Health and Fitness

For the health of it: 5 steps to weight-loss success | Life


The end of one year and the beginning of the next is for many, a time to look back and reflect on all that transpired over the past year.

Good, bad or indifferent, it’s a time when many people feel compelled to make changes for the upcoming year.

Enter the New Year’s Resolution. Whether you actually call it a resolution or simply make a promise to yourself, set specific goals or just plain decide to do things differently, change is the aim of the game.

Health, weight loss, finances, relationships, quitting smoking — statistically January is the month when most people commit to getting started. January is also the same month most will throw in the towel.

A study done by the University of Scranton revealed that a mere eight percent of those who made resolutions in 2018 actually followed through with their plan and achieved their goals, while a whopping 80 per cent did not. As it turns out, the make or break window of time is extremely short.

Strava, a fitness social network, tracked data for over 31.5 million users and reported they were actually able to pinpoint the date people called it quits. Strava discovered that Jan. 12 – a mere 12 days after making their resolutions – is the day people gave up.

And with the other data showing 55 per cent of those failed resolutions were health related, it’s safe to say there’s a lot of folks out there tackling the same resolutions again this year.

Change is never easy but it doesn’t have to be impossible. With that in mind, here are five simple steps that will help keep you on track to achieving your health and weight loss goals in 2020.

Know your why. With weight loss, there is typically a short-term and a long-term why. Wanting to fit into a dress for a class reunion, or feeling confident in your bathing suit for that cruise at spring break are examples of short term.

A long-term why is something that usually comes from a place of emotion. Something deep down inside that really resonates with you in a big way to support your new healthier lifestyle and will tug at your heartstrings and bring you back on track when “life” happens to try and knock you off course.

Stay away from diets. The results you experience will likely be short-lived as statistics say that less than one per cent of people can maintain a diet for life. Opt instead for a program that focuses on health, nutrition and lifestyle to help you get results that stick.

Set weekly goals and be realistic in your expectations. Consider setting goals to implement healthier lifestyle choices and building on those each week rather than choosing a number of pounds. Putting the pieces in place to fill nutritional gaps and stabilized blood sugar will

allow the body to naturally release fat and lose weight. That extra weight did not suddenly appear overnight so be patient and kind to yourself.

Celebrate all wins, especially the small ones. Small things done consistently over time will get you huge results.

Be all in at one per cent. I’m sure you’ll agree that you can do something for your health one percent better tomorrow than you did today. And when you do this everyday, just think where you’ll be next year? Not making weight loss resolutions again that’s for sure.

And remember, the scale is not the only way to measure success. Maybe you didn’t lose any weight this week but you’ve

noticed your clothes are fitting better. Perhaps you’re sleeping better and now have so much more energy. Or the bloating and discomfort is finally gone and you’re feeling better than you have in years. Or maybe those sugar cravings are finally gone. These “non-scale victories” are just as important because they show improvements to overall health.

So, regardless how far you went (or

didn’t) with your weight loss and health goals last year, 2020 is a New Year, and

today’s a new day. If you’re not living with optimal health and feeling your best, then I invite you to follow the steps and set your sights on health this year. Set a 2020 vision and get clear on where you want to take your health this year. Know your why. Begin today making small changes, and better choices consistently. Be all in, one per cent at a time. And imagine where you’ll be this time next year.

A happy, healthy and blessed New Year to all.

Tania Gustafson is a nutritionist and fitness coach. Tune in to her “For the Health of It” podcast every Saturday at 8 a.m. on Book a complimentary health assessment with today to start on your 2020 goals. On the web: Email:

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