2024 is here, and with it comes the obligation of New Year’s resolutions. According to a recent survey by Forbes, 62% of Americans feel pressured to set resolutions, and 34% of those respondents said their goal was to lose weight.
There’s nothing wrong with setting goals to improve health. However, weight loss-only focused plans are typically the worst route you can go, and we have Dr Granados, weight loss expert from Sanctuary Wellness Institute to explain why.
Fading Motivation Post-Hype
New Year’s resolutions are exciting, and having everyone around you set goals often gives people the motivation they need. The problem is that once the initial excitement of the New Year wears off, a steep drop in motivation follows. Most individuals find that their commitment dwindles as the reality of everyday life sets in. In fact, 90% of people quit going to the gym after just 3 months!
Rather than waiting for the New Year, integrating goals throughout the year will help it become a part of your everyday life instead of a “special occasion.” Try setting up small habits that will make it easier to follow through on your goals, rather than making a drastic change from one day to the next.
Underestimating the Power of Habit Formation
Successful weight loss requires new habit formation, which takes time and consistency. Weight loss is a long-term goal that the short-term New Year resolution mindset doesn’t accommodate. Often, multiple short-term goals would contribute to weight loss over time, but that would be a better option as you adopt a more well-rounded goal.
Unrealistic Goals Lead to Disappointment
Weight loss by itself is not a good measure of health, especially when paired with New Year’s goals, which are often high and unattainable. Many adopt quick-fix diets rather than lifestyle changes, which leads to burnout and is not sustainable long-term. Even if you lose a few pounds in January, if you are starving yourself to do it, you will likely gain all that weight back in the coming months.
Pressure from Social and Media Expectations
Who hasn’t been on TikTok and seen pages claiming they lost 20 pounds in 2 months, or if you can follow their plan, you will be fit by summer? This social media pressure is not only unrealistic, but it also results in unhealthy approaches to weight loss. Remember, when you see before and after pictures, just changing how you stand can make you appear much thinner. In addition, sustainable weight loss occurs at a rate of 0.5-1 pound per week, depending on the person.
Neglect of Holistic Health Approaches
Finally, setting a goal solely on weight loss ignores the fact that weight loss is such a small measurement of health and wellness. Health is a highly individual journey that a one-size-fits-all New Year’s approach doesn’t fit.
If you would like to add weight loss to your list of overall wellness goals, consider seeking professional advice to help you create short-term sustainable goals that will serve as stepping stones for your long-term goals.