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 It’s that time of year again.

The time of year when people make New Year’s Resolutions.

Why are they so popular?

One reason is they give us hope.  Hope that in the immediate future positive change will materialize in our lives.

As we head into this new year, millions of people across the globe will pledge to (among other things) drink less alcohol, exercise more, get a better job, save more money and, of course, lose weight (what some people call a “January diet.”)  In fact, according to the Statistic Brain website, losing weight is the most popular New Year’s resolution.

But here’s the thing…

Most people will fail miserably…

A study by Richard Wiseman from the University of Bristol involving 3,000 people showed that 88% of those who set New Year resolutions fail.  A study done by the University of Scranton research pegged the New Year’s resolution success rate even lower at 8%.

So before you make a New Year’s resolution to lose weight starting January 1st (or 2nd), here are a few things you might want to consider…

  • A drastic reduction in calories each day is not sustainable –   Yes, you’ll lose weight by eating say 1,200 calories a day, but once you go back to eating how you usually eat, you’ll gain the weight back over time.  
  • Starving yourself makes you more likely to want high calorie foods – Research done at the Imperial London College found that when people diet it becomes harder to resist the temptation of food.  Dr. Tony Goldstone say, “We found ample evidence that fasting made people hungrier and increased the appeal of high calorie foods and the amount people ate. One reason it is so difficult to lose weight is because the appeal of high calorie food goes up.”
  • We sometimes use New Year’s resolutions as an excuse for “bad behavior” at other times of the year – Often we use upcoming New Year’s Resolutions to justify over indulging in December.  Plus, should we fail, some people may use it as an excuse to not do anything positive until the start of the next year.  
  • Your self confidence could take a hit – Paul Farmer, chief executive of the mental health charity Mind says, “We chastise ourselves for our perceived shortcomings and set unrealistic goals to change our behaviour, so it’s not surprising that when we fail to keep resolutions, we end up feeling worse than when we started.”  Farmer suggests that instead of making New Year’s resolutions you should “think positively about the year to come and what you can achieve.”

Here’s the thing…

Getting yourself down to a healthy weight and maintaining that weight, should be part of your daily DNA.  The key is to develop lifelong healthy eating habits versus just forcing yourself to diet every January.

Need more inspiration?  Download our 7 Tips to Embrace A Healthier You, should you decide not to make a weight loss New Year’s Resolution.