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Posted on 30 Dec 2015 Views 6009 Comments 62

New Year's Resolutions

If losing weight or being ‘healthier’ is one of your ‘New Year’s resolutions’, you’re not alone. Battling the post-Christmas bulge is a high priority for many people. Even the media is full of the latest wacky diet or nutrition craze.

However, one of the biggest problems of New Year’s Resolutions is that most of them don’t work! This is because we often make resolutions that are too difficult to keep and require too many changes; the truth is that many are simply not sustainable. Most gyms receive a surge of new memberships in January, but by March, things have quietened down as people realise that going to the gym every day is just not sustainable.

The good news is that if you’re thinking about losing weight in the New Year – whether you’ve already done a Slim & Save programme, are thinking about starting one, or are planning to lose weight in a more traditional way, you can be successful. By careful planning and staying focused, you can achieve your goal. We have put together several tips for you to consider and take on-board before taking the plunge.

Preparation

You can’t under-estimate how important preparation is. Quite often, we just dive head-on into something, and then wonder why we’ve failed. In the wise words of Benjamin Franklin, “By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail”.

  • Write a list pros and cons – draw a line down a piece of paper, and write your ‘pros’ for weight loss on one side, and the ‘cons’ to losing weight on the second column. Try to include a variety of reasons – including physical, social, emotional and psychological reasons – and be as specific as possible. Some examples of ‘pros’ could include less body fat, improved mobility, better self-confidence or body image. Some examples of ‘cons’ could include inability to eat socially, cooking different meals or feeling like you’re missing out. Everyone’s reasons will be slightly different. You may also find it helpful to rank these in order of highest to lowest.
  • How ready are you to change? – ask yourself this question, and decide where you sit on a scale of 0–10. Then ask yourself how you could move yourself on from this point. You may find it helpful to do this scale for the main ‘cons’ on your list. There may be some practical things you need to do as a result, such as changing the time of day you do your shopping, stopping buying certain foods, or putting your partner’s snacks under lock and key!
  • Consider any behavioural links – if you struggle with a particular eating behaviour, such as snacking or binging during the evening, you could think about your thoughts and feeling leading up to this event. Once you know the triggers, these behaviours can be easier to stop. Thoughts and feelings of stress, anxiety and boredom are often triggers for negative eating behaviours.
  • Enlist support – support is really key to successful weight loss. Why not take a friend or family member on your journey with you; they could be helpful in bouncing ideas off, and even introducing some friendly competition. You could even save some money by using our ‘refer a friend’ scheme. If you have family members at home with you, asking them not to eat certain foods in front of you may really help.
  • Decide on a reward system – here at Slim & Save we recognise the importance of marking those weight loss achievements and goals… Making your own non-food related goals is important too. Make your goals achievable, and regular, for example, a reward for each half stone you lose. You could include rewards like a cinema trip, a new dress, or even a holiday when you reach your final goal weight. Write these goals down on a piece of paper, and stick it somewhere visual so you have a constant reminder. You could also use this as a weight recording chart.
  • Invest in the right equipment – invest in a good set of weighing scales; they don’t have to be overly expensive. Also, you will need a tape measure; the type used in dress-making is best; avoid heavy duty DIY types. Resist the urge to buy a body fat analyser – they are very unreliable.

Staying focused

Even with the best preparation and will-power, sometimes you can feel demotivated and struggle to stay focused. Whilst a difficult or challenging experience can trigger this, it often happens when we go through the normal stresses and strains of daily life. These tips will help you to stay focused throughout your new eating or exercise venture.

