that you enjoy and portion them in grab-and-go containers. Portion boiled eggs or veggies with hummus or nut butter into small containers and baggies.

Related: How to Meal Prep for Weight Loss Like a Pro

9. Plan a Reward for Yourself
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9 PLAN A REWARD FOR YOURSELF

Give yourself something to work toward by planning to treat yourself to something you love when you finally reach your goal weight. If you love clothes, schedule a shopping spree, and for an even stronger effect, "punish" yourself by not buying any clothes until you hit your mark. Of course, your reward doesn't need to be clothing or other material goods, it can also be an experience such as going on a vacation or weekend get-away or even out to a special restaurant when you reach your goal. Make it something that you really want, and that really motivates you. Since many goals tend to be long-term, give yourself small rewards along the way. For example, when you pass weightlifting milestone, treat yourself to a movie or manicure.

10. Visualize What Success Looks and Feels Like
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10 VISUALIZE WHAT SUCCESS LOOKS AND FEELS LIKE

Spend a few minutes thinking about what it will look like and feel like when you achieve your goal. If your resolution is to fit in your favorite jeans again, imagine yourself wearing them and how you will feel. Perhaps you'll be lighter in your step and it will increase your confidence in social situations. If your goal is to strengthen your abs, remember that when you have reached your goal, you'll feel less fatigue sitting at your desk or have lass lower back pain. Try to visualize your success in as much detail as possible, and spend a few minutes each day to set an intention for yourself.

11. Believe in Yourself, Praise Yourself, and Take Pride in Your Ability
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11 BELIEVE IN YOURSELF, PRAISE YOURSELF, AND TAKE PRIDE IN YOUR ABILITY

Have confidence in yourself and your ability to commit to your resolution, and be proud of each accomplishment along the way toward your goal. Thank yourself for every workout you get done and really let yourself feel proud. It takes guts and determination to work out and eat healthy, and you're doing it. Great job!

12. If You Mess up, Forgive Yourself and Recommit to Your Goal
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12 IF YOU MESS UP, FORGIVE YOURSELF AND RECOMMIT TO YOUR GOAL

Despite all your best efforts and attention to steps one through nine, you might occasionally mess up. We're all human, and it happens to all of us. Rather than letting a slip-up like an unintended drink during a girl's night out spiral out of control, forgive yourself and re-commit to your goals. Remember how important your goal is, and remember why you want to achieve it.

What Do YOU Think?
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WHAT DO YOU THINK?

What are your health and fitness New Year's resolutions for this year? Do you usually make resolutions? How does it feel when you achieve your resolutions? Leave a comment below and let us know.

Related: 10 New Year's Resolutions Nutritionists Want You to Make

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GOAL
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  • Gain 1 pound per week
  • Gain 0.5 pound per week
  • Maintain my current weight
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