Making New Years resolutions is simple. Almost too easy. Sticking to them is tough, often overwhelmingly so – especially when the plans relate to the big stuff, like losing weight and improving our health which they most likely will, since research shows most adults put on more than a kilo over Christmas. 
But there is help at hand with these Top 10 Tips to help you stick to, and achieve, your health and weight loss related resolutions this silly season from nutritionist and Vice President of Nutrition and Education at Atkins Nutritionals Inc. Ms Colette Heimowitz.
1. Make sure your goal is realistic – and achievable
Going cold turkey without a plan, or setting a mammoth goal over a too short period of time, can set you up for failure and disappointment. Thats no way to succeed. If its weight loss youre trying to achieve, a healthy and sustainable amount to lose is around one kilogram per week, so its best to plan your timeframe accordingly.
2. Use the available resources
There is a wealth of freely available information that can assist you in reaching your goals sooner. Following a programme such as the New Atkins Nutritionals Approach that is scientifically formulated for safe and effective weight loss can help you build healthy eating habits in a simple, straightforward way. New Atkins advocates the consumption of lean proteins, leafy green veggies, low sugar fruits, wholegrains and healthy fats, all while eliminating foods packed with empty carbs, such as processed and refined white flour and sugar. With flexible phases, eating plans, recipes, expert advice and user forums, following a plan such as this will get you on your way in no time.
3. Reward yourself
Break your goal down into smaller, achievable mini-goals, such as sticking to your eating plan without any cheat meals for two weeks, or losing a dress size in four weeks. Reward yourself each time you achieve a goal – just not with food! Put money towards new gym gear to help your fitness plans, or a new dress to wear once you reach your goal size – itll give you something to look forward to, and motivation to stick to it. Use tools such as the My Atkins Weight Loss Tracker found at atkins.com to visually reinforce your progress and success!
4. Inspire yourself
Whether its those skinny jeans youre desperate to squeeze into, a beach holiday you want to be bikini-ready for, a sports event youre training for or anything else, stick it onto an inspiration board and put it somewhere obvious where it will keep you motivated to stay on track.
5. Spread the word
Tell your family, friends and colleagues about your plan. They can help make you accountable – and offer you support – and the more support you have the more likely youll succeed. Some of them may even join you.
6. Swap bad for good
Investigate healthy substitutes for your favourite vices. Trying to go without is more likely to induce cravings for the real deal. If its ice cream, opt for natural yoghurt (with less than 8 grams of carbohydrates per 100 grams), mix it with fresh berries and freeze it in ice-block moulds. If chocolate is your downfall opt for low-carb chocolate snack bars such as the Atkins range found in major supermarket health food aisles which contain 90 per cent less sugar and carbs than regular chocolate.
7. Skip the junk food aisle
This ones pretty easy. If you dont go down the confectionery or bikkies aisle its easier to not give in to the temptation of unhealthy snacks. Instead, head down the health food aisle, where you will find delicious low carb alternatives, such as the Atkins Chocolate Break Bar, that will keep your sweet tooth satisfied without the sugar spike afterwards.
8. The more you move, the more youll lose
Combine youre low carb eating plan with exercise. Schedule outdoor activities into your evening and weekend plans. Meet friends for a walk, ride, game of tennis or yoga class instead of a coffee and cake. Trade the lift for the stairs and walk to the store instead of driving. The combination of healthy eating and exercise will help you reach your goals sooner.
9. Dont weigh every day
Dont weigh yourself every day, do it once a week, always in the morning and remember the scales dont tell the whole story. Instead, put your efforts into finding your carbohydrate balance – the amount of carbohydrates you can eat each day to either lose or maintain weight whilst banishing the belly bloat. Think about how you feel and how your clothes fit – understanding this will keep you motivated.
10. Never give up
You will have setbacks. But theyre just that. Stick to your programme and if you fall off the wagon for one day, get back on. Programmes like the New Atkins Nutritionals Approach are structured in a way to keep you motivated and on track. One bad eating day here or there, or a week of stalled loss on the scales is not a failure. You can and will achieve your goals if you continue to work at it.
For more information on how to start and stick to the New Atkins Nutritionals Approach to help reach your health and weight loss goals visit atkins.com.
 Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology – June 2008
- ^ atkins.com (au.atkins.com)
- ^ atkins.com (au.atkins.com)
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