  • Monitoring progress – measure and record your weight and other body measurements like waist circumference. Sometimes you may not notice a reduction in weight on your scales, but you will see a reduction in body measurement, so use both together. Sometimes you may need to ignore the number on the scales altogether, and instead focus on your improved confidence and sense of well-being.
  • Record your goals somewhere visible - Make sure you record your weight loss and body measurement changes and keep your recording chart somewhere visible! Weight tracker apps are great, but a chart or graph on your fridge will provide daily reminders that it’s all worth it!
  • Reaching milestones – set regular milestones and reward yourself accordingly. These rewards will really give you something to look forward to, and make all your hard work seem worthwhile. Some weeks, even losing 1lb will seem like hard work, so give yourself a little pick-me-up (non-food related of course!).
  • Each day is a new day – there will be difficult days when you ‘fall off the wagon’ – nobody’s perfect. There is no point wallowing and worrying about yesterday’s mistakes. The key is to refocus and get back on track today.
  • Meal plans – whether you are on a Slim & Save programme, or in the weight maintenance phase, making use of meal plans is important. They will help you look forward to food, as well as making sure you have the right things in the fridge and cupboard. You don’t want to get to Friday and realise you’ve run out of your favourite veggies. Display your meal plan somewhere visual; for example on the fridge, or invest in some chalk and a small blackboard.
  • Practice mindful eating – a bit of a ‘buzz word’, the ethos of mindfulness is to encourage people to live in the moment. It’s about becoming more aware of what you’re eating. It’s about asking yourself if you’re really hungry, reviewing portion sizes, tapping in to when you feel full, and slowing down by savouring the presentation and flavour of each mouthful. This technique can be particularly important for people who are emotional eaters.
Written by Annemarie Aburrow RD BSc (Hons) PGDip, Slim & Save Dietitian.
Comments on New Year's Resolutions
Ronda 21/01/2016 12:50
My biggest downfall is excuses. Reading the article really helped on me reflecting. I have restarted so many times. I have finally gone through and eliminated the excuses on day one. Have cleaned out the cupboard and hubby has already made a fantasic meal plan. Don't forget how important a good social network is on keeping on with the diet, even if you use the forums, these articles, or facebook. Good luck to everyone!
Dannie Moody 21/01/2016 11:30
The 1st of January is a time when many people think about what they want to achieve in the new year. Weight loss has always been mine. Like so many others Ive started, stopped, failed, gained, lost. Its such a difficult resolution that it takes preparation, will power and guts! Many people think they are weak, but they complete and lose on a vlcd like sns. Thats a strong thing to do! It is tough, but the rewards are worth it. My NYR is to carry on losing weight,taking every week as it come, I feel confident that I can lose the weight and maintain and have my first "thin summer" it has been a long time coming but I need it and I am determined to smash it! I have about 1.2 stone to go, already losing 2 stone on sns and another 1.7 on another diet. I wish I had found sns sooner. I believe I would of been at my target by now, but hindsight is a wonder thing! My advice, take 7lbs at a time. Soon these will add up to stones and it makes the journey less daunting. Accept that you are human and if you do have a blip its ok to just carry on, draw a line under it.. do not feel guilt or sadness. Think about next new year, how proud and happy you will be of your weight loss achievements in 2016. Life will change for the better. Losing weight has given me confidence Ive never had before. Everyone's journey is personal, some will take longer but thats ok. Keep going, we can all do it!!!!
Clare McClelland 21/01/2016 10:00
I first tried this diet after recommendation from a friend who was also using it & having great results. To my amazement, it actually worked!!! The first diet where I actually lost weight without starving myself. I seriously couldn't be happier & after January pay day will be re-ordering to shift those extra Christmas lb's & get in shape for summer. I literally cant wait. The bars, shakes and meals are all pretty yummy which also makes it so much easier to stick to. My favourite meal being the Carbonara! Love love love!!
Nicola G 21/01/2016 08:27
This year I have resolved to enjoy every moment possible. I'm getting married in August and the build up to this is, one I'm going to make the absolute best of. I'm 45 this year and never imagined I would have a wedding, I never met anyone I wanted to marry. Now I have, I'm not going to waste this time by making memories that I don't want to remember, or having regrets that I should have been happier during these times. Both my husband to be and me are about to start our S&S journey to be in our best shape for our wedding day - so my resolution this year is to be happy and be thankful x
Kirsty C 21/01/2016 06:27
This is my second time with S&S but I'm much more focused this time. I've booked my first holiday in 8 years for May 2016 and I AM going to target or as close as possible. 8lbs down, 2st 11lbs to go!
Sharon Bland 21/01/2016 01:42
Sadly my story is similar to everyone else's. Lost stone early last year with sns, felt wonderful and healthier and again like many others various problems bobbed up here and there not to forget my own health problems and low and behold ..... bye, bye eating plan and bye, bye to the stone gone and the feeling of well being. WELL... Retired last year due to my health, got the ok from docs to try sns again and realised that none of my problems will be resolved by me eating more and using the worry as an excuse to eat. I have far more to gain by staying on plan. My health will improve therefore improving my energy levels, therefore improving my ability to walk further, therefore improving my fitness, therefore improving my sense of well being, therefore improving my ability to cope with problems and on top of all that I will look better. What have I hot to lose..........only weight.
Lainie Morrissey 21/01/2016 00:54
I gave away the junk foods that wanted to become our new 'bad habits' before they started! i plan on getting to my 8 stone lost (7.5 gone) omg 8 sound like loads and I could do it by february with this diet :o x
Jamie Lowbridge 20/01/2016 22:53
I have 11st to lose. Simplicity all the way for me. No real food until I get down to 8st.
Zahra Harper 20/01/2016 21:11
My resolution is to lose another stone and a half, I have lost 5stone on Slim and save so far. I can honestly say that this is the best diet I have ever been on, I am really enjoying it. It has helped me physically as I am no longer in pain with my back. It has taught me that I do not need big portions of food and that smaller portions are very satisfying. Psychologically I am more confident than I think I have ever been.I am very focused on getting to goal and am planning what I will be eating when I get to my goal weight, and keeping the weight off
I have told people about the SnS plan and some have put in orders. A big thankyou to slim and save for the great products and online support.
Victoria 20/01/2016 20:58
The 1st of January is just a date, but it spurs us to 'do something different' whether that's a vow to get healthy, a new hobby, a bold career move. But unless you're ready to do that step, it's just a date and you set yourself up for disappointment.
Better to have smaller, monthly resolutions, and carry them throughout the year with a destination in mind: i.e.: getting healthy: first practice mindful eating, then start an exercise routine, then... etc.. The small steps don't seem quite as daunting and before you know it, you'll be successful as opposed to faced with another 1st of January making the same promise to yourself.

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