For New Year’s resolution success, don’t write off the end of this year

(BPT) – Three-quarters of Americans are planning to enjoy the end of the year and not worry about their diet — up from just half last year, according to a new survey.

Results of a recently released survey by Herbalife, a global health and wellness company, revealed that 72% of the 2,000 Americans surveyed want to make the most of the end of the year, regardless of what that means for their diet, compared to 54% in last year’s survey.

That attitude may help explain why respondents in the sixth annual “Writing Off the End of the Year” survey expect to gain 8 pounds before the end of the year — compared to 5 1/2 pounds last year. The results also revealed that two-thirds (66%) of respondents use the end of the year to postpone being healthy — a 24% increase from the previous year.

“The end of the year should be a time to focus on family, friends and self-care,” said Herbalife Chief Health and Nutrition Officer, Dr. Kent Bradley. “Identify specific, attainable actions you want to take to improve your health and your mindset, and if you can, bring your friends and family along on that health journey.”

Despite leaning into temptation at the end of the year, 68% of respondents are confident they’ll have healthy habits in the new year. And they expect it will take them an average of about 19 days to get back on track with their healthy habits, or to start new ones. With this in mind, 47% are planning to make a New Year’s resolution for 2024, up from 32% the year prior.

The 2024 “Top 5” New Year’s Resolutions are:

  1. Eating healthier (68%)
  2. Exercising more (66%)
  3. Getting more sleep (56%)
  4. Focusing on self-care (54%)
  5. Saving money (53%)

To help set yourself up for success now and into the new year, Bradley recommends these six attainable resolutions to help people lose holiday weight and achieve better health:

1. Be specific

Being too general with a resolution makes it difficult to follow. Rather than saying you’ll exercise more or eat better, make your goal to work out three times a week or have a vegetable with every meal. These small, measurable and specific goals set you up for success.

2. Find a friend

A support network can be a big help on your health journey. Find a friend or group of like-minded people to support each other and keep everyone accountable. It also adds a social element that is essential for overall well-being.

3. Get moving

Physical activity is essential in getting healthy. According to guidelines from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, adults need 150 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity and two days of muscle strengthening activity, each week. It may seem like a lot, but breaking up the physical activity into 30-minute sessions, five days a week, makes it more manageable.

4. Add protein

Protein is a nutritional powerhouse that satisfies hunger and builds lean muscle mass. Include protein-rich foods like lean meat, poultry, eggs, legumes and seeds at every meal and snack to fuel your body and satisfy hunger throughout the day.

5. Avoid fad diets

It’s tempting to jump on the newest trend but remember there are no quick fixes for health. Fad diets do not address the core problems that cause people to gain weight and often eliminate foods that are actually healthy, which can result in nutritional deficiencies.

6. Give yourself grace

Something is always better than nothing. If there isn’t time for a 30-minute workout, do 15. If you can’t make a home-cooked meal, order out a plant-based option. If you have an off day, don’t give up completely. Focus on forward momentum even if you’ve taken a few steps back.

“Make sure you take the time to plan and prepare for the positive behavior changes you’d like to make and be kind to yourself in the process,” said Bradley.

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