7 Weight Loss Tips to Start Your New Year on Track

Article posted in: Lifestyle
woman on smart phone on chair

The New Year is here, and with it, the resolutions: More than half of Americans make resolutions each January. The most common one? You guessed it: To lose weight.

If you’re one of the millions making this pledge to pare down, make this the New Year where you don’t just resolve, but succeed: Take a few cues from New Year’s Eve to help make 2024 the year you’re on track—so next December’s New Year’s party is the one where you celebrate reaching your goal instead of resolving to start again.

Start with these seven simple, New Year’s-inspired tips.

1. Forget Staying Up Until Midnight: Get More Sleep!

Sleeping woman in bed at night in dark bedroom.

While hucksters try to sell you pills, potions and cure-alls, one of the best ways to boost for your health is in your bedroom: Getting adequate sleep has been shown to lower your risk of high blood pressure, diabetes and obesity. It could even help you live longer: Scientists have found that “short sleepers”  (commonly less than seven hours per night, often less than five hours per night) per night is associated with a 12-percent increased risk of early death compared to when people sleep seven to eight hours per night.

And, of course, research shows that it helps with weight loss: In a more than 65,000 women, participants who slept fewer than five hours per night were over 30-percent more likely to gain 33 pounds or more over the 16 years of the study than those who slept seven hours each night.

Your New Year’s fix: Aim for seven to eight hours of sleep per night.

2. Don’t Forget Old Acquaintances: Tell a Friend!

two friends enjoying a run together outdoors

Many people who start a weight loss program try to go it alone. It could be that they think that weight loss is purely personal, or they’re afraid to tell people they’re trying in case they fail. But keeping your weight loss journey to yourself may sabotage your results, making you more likely to fail!

“According to research, having friends or family members who are supportive of your healthy eating and exercise goals is important for long-term weight-loss success,” says Mayo Clinic.

If you can find a trusted friend or family member to join you on your program, do it! You’ll support each other and learn good habits together. If you can’t find someone to join you, at least identify a few trusted friends you can talk to—to celebrate your successes, give you encouragement on tough days, or even just to vent.

For Nutrisystem members, there’s an extra layer of support when your special friends aren’t available to chat: Nutrisystem’s Weight Loss Coaches. Whether you’ve got a question about your program or just need some advice, they’re here for you.

Your New Year’s fix: Get others involved! Identify some accountability or encouragement partners you can trust to talk about your goals, so you don’t go it alone.

3. Don’t Drop the Ball: Follow a Program!

a day of Nutrisystem meals and grocery additions

When it comes to weight loss and fitness regimens, many of us feel like we can just wing it. We just need to “eat less and move more,” right?

The truth is, this can lead to skipped meals, low energy, stop-and-start dieting and a lack of results. When you wing it, you may eat so few calories that your program is unsustainable. Or you may not measure your portions, and wind up eating more than you think you are. And if your self-guided plan does work, it often doesn’t adjust, resulting in sputtering results as your progress plateaus.

The solution is simple: Follow a program! Nutrisystem weight loss plans work because they take the guesswork out of losing weight. The programs tell you exactly how much you need to eat—and when—to stay energized, feel satisfied, and still lose weight. And if you’re logging your weight in the NuMi app, the SmartAdapt feature will adjust your calories and dietary intake as you lose weight—so you’ll keep losing, avoiding those frustrating plateaus.

Your New Year’s fix: Find a program that works for you, and follow it. Check out Nutrisystem weight loss plans to find one that fits your lifestyle and goals.

4. Make Small Resolutions—and Keep Them Top of Mind.

Close up view of man writing in notebook

Many times, we write down big, ambitious New Year’s resolutions … and then forget about them. But setting smaller goals for things you can do every day or week can make you more likely to succeed—and can help you reach your bigger goals. Researchers at Yale have found that when people on a weight loss program had smaller goals, they were more likely to stick with their programs.

That’s part of why Nutrisystem works so well: Instead of just focusing on your goal weight, the programs focus on daily process goals—eating four servings of non-starchy vegetables, drinking at least 64 ounces of water, and eating all your daily meals and snacks. Accomplishing those little goals every day add up to smashing the big goals.

And if you write your goals down and review them, they’ll stay in the front of your mind, and you could continue to strive for them. Studies have shown that when you review your goals often, you’re more likely to achieve them. Consider keeping a list of your small goals in your car, by your bathroom mirror, or on your phone’s lock screen—somewhere that you’ll see if every day.

Your New Year’s fix: Set small, attainable goals that push you towards your bigger goals. Write them down, and review the list often. Learn how to set goals with our guide here! >

5. Reflect On Where You’ve Been: Track Your Progress.

man on smart phone at park

At New Year’s, many people look back on the year they’ve just lived to assess how things have gone. Don’t wait until December, though: Tracking your progress every day can help you lose more weight. In fact, one study found that keeping a daily food log helped people lose twice as much weight as those who didn’t keep track of their daily diet.

Tracking your progress is simple with Nutrisystem’s NuMi app: It includes a simple, easy-to-use food log that works for Nutrisystem meals and snacks and for any other food you might eat. It also has ways to track your activity, how much water you drink, and your weight. That way, you can see what you did on your best days and during your most successful weeks, and do it again!

Your New Year’s fix: Download NuMi and track your progress!

6. Make a Party Tray: Prep Lots of Veggies!

Woman chopping veggies on cutting board

You wouldn’t make a New Year’s party spread without a veggie platter. Continue that all year, and you’ll lose more weight. Eating non-starchy vegetables gives your body vitamins it needs. They also provide fiber, a nutrient that helps you feel full, so you’re less likely to crave more food than you need to meet your goals.

These vegetables also have lots of water, which can help with weight loss: Studies have shown that people who eat water-rich foods can eat bigger meals while eating fewer calories.

All this is why Nutrisystem recommends that members eat four servings of non-starchy vegetables per day. Crunchy carrots or cucumbers in a party-style tray definitely count! And to make it more like a party, you don’t have to skip the dip: Check out these easy, healthy hummus recipes that will make every plate of vegetables feel like you’re celebrating, not dieting!

Your New Year’s fix: Find a day each week to prep some non-starchy vegetables … and munch on them all week.

7. Raise a Toast (or Lots of Them): Celebrate Your Victories!

Man buying sport shoes.

When it comes to staying motivated, we often get it all backwards: We focus tons of attention on when we make mistakes, beating ourselves up for slip-ups, binges and small flubs. But we don’t give the right choices we make almost any attention, so we don’t reinforce the good behavior.

Flip the script: When you eat a healthy lunch, stick to your plan, eat your non-starchy vegetables or go for a walk, celebrate it! Give yourself positive reinforcement so that you’ll want to do these things again and again. Tell yourself that you did a good job, write down your victories, and celebrate your small successes.

And when you have a bigger success—like hitting a weight loss milestone—give yourself a non-food reward, too. Maybe there’s a piece of clothing you’ve wanted to buy, walking shoes you’ve been eyeing, a movie you’ve been waiting to see, or just a friend you’ve been meaning to hang out with—call them and find a time to go for a walk together. Find ways to make yourself feel good about doing well on your program so you’ll want to keep succeeding.

Your New Year’s fix: Find ways to celebrate your victories that fit your plan … and celebrate often!