After spending the holidays feasting on lusciousdinners, desserts and the occasional extra glass (or two) of wine, yourNew Year’s resolution may involve shedding some pounds. If so, the bestway to hit your goal is to think small, says Stephanie C. Barthmare,Med, LPC, a pyschotherapist at Methodist Hospital’s weight managementcenter in Houston, as reported by HealthDay News. Here’s how:

    • Plan to lose just a few pounds. Doing it a little at a time will keepyou from being overwhelmed—and it will keep you on track for keepingthe pounds off.

     • Be specific about how you plan to loseweight, and have realistic expectations of what you can do each day.Also, include detailed directives, such as “no pre-dinner snacking” or“take a 10-minute walk every afternoon”.

     • Gradually stopeating bad-for-you foods. For example, start by cutting down yourintake of soda from three a day to one for the first week, Barthmaresaid. “And then maybe [the] next week eliminate cheese from yoursandwiches.”

     • Create a vision of your goal. Think aboutfitting into smaller-sized pants than you currently wear or doing anactivity you don’t do now.

     • Keep it balanced. Going coldturkey on foods that don’t fit into your diet plan may work for a fewdays (or weeks), but when you start thinking about what you’re givingup, it’s highly likely that you’ll return to old and unhealthy eatinghabits, Barthmare said.

“When you don’t come up with a plan tolose weight and the process is torture, you are setting yourself up forfailure,” Barthmare said. “By refraining from one behavior that youknow is potentially causing weight gain, you will begin to accumulatesmall successes, and these positive actions and resulting good feelingsgive you the momentum to keep going and eventually reach the goal youset for yourself.”

Think about it. With these few tips, you’ll be out of your holi-daze and reaching your weight-loss goal before the year is up.

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