We’re just weeks into the new year, but a recent study says that people are already ditching their resolutions.
According to the results from a WW (formerly known as Weight Watchers) Global Wellness Survey conducted by Wakefield Research, 90 percent of adults say improving their physical, mental and emotional health is on their list of resolutions for 2019. However, by the time February rolls around, 80 percent of people abandon those goals.
So how can you stick with and achieve those weight-loss and wellness resolutions?
Pick an approach that doesn’t deprive you.
Gary Foster, PhD, the chief scientific officer for WW, tells Yahoo Lifestyle, “A high degree of rigidity, rigor and deprivation is the perfect recipe for not succeeding.” He says that mentality motivates you only in the short-term. “Words like never, always, should, must don’t drive behavior change.” Picking the right approach is key, and one that will deprive you isn’t the way to achieve long-term goals, says Foster.
“WW realizes that what you may eat on Monday differs from what you eat on a Saturday, so the program has lots of flexibility,” says Foster. “And to make a habit sustainable, you need built-in flexibility. The WW Freestyle program gives users personalized SmartPoints budget to promotes healthy eating habits. With more than 200 zero-point foods, up to four rollover daily SmartPoints and bonus weekly SmartPoints for indulging, the program is designed to work with real life and promote long-term change. The popular weight-management program has owned the top spot in U.S. News and World Report’s best weight-loss diets for nine consecutive years, including 2019.
Be social and find a community.
Foster says, “46 percent of people said they found it nearly impossible to embark on a wellness journey alone.” He explains that there’s a common misconception that in order to manage a weight-loss goal you have to isolate yourself to stay on track.
“It almost becomes ‘dieters prison,’ where you leave your current lifestyle and go about it in a solo way,” he says. “You don’t want to eat with other people because you probably picked a plan or an approach that’s very rigid.” That mentality can set you up for failure, says Foster. He also explains that the WW community can be helpful in creating a social network of people with similar health goals. “It’s easier to do it with others … whether it’s digital or face-to-face, a community is key.”
Find inspiration — and keep it.
The study revealed that 43 percent of adult say lack of inspiration is what holds them back from achieving a “physical, mental or emotional health goal.” Foster says that a resolution is the “what,” but to stay motivated, you need a “why.”
“The phrase we use at WW is ‘Keep your why close by,’ to encourage people,” says Foster. “It’s easy to say you want to lose 20 pounds to be healthier and sleep better, but think about why: Will the 20-pound loss help you walk up the stairs without running out of breath? Will it make it easier to play with your kids or grandkids?” Foster recommends keeping a physical reminder of your “Why,” such as photos, because as silly as it may seem, it can help on those days when you want to give up. “Keep it visible because in the ups and downs of daily life it’s easy to get distracted,” he says. “And if you can keep centered and grounded on what your ‘why’ is, it will increase your inspiration and keep you focused.”
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