The weight-loss goal is easily the most popular New Year's resolution of all time. Gyms flood in January, and markets are cleared out of their healthy staples like kale and quinoa. Then sometime around early February, no one remembers what a New Year's resolution even is, let alone what they're doing for their weight-loss goals.
The best way to approach this? Make yourself a strategy. Use one of these tips for each month of the year and fill out your calendar for 2017 with what you plan to do, January through December. These weight-loss tips have been proven to be effective — and they're impossibly simple to implement.
One month you'll be drinking more water, and the next trying new veggie recipes — but the common theme throughout the year is that you'll be hitting your weight-loss goals. Try these 12 tips in 2017 to have your most successful year yet . . . and don't forget about that gym membership you paid all that money for!
- Join a gym (or a boutique studio that you love): One of the first steps to moving more is committing yourself to a routine. Whether this is your local gym, or a yoga studio near your office, make it convenient. You won't go if it's too far away or has crazy hours that don't work with your schedule. Also, ensure that you love the style of exercise if it's a studio — you also won't go if you hate the workout!
- Get a tracker: Like a Fitbit or an Apple Watch, specifically! These trackers serve as constant reminders that you need to move more. You'll get little vibrations and notifications telling you to stand and move — some even tell you to run! Like tying a string around your finger to remind you of a task, these trackers go with you everywhere to remind you to make healthier choices.
- Try a new workout: Mixing it up is often the key to success — especially if you've hit a plateau. Challenge your body in new ways by trying a workout you've never done before. One month, pick this new activity you're interested in, and stick it out for the whole four weeks. Do it regularly, even if it's a challenge. Not only will you learn a new skill and mix things up for your body, but you'll feel stronger and more empowered, too.
- Try four new veggie recipes: Adding more vegetables to your diet is essential to weight loss. Find the ones you actually love, and your favorite way to prepare them so you can fall back on your own staple healthy recipe all year long. Not a fan of brussels sprouts? Try a zucchini recipe. Keep going until you find what you love.
- Add a vegetable to every meal: We spoke with one woman who told us this was one of the keys to her success — and she lost over 100 pounds! Adding something green to each meal (yes, even breakfast!) will help you get the nutrients you need all day long and create better, long-lasting, healthy habits.
- Cut out sugar for one week: Longer if you can! If you find that you're totally addicted to sugar, that can be a major obstacle in your weight-loss journey. Set aside a week to eliminate processed and added sugars — natural sugar is OK! If you can keep going, aim for three weeks; that's how long it'll take you to really break a habit.
- Learn how to count macros . . . and track them for one week to start: Macros are the fats, protein, and carbohydrates in your diet — and the way you balance them can help you lose weight. Start with recipes for breakfast, lunch, and dinner to get a better idea of what your food can look like with macro counting.
- Drink a glass of water before every meal: Did you know that our brains often confuse thirst for hunger? Drinking more water — especially before meals — can help control appetite and help you lose weight.
- Get eight hours of sleep every night: Celebrity trainer Harley Pasternak listed sleep as a massive component to weight-loss success. You'll have more energy for your workouts and more alertness to make better dietary choices.
- Eat more (healthy) breakfasts: Make it your goal to always eat a healthy breakfast, but one month this year, learn a new breakfast recipe, and make it at least twice a week. Breakfast can kickstart your metabolism, curb a sweet tooth, and control appetite — all leading to weight loss!
- Practice mindful eating: Slow down, pause, put your fork down between bites. If overeating or eating too quickly has been a challenge for you, this is an essential practice to take up. Choose a month to practice your mindful eating with every single meal. You might be able to stop food cravings for good!
- Focus on digestion: Take one month to focus on digestion-friendly foods (lots of fiber!), probiotics, and even a digestion-aiding practice like acupuncture or traditional Chinese medicine. By keeping things regular, you'll feel better, lighter, and slimmer.