After a holiday season of gourmet cocoa and pumpkin-flavored coffee, lavish desserts, way too many “bite-size” appetizers, and an overabundance of fatty and salty snacks, your body is probably feeling stuffed, bloated, and ready for a fresh start.
How many pounds do you think you gained? Your tight jeans may seem to indicate that you’ve packed on a lot of weight, but the New England Journal of Medicine says most Americans gain only a pound between Thanksgiving and New Year’s. Then again, what about the other pounds you gained during the year? Remember all the summer fun you had eating burgers and drinking beers? How about all that candy you snacked on during October?
You may be tempted to hide your pudge under a bulky sweater and try to deal with it in a month or two, but that hide-it strategy only lasts so long. Still, before you get on the scale and obsess over every ounce or severely restrict your calories, realize that most of the time, these extreme tactics don’t work. That’s because for sustained weight loss and maintenance, you need to have specific goals and stay motivated.
So what does it take to take back your body? Nothing too extreme, but you do need to commit to creating and following a positive, structured plan. You also need supportive friends and family, healthy rewards for success, increased activity, social interaction, and the power of positive thinking.
If you’re ready to lose weight, we’re here to help. Nutrition, diet, and exercise experts are sharing their tips on how to get (and stay) motivated to lose weight. Whether you want to lose 50 pounds or simply get rid of the last pesky five you gained during the past few weeks, these tips can help get you started on a positive weight loss journey.
“Spend as much time in your bathing suit, or naked, as possible so you are constantly aware of your figure,” says Matty Whitmore, former Survivor finalist and celebrity fitness trainer at Spectrum Athletic Clubs. Hanging out in the buff may seem uncomfortable at first, but it may become liberating as you take stock of your body’s pros and cons and positively take stock of ways to improve “target” areas while appreciating your natural beauty.
Don’t waiver in your goals, says Joey Gochnour, registered dietitian nutritionist, certified personal trainer, and owner of nutritionandfitnesspro.com. He advises setting SMART goals: Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Timely.
“Start with a small goal you know you will achieve rather than one you won’t that will discourage you,” says Gochnour. “Smaller goals will empower you. Reach them, then set a new goal. You have momentum now.”