The classic promise many people make before the New Year arrives is "I'll start the diet on Monday." While setting New Year's resolutions is easy, putting them into practice requires preparation and planning.

As the time of year approaches when people set their New Year's Resolutions, many of these focus on health. Among the most popular are weight loss, adopting a healthier eating style, physical activity, and quitting smoking. Although weight loss is the main goal, it is also the most difficult to achieve.
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An effective health plan should include:

  • The destination you yearn for The motivation behind this destination The challenges you may encounter The strategies you will use to overcome these challenges
  • Weight loss involves changing your daily routine. Whether it involves cooking healthier meals at home or going to the gym, it's essential to have a well-established plan. Allocate time for meal planning, cooking, home exercises, or attending fitness classes. There is no magic solution to maintain a resolution. The key to success is to develop a well-structured health plan.

To succeed, you need motivation. If you set weight loss goals just because you feel you "should," you may not have the necessary determination to follow through. Think about why you want to lose weight. Maybe you want to have more energy to play with your kids or be in top shape for your next hiking adventure. Find that motivation that will sustain you.

Involving others in your resolution can be beneficial for maintaining it. A partner who supports your decision to quit sugary drinks will make it harder to give in to "just one soda." Finding a gym buddy can also increase your frequency at fitness classes. Even if sometimes you'd rather stay in bed, you won't want to leave your partner alone at the gym. Find someone who shares your goals and work together to achieve them.

Sometimes, a small misstep, such as skipping a workout day or snacking on a cookie at work, can derail the entire resolution. But this should not stop you. Everyone makes mistakes, and changing lifestyle is a difficult process. Focus on getting back on track the next day instead of being too hard on yourself or giving up entirely.

Set a specific and measurable weight loss goal that suits you: a specific and measurable number of pounds. Ensure this goal is achievable and that your desire to lose weight is genuinely motivated and relevant to you. Also, set a deadline for reaching your final goal to maintain your determination.

Besides your weight loss goal, you should also set a goal regarding how you intend to lose weight. Whether it's adopting healthier eating habits, exercising, or a combination of both, setting a clear goal will help you stay consistent in your actions.

Setting unrealistic goals can lead to disappointment and failure, and this is not a healthy approach. Consult a specialist to set a realistic weekly weight loss goal, such as two pounds. They can guide you and offer advice to achieve these realistic goals.

To maintain your New Year's resolutions, here are some nutritional tips:

  • Monitor your diet with an app or a journal to be accountable.
  • Identify the reasons you eat (stress, anxiety, sadness, using food as a reward when happy, etc.) and find alternative activities. Go for a walk or call a friend and reward yourself for making a different choice (without using food as a reward)
  • Limit the intake of added sugars (cookies, gels, cakes, etc., not the natural sugar in fruits)
  • Quit drinks like alcohol and juice and drink water with BCAA/EAA (amino acids) for better recovery and to reduce sugar cravings
  • Include lean proteins (fish, turkey, chicken, tuna, nuts, beans, whey protein isolate, etc.)
  • Choose low glycemic index carbohydrates: (whole grains, berries, etc.) The glycemic index is a measure of how carbohydrates affect blood glucose levels, rating them on a scale from 0 to 100. Foods with a higher glycemic index are those that cause a rapid increase in glucose after consumption, significantly influencing blood sugar levels.
  • Choosing carbohydrates with a lower glycemic index, which cause smaller fluctuations in glucose and insulin levels, is a secret to maintaining optimal health in the long term. The glycemic index also plays a significant role in weight loss efforts.
  • Consume more fiber to feel full: (oats, chickpeas, lentils, apples, etc.)
  • Fibers are extremely beneficial in the weight loss process, as they provide a feeling of satiety, stabilize blood glucose levels by gradually absorbing sugar, help reduce cholesterol, balance hormones, and promote intestinal health by keeping them clean.
  • Add moderate amounts of healthy fats to your diet: (avocado, extra virgin olive oil, salmon, almond or peanut butter). 
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Fats are essential for the formation of bile acids and hormones such as testosterone and progesterone. They play a crucial role in fertility and can influence cholesterol levels. Besides these aspects, fats provide vital protection for internal organs and, last but not least, stored fats serve as a source of energy.

To achieve your exercise goals and integrate these activities into your lifestyle, here are some suggestions:

  • Start with low-impact exercises, such as walking or swimming
  • Choose activities you enjoy, whether it's outdoor running or attending an exercise class
  • Involve your friends or family to help you stay motivated
  • Add strength training to your routine at least twice a week
  • Keep a physical activity journal to monitor your progress towards your goals

It is essential to focus on realistic goals, constantly motivate ourselves, and remember that every small step towards change counts, even when we face challenges throughout the year. It's important to be gentle with ourselves and celebrate every success, no matter how small, on the path to achieving our goals.