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Fitness, Fat Loss, General Health

How to Achieve Your Weight Loss Goals in 2023

By Shannon Cole on Jan 16, 2023 9:30:00 AM
6 Minutes Reading Time


New year, new you! Right? As much as I am a fan of resolutions and goal setting, a lot of weight loss resolutions are centered around unsustainable workout routines, minimal calories, and unrealistic expectations.

I’m here to tell you that you don’t need to change everything about your routine to lose weight. This article will focus on strategies you can use to help you lose weight (and keep it off) in 2023. 

Dial in Your Nutrition 

Believe it or not, there is no need to go nuts and initiate barbaric eating habits in an effort to lose weight. But, you can focus on one or two things at a time that will improve your overall nutrition.

As you may know, the rate of obesity, and obesity-related illnesses, has been climbing, with about 40% of people considered obese in the United States. As much as exercise helps with lowering these numbers, nutrition plays the most important role. Below are some great strategies you can use that require minimal effort, and are sustainable.  

-Slow Down Your Eating. Studies show that when presented with a large portion, you are more likely to overeat. In a world where we are always presented with way more food than we need, we can slow down our eating to help combat the urge to eat everything on our plate. Whether at a restaurant or at home, you can control how much you eat based on satiety cues. On a scale of 1 to 10, with 10 feeling stuffed, slow down your eating and pay attention to when you reach a 7 or 8 on the hunger scale. Slowing down when you eat helps you become more mindful during mealtimes and prevent overeating. To help you be more intuitive with your eating habits, the Intuitive Nutrition Guide makes it almost effortless.

-Drink More Water. This one is pretty self-explanatory, and is super easy to add to your routine. Staying hydrated will not only reduce fatigue and prevent headaches, but will help maintain overall wellness. Many times, when we think we’re hungry, we’re really just dehydrated. Drink 8 ounces of water when you can’t decide if you really are hungry or not; that serving of water may be just the thing you need. 

-Minimize Processed Foods. I’m not going to tell you exactly how much fruit, vegetables, and protein you should be consuming daily. You probably have enough going on, and you don’t need to stress about hitting certain metrics on a daily basis. If you can start off by swapping one processed meal or snack a day, you’re on the right track. Start with your snacks, and slowly go from there. If you typically reach for a bag of chips midday, try eating beef jerky, a serving of Greek yogurt with berries, or an apple with string cheese instead. Once you get the hang of it, start tackling your meals one by one. Overhauling every snack and meal all at once can be very overwhelming, and frankly, not very sustainable for the long haul.  

Reduce Stress

This strategy may be overlooked, but I hope you take it seriously this year. Stress can easily wreak havoc on your weight loss goals and overall routine. Not only can it impair sleep (which in itself can increase food cravings and over eating), but it can raise cortisol levels. When we are stressed, average cortisol levels can increase about 9 times compared to relaxed periods.

Cortisol is an important hormone we need for survival, but too much of it can be a bad thing. A surge of cortisol stimulates fat and carbohydrate metabolism, and chronic levels of elevated cortisol can increase your appetite for sweet and fatty foods.

Start to implement daily indulgences that can help lower stress levels, like reading or practicing meditation for 15 minutes in the morning, chatting with a good friend during your lunch break, or taking a bubble bath before bed. Whatever brings you happiness and lowers stress, these little habits can help maintain a positive mindset to keep you focused on your fitness and weight loss goals.

Maintain a Consistent Workout Routine

Any consistent gym-goer knows that the first 1 to 2 months of the year will be slammed at the gym, then there is a gradual decrease in members around March or April. Why is that? Many people with resolutions to lose weight will go from not working at all, to jumping into 5 workouts a week. That motivation is admirable, but it’s so hard to keep a schedule like that consistent throughout the year. Going too hard, too fast, will likely lead to burnout and possibly an injury.

Start with two days a week, then gradually increase the number of workouts after a 2-3 months of staying consistent; most people will find that 4 workouts per week is plenty, so don’t feel the need to get to the point where you are working out every day. On off days, go for walks or bike rides, but don’t consider them “workouts”. These activities should just help you get moving, not increase your heart rate like a workout would. Not only can you progress by increasing the frequency of your workouts, but you can also start challenging yourself with heavier weights, new exercises, or more sets. Making gradual changes to your workout routine can help make your fitness journey more interesting and fun, while also preventing plateaus.

The overall message I hope you can take away from this is that slow and steady really does win the race. Small habits built slowly overtime can help get you to your weight loss goals without feeling constricted or tied down by unrealistic expectations. And, you are more likely to keep the weight off, too. You don’t need to be perfect, just consistent.

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Shannon Cole

Shannon Cole is an ISSA certified personal trainer and lives in the Dallas area. She is a certified nutrition coach through NASM and NCI, and is currently pursuing her M.S. in Sports Science and Rehabilitation. After obtaining her B.A. in Journalism and Mass Communication she eventually gravitated to personal training, and hasn't turned back since. Her passion for athletics and fitness initially stemmed from her high school years playing golf, and her love for the sport still hasn't faded; her career goal is to obtain her Titleist Performance Institute (TPI) certification and develop strength and conditioning programs for golfers. You can usually find her working out in her garage gym, or training for the next Spartan Race with her husband.

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