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Tips to Keep Your Weight Loss Resolutions Real

Update Date: Jan 06, 2013 03:32 AM EST

For many years, quite a number of people make the same New Year resolution every year - to lose weight and exercise more often. While some of them do start exercising or following a strict regime, it doesn't really last for long. But why exactly do our resolutions to lose weight stay?

"The first reason is a lot of these resolutions tend to be unrealistic," says Arya Sharma, a professor with the Faculty of Medicine & Dentistry and chair of obesity research and management at the University of Alberta.

"A lot of resolutions tend to add things onto our already busy schedules, which rarely make any resolutions sustainable. One of the secrets about weight management is trying to live healthier by making lifestyle changes that are sustainable."

"Think about people wanting to get up an hour earlier to go exercise: they can do it for a few days, but unless they're going to go to bed an hour earlier so they don't end up losing sleep, this is not something that's going to last."

Sharma further says that a reasonable goal is dependent on the amount of change people are willing to bring in themselves and to their schedules. People can perhaps cut down on the time they spend in front of the computer and rather spend it going for a brief walk or stretching.

Other beneficial practices could be cooking food at home rather than going out to eat fast food. Even though it may consume 30 to 60 extra minutes of the day, sitting down for meals with family at least two times a week is really healthy. However, this practice requires commitment, notes Sharma.

Sleeping a little longer is always helpful and the path to good health, with more studies suggesting that lack of sleep could be risky for health and could negatively affect metabolism, mood and energy, Medical Xpress reports.

According to Sharma, it is important to make a conscious choice to be more satisfied and happy with one's life and look at life more positively.  One should also accept what cannot be changed.

"One of the most important things I do is maintain a work-life balance. I also try to stop working when I'm at home. I have lots of different interests and hobbies I pursue. And I don't take myself too seriously, which is also important. When you think that everything you do is equally important-well, it's not, and it is key to try and figure that out," Sharma was quoted as saying by Medical Xpress.

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