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New Year's resolution dos and don'ts

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Make it & keep it!

You've made 'em, you've broken 'em and you don't know what to do about it. New Year's weight loss resolutions are a dime a dozen. So what can you do to make a resolution that you'll actually keep? We talked with Dr. Sanford Siegal, D.O., M.D. to get his take on keeping New Year's resolutions about weight loss.
Weight loss
New Year's resolutions

Make it & keep it!

You've made 'em, you've broken 'em, and you don't know what to do about it. New Year's weight loss resolutions are a dime a dozen. So what can you do to make a resolution that you'll actually keep? We talked with Dr. Sanford Siegal, D.O., M.D. to get his take on keeping New Year's resolutions about weight loss.

Do's and don'ts of resolutions

SheKnows: How can I keep track of my resolutions and my progress at reaching them?

Dr. Sanford Siegal: I've treated more than 500,000 overweight patients, and I've learned that there are two main reasons why a diet fails:

  • 1. The dieter is too hungry to stick to it
  •  2. The weight comes off so slowly that the dieter loses her motivation

All of my efforts during the past 50 years of exclusively treating overweight patients have been focused on controlling hunger and getting the weight off as quickly as possible.

SK: Is there a "right" number of resolutions to make?

SS: With respect to weight loss, yes: one. Under the best of circumstances, losing weight is nobody's idea of fun. It takes willpower and dedication. Any other "self-improvement" resolution is an unnecessary distraction.

woman writing in notebook

SK: Is there a better way to think about resolutions?

SS: Aren't New Year's resolutions inherently doomed to fail? A resolution is a false promise we make to ourselves once a year to make ourselves feel less guilty about how we've managed our health, our finances, our relationships and so forth. If you're serious about losing weight and getting healthy, start right now. Start today.

SK: What types of resolutions should I avoid?

SS: Unrealistic ones. A typical adult can lose about 10 to 12 pounds of fat per month and that requires having 1,000 to 1,200 calories a day. So many people set unrealistic goals and are left disappointed and disillusioned when they fail to deliver on their New Year's resolution.

Why resolutions fail

SK: What are some of the most common reasons people fail to keep their weight-loss resolutions?

SS: There are three reasons why weight loss resolutions fail:

1. Their goals are unattainable (any diet that claims that you can lose more than about 12 pounds per month should be avoided).
2. They are simply too hungry to stick to their diet.
3. The diet they've chosen produces such slow weight loss (maybe a pound a week or so) that they lose their motivation.

SK: How can people make their weight-loss resolutions more attainable?

SS: By being honest with themselves and not taking a break once they start a diet. You know if a diet sounds too good to be true ("Amazing Breakthrough! Lose 10 pounds in 10 days by watching TV!"). Set a realistic goal and don't stop until you've reached it. One thing that I've observed in treating over a half million overweight patients is that people who take a break from their diet before they reach their goal are likely never to reach it.


About Dr. Siegal

Dr. Sanford Siegal is a practicing physician whose South Florida medical practice has treated more than 500,000 overweight patients since it was founded in Miami in 1957. Although Dr. Siegal has received considerable media attention for his books on subjects, including high fiber dieting, hunger control without drugs, and hypothyroidism, he is best known as the creator of the internationally-popular Dr. Siegal's Cookie Diet weight loss system. Find out more about Dr. Siegal at www.drsiegal.com.

More on loosing weight in the new year

Top 30 diet tips for New Year's resolutions
Accomplish your fitness resolutions
How to lose weight after the holidays

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