Timi Gustafson, R.D.

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If Your Weight Loss Aspirations Remain Frustrated, Don’t Be Surprised

January 11th, 2016 at Mon, 11th, 2016 at 8:28 am by timigustafson

It’s resolution season again, that time-honored exercise of self-restraint when people try to negate the fallout from holiday celebrations and other indulgences. According to statistics, however, these well-meaning attempts are mostly doomed to fail. The vast majority of ‘born-again’ dieters and exercise enthusiasts will give up in less than a month. The reasons can be myriad, and sometimes they are beyond a person’s control. But there are also ways to beat the odds and find success at last.

One reason why so many people get frustrated with their weight loss efforts is that they expect too much too quickly. In fact, setting unrealistic goals can sabotage the best laid plans.

Especially with weight loss, people should not look for fast results but for lasting outcomes. Attacking the problem rigorously with short-term strategies may be more attractive to some, but radical approaches are usually unsustainable and even counterproductive over time. In any case, you shouldn’t wait until January 1st and then try making a complete U-turn from what you’ve been doing for far too long.

“Losing weight and getting healthy isn’t something that happens once a year – it’s something that should last a lifetime,” says Toby Amidor, a Registered Dietitian, consultant, and book author.

That doesn’t mean making resolutions is always a futile enterprise that should be abandoned altogether. For those who are willing to role the dice once more, despite of past disappointments, Amidor has good advice how to “jump-start” a new round.

Whatever you’re planning to do, she says, it’s important to set not vague but specific, achievable goals. Do your research, so you know what you’re getting yourself into before you start out on the wrong track. Determine upfront what success or failure would look like and how to measure each. Team up with like-minded people who share your aspirations and support you. Seek professional help and guidance if need be.

However, even the best thought-out guidelines will not help if they are not applicable to an individual. The only diet- or fitness regimen that works is the one you can stick to, says Kathleen M. Zelman, a Registered Dietitian and Director of Nutrition for WebMD. In the end it doesn’t matter what someone should do, but what he or she can do, she says.

So before you decide on a particular diet program, you need to narrow your choices down to what suits your needs, your lifestyle, your particular circumstances, she says.

The same, of course, goes for your exercise routine, how you handle stress, and how much sleep you get – all important components for successful weight management. If any one or more of these are missing, there will be enough amiss to make you fail again. But also be aware that implementing changes in your habits takes time. And if success doesn’t show up right away, don’t be surprised and keep working at it.

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Timi Gustafson R.D. is a registered dietitian, newspaper columnist, blogger and author of the book “The Healthy Diner – How to Eat Right and Still Have Fun”®, which is available on her blog and at amazon.com.  For more articles on nutrition, health and lifestyle, visit her blog, “Food and Health with Timi Gustafson R.D.” (www.timigustafson.com).

Timi Gustafson, RD, LDN, FAND is a registered dietitian, health counselor, book author, syndicated newspaper columnist and blogger. She lectures on nutrition and healthy living to audiences worldwide. She is the founder and president of Solstice Publications LLC, a publishing company specializing in health and lifestyle education. Timi completed her Clinical Dietetic Internship at the University of California Medical Center, San Francisco. She is a Fellow of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, an active member of the Washington State Dietetic Association, a member of the Diabetes Care and Education, Healthy Aging, Vegetarian Nutrition and the Sports, Cardiovascular and Wellness Nutrition practice groups. For more information, please visit http://www.timigustafson.com

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