I have never made a New Year’s resolution and don’t know of any friends who have made one either. I guess I surround myself with people who share the same values as me, i.e. if there is something in your life that needs to be changed then you go about making that change right away and not wait until some arbitrary date of “the beginning of the year”.
I think from all the media around the event that the most common resolution that people make is to either lose weight or stop smoking. I read an interesting article this last week of a study done by Timex that showed that women often lie about their dietary intake. Why Timex (a watch maker) are sponsoring such a study, I have no idea. At the end of the article they mentioned that if women keep a food diary then this will be of immense help in their quest for weight loss, so perhaps they are releasing some kind of app for that? The summary of the article was that women on average lie about their food intake about 9 times per week, or 500 times over the course of a year. What first came to mind after reading the article was “what about men”? They did not do any study on the habits of men, and perhaps this is because women’s weight loss market is much bigger? Anyway, the suggestion at the end of the study was a very good one I thought, i.e. if you are serious about weight loss then you need to keep a detailed food diary. I know that there are lots of people out there who will say that you don’t need to be so detailed, and don’t need to count calories, however in my experience if you are really serious about weight loss and are willing to face the “elephant in the room”, then you’ll go about the task 100%. That means keeping a detailed diary of food intake. It still amazes me that there are people who state that they want to lose weight, yet will make all the excuses under the sun to avoid keeping a diary.
It is too difficult
You don’t need to keep such a detailed diary in order to lose weight
Calories aren’t important, what you are eating is more important
Fail. These same people will usually blame “genetics” or state that they somehow have a unique body type that makes them different from all the other people on the planet when justifying why they failed to lose weight. I have a slow metabolism they whine. Sorry, but you don’t. There is no easy route so stop trying to find one. Knuckle down and get the job done. Guess what, everyone else who made the same excuses and then finally knuckled down and kept a food diary and were strict with their exercise lost weight. Your excuses don’t wash.
On this same theme I then read another great article referenced by Tom Venuto on how to succeed in losing weight. You can read it here, and I really encourage you to read it if you need motivation to stick to your weight loss program. Basically the author (a physician) compares the task of losing weight to keeping a job, and he think he makes a great comparison showing how our brain works. Think about it – how many of us enjoy getting up early to go to work? Not many I expect. I think just about all of us would like to lie in a little longer each day. However why do we get up? Because if we don’t then we’d lose our job and thus have no income. We force ourselves to do it, even when we are feeling shitty, because we want to keep that job. Now, what if keeping your job was dependent upon you keeping to a particular weight? I bet that you’d somehow get to that goal weight and keep it, come hell or high water. I know I would.