Every year, thousands – maybe even millions – of people resolve to lose weight in the New Year. They say to themselves, “This is it! This is my year! I’m going to do this!” The gyms are packed as of January 2nd (because, let’s face it, no one goes to the gym on a “holiday”) and they stay that way for about a month.

Then something happens. Around the beginning of February, up through Valentine’s Day and into March, the wait times for elliptical machines, treadmills, and stationery bikes at the gym start to decrease. If you keep attending through the “Resolution Rush,” you’ll see fewer and fewer faces every time you go.

So many people want to lose weight and get healthy, but something happens to a lot of these “resolved” folks that makes their time at the gym dwindle down to nothing. What is it? Well, they have good intentions, but they’re going about it all wrong. For most people, maintaining a healthy weight isn’t a final destination. It’s a never-ending journey. Here are some tips to keep you on track:


Keeping Weight off Means Changing Your Lifestyle

Fad diets and hardcore boot camp workouts will knock weight off of you pretty quickly, but unless you’re dedicated to keeping up that level of activity, coupled with that strict diet, you’re going to see the number on the scale rise right back up when you slack off. If you’re serious about weight loss, there’s no pill or diet that will let you eat whatever you want and become inactive while miraculously staying five sizes smaller.

You need to look at this as a long-term lifestyle change. Whether you need to lose a little bit or a lot, no quick fix is going to take those pounds off and keep them off. You need to choose a diet that you can live with and exercise routine that you like and can sustain, because you’re going to be sticking to them for the rest of your life if you want to stay in shape.


Don’t Rush Yourself

Without surgical intervention, most health experts maintain that healthy weight loss happens at a rate of about two pounds or less per week. As you get healthier, you may even find that the number on your scale stops going down and even goes up for a bit after an initial loss. The reason for this is redistribution.

Especially if you’re exercising, you’re still losing fat, but you’re also gaining muscle. If you’re eating healthy foods and working out for at least thirty minutes a day, your jeans will most likely get looser, and your resting heart rate will decrease. Don’t obsess about the number on the scale. Remember, your goal is to lose fat. You could “lose weight” by sitting around, letting your muscles atrophy and not eating much. Your scale would say you were succeeding, but your body would feel like it is failing.


Get Support

Tell your family and friends about your “get healthy” goals. Invite them to go for walks, runs, and bike rides with you. You can also invite them over for a healthy potluck dinner. By doing this, you’ll build a support network that will help you through the hard times. When you get discouraged, call a friend who’s getting healthy too. The two of you can talk about your goals and motivate each other.

If you’re looking for professional help to achieve your weight loss goals, we can help. From life-saving weight-loss surgery for those who qualify – to medically-managed weight loss programs, classes and support groups – you’ll never have to go it alone.