Wednesday, January 9, 2013


This New Year Make Your Weight Loss Resolution a Success

by Stan Spencer (@DrStanSpencer)

Most of us have dieted to lose weight, only to gain it back again within a few weeks or months. It isn’t that diets don’t work. It’s that they don’t last. Most diets are so unpleasant, inconvenient, boring, complex, or expensive that they are difficult to stick with for very long. When you quite the diet, the weight returns.
Think of excess fat as a collection of bad habits. Lose the habits and you will lose the fat. Each time you give up one of these bad habits (all other things being equal), you will lose fat until your body naturally settles at a lower weight. The key to making these habits stick and successfully keeping the weight off is to create your own weight loss plan—one custom made to fit your particular needs, abilities, and preferences. When designed correctly, this custom plan is your easiest path to a naturally thin lifestyle and body. While each person’s optimal plan is unique, every plan for permanent weight loss should have the following elements:

Personal Preferences:

There is no single formula for natural, permanent weight loss. You don’t need to make yourself miserable. Eating yogurt can help you lose weight, but if you really don’t like yogurt, don’t include it in your plan. There are plenty of other things you can do to lose weight naturally.

Changes You Can Live With:

Include in your plan only those things you are willing to make lifelong habits. Giving up desserts for a month to lose weight may accomplish that goal, but the lost weight will return just as soon as you start eating desserts again. A better approach might be to limit yourself to one dessert a day, with more allowed on a few special days, and to make it a lifelong habit. You’ll lose less weight, but the weight you lose won’t be coming back. Permanent weight loss requires permanent changes in habits.

Easy Ways to Control Emotional Eating:

We often eat for emotional comfort, not because we are hungry. This is called emotional eating. The best way to prevent emotional eating is to learn how to regulate your emotions in other ways. These may include getting more social interaction or using techniques such as meditation or mindfulness to calm your emotions.

Quick Ways to Calm Cravings:

Cravings for junk food can crush even the strongest resolve and wreck your attempts to lose weight. The key is not to have more willpower, but to know how to make the cravings weaker so the willpower you already have does the job. For example, taking a brisk, short walk has been shown in scientific studies to reduce chocolate cravings.

Smarter Exercise:

Trying to lose weight by doing exercises you hate is a recipe for failure. Find ways to get exercise that you enjoy. Even better, exercise with someone else. You’ll stick with it longer. Do exercises that build muscle, not just burn calories directly. The new muscle will boost your metabolism so you burn more calories even while you’re sleeping.

Removing the Temptations at Home:

It’s usually easier to remove temptations than to resist them. Get rid of the junk food in your house. Try to avoid places that tempt you to overeat. Stock your refrigerator with weight loss foods such as fresh fruits and vegetables, yogurt, nuts, and whole grains.

Making the Easiest Changes in Habits First:

Your weight loss plan might include forming new habits such as meditating daily, eating more whole grains for breakfast, eating sweets only once a day, and exercising five days a week. Don’t try to develop all of your weight loss habits at once. Start with the ones that are easiest. After you have reaped the weight loss rewards of the easier habits you will have extra motivation to tackle habits that require more effort.

Not Expecting Quick or Immediate Results:

It’s better to lose twenty pounds over the course of a year than to lose twenty pounds in a month then gain it all back. Changing habits takes time. You probably gained your extra weight slowly, one habit at a time. Let yourself lose it the same way. After two or three weeks with each new habit, it will begin to feel natural, and you will be a naturally thinner person.
So make a new plan for the new year—one that gives you the best chance of long term success.
Find more help for making your New Year’s weight-loss resolution a success in The Diet Dropout’s Guide to Natural Weight Loss.


Stan Spencer, PhD, is a biological consultant, former research scientist, and author of The Diet Dropout’s Guide to Natural Weight Loss: Find Your Easiest Path to Naturally Thin (Fine Life Books, 2013). He lives in southern California and blogs on natural weight loss techniques at



  1. wonderful info... i am bascially this year, walking more, lower carbs and giving myself a treat when i feel i need it to avoid the binge eating..

  2. this is definetely one of my resolutions this year, thanks for this post =)

  3. Very good tips, expecially don't expect too much immediately and don't put temptation in your path

  4. This is one of my new yrs resolutions to get fit for the summer time!

  5. I'm trying a new food a week this year as part of my healthy New Year's Resolution. So far, I have ground flax seeds and will sprinkle them in baked goods, cereal and meatloaf.

  6. Great tips! I love the one about making changes you can live with. I think that is the problem with some of the fad diets. They just aren't a realistic way to live the rest of your life.

  7. Thanks for the Tip I always say, Strive for Progression not Perfection" ;)

  8. Great tips and ideas here. I been reading alot of different diet articles for 2013 and I find alot of these tip much better anchored toward me. Making changes alittle at a time is one. When Im by myself I can do it easier than with the family here/ Thanks

  9. This sounds great, I'm trying to find a healthy and safe weight loss program. I definitely agree that you have to find workouts that you enjoy, doing something you hate will just make you miserable! For me I love taking daily walks, the fresh air gets me energized!

  10. Thanks for these great tips. I have done diets where I eat foods that I don't like and am miserable and do work outs that I get bored after a few days. These tips help Thanks.

  11. Thanks for all these great tips! I tend to eat because I'm bored & it is so hard to get out of that habit. It's usually in the winter and after the holidays I get motivated to lose the weight I gained, it's so hard for me to stick to an exercise routine, but I'm starting to make better food choices and losing the weight slowly but surely! :)

  12. This is the type of book that everyone trying to lose weight should really read. So many people want a quick fix, and expect quick and dramatic results from all of these fad diets or pills. Maybe it's from the endless TV advertisements and media coverage about how this person lost 50lbs in a month and that person lost 20lbs in two weeks. The only healthy way to lose weight and keep it off is by changing your lifestyle. It can't be a "diet", which is temporary - people can not stay on a "diet" for the rest of their lives. And if you are cutting out entire food groups that you love, severely restricting calories or being way too strict you are going to be miserable, and it won't last. Not only that, but when you do fall off the wagon, you go crazy on foods you shouldn't go crazy acting because it feels like you will never eat them again in your life.What a crazy cycle we put ourselves through!

    The healthy amount of weight you should lose in a week is 2 pounds. Anything more than that and you not only start losing muscle, but also end up with a whole lot of loose skin! Losing weight doesn't have to be drastic or difficult. Eat a sensible, well balanced diet with whole foods and keep track of what you are putting in your body, and you'll be set!

    Rambling again. Sorry, "diets" and miracle weight loss drugs are a pet peeve of mine! Great post!

  13. thanks for great advice the post is really good one thanks



Thanks for stopping by. I look forward in reading all of your great comments. Have a great day!

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