5 Weight Loss Diet Strategies Worthy of New Year’s Resolutions

Is a weight loss diet part of your New Year’s plan?

Weight Loss Diet Plate

© Can Stock Photo / viperagp

If you’re making New Year’s resolutions to lose weight, you can up your chances of success by creatively and purposefully making a plan. Willpower is way over-rated. So are very restricted diets. Here are some diet resolutions that actually bring success.

For ideas specific to diabetes and prediabetes, check out Resolutions for Diabetes and Prediabetes.

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5 Weight Loss Diet Strategies That Really Work

  1. Focus on the process, not on the outcome. Emphasize your new behaviors and habits instead of the pounds lost. It’s your habits that will carry you through long term. Too often dieters focus on how much weight they can lose or how quickly they can lose it. I don’t see real success with this. Losing weight and keeping it off require new habits. Focus on behaviors and the process of building new habits. Learn the 5 steps to building healthy habits. And turn your goals into specific behaviors. A vague goal – like eating better or eating less – won’t get you very far. Set your goals so they pass the stranger test – if a stranger reads your goal, he or she will know what you plan to do. Here’s an example: Every Monday this month, I’ll take 5 pieces of fruit to work for an afternoon snack for each workday. It’s a behavior (for which you have 100% control) and it’s specific.  stepping on scale for weight loss
  2. Eat fruits and/or vegetables with every meal and snack. They’re low calorie, filling and drastically underconsumed. Yes, if you’re not eating enough fruits and vegetables, you have lots of company, according to the CDC. Diets rich in these nutritional treasure troves are linked to less obesity, as well as less type 2 diabetes, heart disease and some types of cancer. Make it easy on yourself. Prepare extra veggies or a larger salad at dinner, so you can enjoy leftovers for lunch. Stock up on canned and frozen produce. Start making a list of how you can pile on the fruits and veggies. And here are lots more tips to get more veggies.
  3. Aim to end every meal feeling better than when you started. Ideally you’re a bit hungry when you sit down and pleasantly satisfied when you finish. Weight loss diet or not, it’s not a smart idea to eat to discomfort or to eat foods that aren’t satisfying. Check in with yourself during your meal and after eating to see how you feel. Try to eat mindfully and with intention.
  4. Build in treat foods. Give up the notion of cheats and focus on treats. Yes, you’re entitled to treats even if your pants are too tight or if the scale hasn’t made you smile lately. (By the way, find out what are the 5 things you should know before stepping on the scale.) Treat yourself regularly to the foods you love. Learn to fit them in to your healthful eating pattern instead of “cheating” on them. Chocolate is my thing, and I look forward to it daily. I’d much rather you eat a couple squares or a handful of chocolate-covered almonds every single day than to gorge yourself once or twice a week and then beat yourself up about it. Give yourself permission to love the living daylights out of it. I do! Then remind yourself that a little bit of fun food in an otherwise healthful diet is just fine.
  5. Vow to use empowering language. Words matter! “I’ll never lose weight” or “I’m doomed to get diabetes” are terribly negative statements. And they’re very unhelpful. Instead turn your thoughts – which are not facts, by the way – into empowering words. “I wish I had made better food choices” is more accurate and less defeating than “I’ll never lose weight.” Few words are more negative than never and can’t. Often I hear people say things like, “I can’t eat in that restaurant.” What they really mean is that they choose not to eat in that restaurant because there are few menu items that fit with their goals. Someone else might say, “I can’t have chips in the house because I can’t control my eating.” It’s more accurate to say, “I choose not to have chips in the house because I haven’t yet learned to control my eating. Listen for the can’t, the never and other negative words. Vow to deliberately choose more empowering language.

Really, there are many more than these 5 strategies to help your weight loss diet. I chose these because they come up often in my work and because they all emphasize permanent habits, behaviors and ways of thinking. What  tips can you share for creating New Year’s resolutions or anytime goals to support weight loss?

Please share your tips in the comments section.

Jill-Weisenberger_about-image-2
Jill Weisenberger

Jill Weisenberger, MS, RDN, CDE, CHWC, FAND, is a Nutrition, Culinary & Diabetes Expert, Wellcoach®-certified health and wellness coach, Freelance Writer, Registered Dietitian Nutritionist and Certified Diabetes Educator. She's also the author of four books, including a best-seller. She's a nationally-recognized media expert in high demand for print and online interviews, as well as corporate and one-on-one nutritional counseling. Jill's philosophy is that nutrition science should be understandable, realistic and oh so delicious.

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16 Comments

  1. Lisa on December 21, 2017 at 8:54 pm

    I found that setting aside a few minutes every morning to focus on my goals set me up in a good way. I just make sure to think about what I want to accomplish and that I want to stick to my diet plan while I drink coffee and get ready for the day. It really helps.

    • Jill Weisenberger on December 21, 2017 at 8:55 pm

      I love it! Thanks for sharing. I talk to my patients and readers about a morning ritual. It sounds like you have found a morning ritual that works for you. Yay!

  2. Michelle on December 26, 2017 at 3:23 pm

    Treating is better than cheating. In that way, you will develop a healthy habit.

    • Jill Weisenberger on December 26, 2017 at 3:41 pm

      Oh yes. I agree so strongly. Good habits come with positive reinforcement – not the negative mentality of cheating. Thanks for visiting my site and leaving a comment.

  3. Fernda on January 8, 2018 at 11:48 pm

    Empowering tips!Thanks for sharing!

    • Jill Weisenberger on January 9, 2018 at 7:33 am

      Thank you! Yes, success comes from a place of empowerment – not from having a punitive mindset. Thanks for visiting.

  4. Sheeja Paulos on April 13, 2018 at 4:20 am

    Hi, you have useful blog posts. I have one question in my mind about the time of eating habits. Should we need to eat frequently or do we need to keep a long gap in our eating? Thanks for this information for weight loss. These are really good habits that will help us.

  5. Vipul Sharma on July 6, 2018 at 6:38 am

    Great share! All your awesome tips really work for me. Amazing stuff on your blog, I feel so great after reading these. Thanks a lot for sharing this post. This is recommendable.

    • Jill Weisenberger on July 6, 2018 at 9:22 am

      So glad to hear this!

  6. Eric Bullard on September 3, 2018 at 1:36 am

    These are the tip are very helpful. We just need more motivation.

  7. Paul Minor on October 2, 2018 at 5:47 am

    This is an important reminder when a new year will come because of the feast of different variants of food that is available in the table. Diet will never exist in the vocabulary anymore. Thank you for sharing this with us.

    • Jill Weisenberger on October 2, 2018 at 9:05 am

      Wonderful! And thanks for reading my post!

  8. rohit aggarwal on January 18, 2019 at 4:25 am

    Thanks for the information

    • Jill Weisenberger on January 18, 2019 at 4:49 pm

      I’m so glad you stopped by the blog. And so glad you found this helpful.

  9. Harvey Lee on September 20, 2019 at 5:15 am

    Great article! There is best advice to lose weight in this article. I will definitely follow your advice. I like this article so much. Thanks and keep sharing.

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Like most of my patients and clients, I lead a busy life. You probably do too. Fortunately, you don’t need weeks, days or even hours to start living better and healthier. This blog offers timesaving strategies and bite-sized nutrition and health information. Come by often for tips and inspiration to healthy living – no matter how busy you are. I am a registered dietitian nutritionist offering credible, practical nutrition advice to keep busy people healthy. Yes indeed, we can be both busy and healthy.

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