More than 75 percent of people who make resolutions abandon them within months. But the problem isn’t a lack of willpower—it’s how you frame your goals. We asked experts to tweak common vows so you can finally reach your dream weight.
OUT WITH THE OLD I’m going to lose 10 pounds this month. “To drop a lot of weight in a short period of time, you have to drastically slash your calories intake,” says Elisa Zied, R.D., the author of Nutrition at Your Fingertips, And even if you shed those extra pounds, chances are you’ll eventually gain them back. “Most of the time, the weight you quickly shed reflects a loss of water and lean muscle mass,” she says.
IN WITH THE NEW I’ll trim 100 to 200 calories from each meal. “The easiest way to lose weight is by taking small, manageable steps,” says Zied. You might, for example, shave off a few hundred calories by measuring your morning cereal, swapping full-fat dressing for light, and leaving behind a few bites of your dinner.
OUT WITH THE OLD I’m kissing carbs good-bye. That whole-wheat pasta dish can fill you up and help you slim down. According to a recent study published in the Journal of the American Dietetic Association, people who followed a low-carbs diet were more likely to be overweight than those who ate carbs regularly.
IN WITH THE NEW I’m going to add more whole grains to my diet. Whole grains are packed with antioxidants and fiber, but the majority of Americans get only one serving daily. Swap popcorn or whole-wheat crackers for potato chips and oatmeal or granola for your cornflakes.
OUT WITH THE OLD I’ll never eat _____ (insert favorite treat) again! “Banishing a food you love will only make you feel deprived and want it more,” says Elizabeth Ward, R.D., the author of Expect the Best. “So you’ll be more likely to binge.”
IN WITH THE NEW I won’t bring home _____ (insert favorite treat). Allow yourself to savor your indulgence a few times a week. “Just don’t keep it in your kitchen if you’ve polished off an entire container before,” says Ward. That way, you’ll have to make a trip to the store to satisfy your craving.
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