7 Tricks to Achieve Your Weight Loss Goals

Weight Loss Plans

So you made a New Year’s weight loss resolution did you? Well first of all congratulations! The fact that you’re consciously trying to make a change is admirable. Unfortunately, the odds that you’ll achieve it are not in your favor. While about 45 percent of Americans usually make New Year’s resolutions, only 8 percent are successful in achieving their goal. We don’t say that to discourage, but to motivate you to not be part of the “quitters.” 

This awful success rate comes down to the fact that many people have a poor approach to their weight loss resolution. They start out with a clear, reasonable goal and plan for changing a certain behavior. And they do…at first.

But for most, once the behavior is changed, the change doesn’t usually last. That’s because the changes underlying most New Year’s resolutions are not habit or behavior problems, but mindset problems.

The key to your weight loss plan sticking is to have an absolutely committed mindset up front. That no matter what comes against you, you will not fail.

Here are 6 Mindset Tricks That Work

1.Make an Actual Plan

Weight Loss Plans

Having good intentions probably isn’t enough. You may have heard the saying “a goal without a plan is just a wish.” You absolutely need a concrete plan in place on how you’re going to achieve your resolution; those who make a plan have far greater success.

Research in the journal Behavioral Science and Policy found that the more you want a goal, the less you’re likely to plan for it. Now that you know this bias exists, you can use it to your advantage and counteract it with a set plan. 

2. Get Rid of “Plan B”

Weight Loss Plans

If you have a “plan B” or “backup plan” you’re less likely to achieve your original goal. This stems from the fact that using a backup plan makes you believe that you’re less of a failure. Do yourself a favor and get rid of this option altogther.

3. Pick a Round Number for a Goal

Let’s say you want to lose weight. Picking a round number such as “30 pounds” may work in your favor. 

Lets take the case of some research done on marathon runners:

In the case of a four-hour marathon, runners who thought they might go over the four-hour mark sped up considerably at the very end of the race in order to come in under the 4-hour time barrier. Those who thought they would finish in under 4 hours slowed down at the end of the race instead. 

So it stands to reason that this approach may work for other goals as well. Setting a round number goal like “30 pounds” might make you work harder when you get close to the proverbial finish line.

4. Make a Financial Commitment

Weight Loss Plans

In the United Kingdom, the National Healthy service used a program called “Pounds for Pounds”  where people who participated agreed to pay money if they didn’t meet their weight-loss goals. The result? Those who agreed to pay if they didn’t achieve their goals lost 14 more pounds than those without a financial incentive. You can apply this to any resolution, but if getting fit or losing weight is your goal, try the free GymPact app.

Here’s how it works: First, set some goals for yourself, such as how many times you’re going to workout in a week, as well as set a monetary amount you’d be willing to pay if you don’t. If you reach your goals, you earn a cash reward. If you don’t, you “donate” your money to a community pot that pays others who reach their goals. An app that actually holds you accountable!

5. Make Your Goal Manageable by Breaking it Into Parts

A good way to fail is to make one MASSIVE goal. This can be overwhelming to the point where you have no idea where to start. Breaking larger goals down into smaller parts makes them easier to achieve and it’s more gratifying, because you can check off each goal as you achieve it. For example, if your goal is to drop 50 lbs. this year, break it down into about a pound a week instead.

6. Use Your Willpower Wisely

Willpower is like a muscle in that you can only use it so much before you need to give it time to rest and recover. This is why you might have a harder time sticking to your goals at the end of the day, after you’ve already been putting your willpower to the test all day long. In order to better resist temptations and keep your resolution, do your more challenging tasks first thing in the day when your willpower is fresh.

7. Go No Less than 90-Days

Perseverance is one of the biggest factors in achieving success no matter what you do. You can’t lose if you don’t give up. Even if your goals aren’t happening as fast as you’d like, the only way you fail is if you throw your hands up in that air and wave the proverbial white flag.

You need to stick with whatever your resolution is for at least three months. Once you hit the 90-day window you can be virtually assured that unless you have some catastrophe you have created a lifelong habit.  

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Weight Loss Plans

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Sources and References

TIME December 27, 2014

Design & Trend December 27, 2014 

1 Journal of Clinical Psychology January 1, 2014

2 The Atlantic December 31, 2013

3 TIME December 27, 2014

4 MondayCampaigns.org About

5 See TIME December 27, 2014

6 The Bureau of Economic Research July 2014

7 Healthcare Policy 2012;7(3):23-28.

8 See Journal of Clinical Psychology January 1, 2014 

9 See Journal of Clinical Psychology January 1, 2014 

10 Am J Clin Nutr. 2013 Apr;97(4):677-88.

11 Annals of Internal Medicine September 4, 2012; 157(5) 

12 PLoS ONE 8(1): e52988.

Weight Loss Plans