woman working out in the snowYou can feel the "get fit!" spirit everywhere you look -- from the mall to TV commercials and Facebook. People are getting back on treadmills, buying workout gear, swapping eggnog for protein shakes. After a season of stuffing ourselves with holiday cookies, the season of resolutions is here. For most of us, that means resolving (or re-resolving) to lose weight this year

Maybe it's 10 pounds or 100, but either way, we all need a game plan to make our resolution a reality. As someone who has made the resolution to either lose weight or maintain weight loss pretty much every year of my life, it's empowering to know there are several simple lifestyle tweaks anyone can do to help you shape up.

  1. Start tracking - You may have heard this before, but it's well-worn advice because it's true. Keeping a daily log of your meals and snacks is one of the best ways to hold yourself accountable for your eating habits. It's even research-proven to boost weight loss: The more food records a person kept, the more weight they lost, and those who kept a food diary lost twice as much weight as those who didn't in a 2008 study done by Kaiser Permanente's Center for Health Research.
  2. Stop "working out" - I'm not a huge fan of the term "workout," because it makes it sound like, well, work. And it's not like any of us need MORE work in our everyday lives, right? So adopting a new attitude about physical activity can do wonders. I've been trying to think about it as just "moving more" as opposed to working out. And when you think of it in those terms, there are so many things that count ... things you probably underestimate the power of like walking from a really far away parking spot to the grocery store, taking the stairs instead of the elevator. Sure you can rock out on an elliptical or take a spinning class, but the more you enjoy what you're doing for movement, the more likely it'll become a permanent part of your life.
  3. Set SMART-er goals - We've all shared a lot of the same goals, especially around this time of year. "I want to lose weight," "I want to look good in a bikini," "I want to tone up," "I want to stick to my diet and start exercising." But a lot of times, goals like that fall apart, because they're missing something: SMART attributes, which are Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-limited. For instance, you might say you aim to drink eight glasses of water every day for the next three months and keep track of your H2O intake. A goal like that sets you up to win!

What are other lifestyle changes you've made to lose weight?

 

Image via lululemon athletica/Flickr