In a few days, 2018 will be here. Losing weight is one of the most popular New Year’s resolutions that people make—but how many of us actually stick to it? The real challenge is how to stay motivated all year long.

Here are five tips to help you get started with your weight loss goals:

1. Set SMART Goals

Writing your goals down on pen and paper makes them easier to remember and increases your odds of achieving your New Year’s resolutions. It’s also helpful to set up SMART goals. Meaning, your goals should be Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and have a Timeframe.

For example, a SMART goal can be to “Exercise at least 30 minutes for three to five days a weeks for the next six months, to work the muscles and to increase cardiovascular endurance”.

Don’t shy away from having more than one SMART goal at the same time. I recommend having an exercise plan combined with a dietary plan in order to get the most out of a well-rounded health program!

2. Track Your Progress

It’s important to maintain a record of your starting point. Write down your starting weight and body measurements, make notes on your current health, and get fitness assessment. A fitness assessment can help your personal trainer identify your strong and weak areas so that an exercise plan can be customized to help you reach your goals.

After a few weeks or months, check the progress you have made with your SMART goals. It’s very gratifying to see how much progress you’ve made, and can even give you more motivation to keep on pushing!

3. Chew Food More Slowly

Most of us eat quickly, chewing each bite just a few times, which means we consume more food than we realize. Slow down and you’ll slim down.

In a recent study, people who chewed each bite 40 times ate almost 12 percent less than those who chewed just 15 times. When we chew longer, our bodies produce less ghrelin, a hormone that boosts appetite, and more of the peptide hormones that are believed to curb hunger. Plus, the more you chew, the more thoroughly you break down food, which may release nutrients into your blood faster and give your brain time to register that you’re full.

From now on, focus on eating slowly at every meal. Put down your fork between bites and work your way up to 40 chews per mouthful of food.

4. Switch Up Your Exercise Routine

Change up your exercise routine from time to time as variation is key to making sure your mind and body are getting different stimulus.

At the HFM Wellness Center, members have access to over 50 free group exercise classes a week including cycling, yoga, BODYPUMP, CXWORX, TRX, Tai-Chi, Zumba, and much more. We also offer specialty classes such as Pilates Reformer or on the Fit Mats with a personal trainer one-on-one or in a small group setting.

If classes aren’t for you, there is always the option of lifting weights in the weight room area for increased strength, or do your cardio workout using any cardio equipment like elliptical machine, bikes or walking/ running in the indoor track!

5. Have a Workout Buddy

Working out on your own is fine, but research shows that having a workout partner can help you achieve your weight loss goals even faster when you have support. Plus, you’ll have tons more fun!

These tips will help give you a good start on your weight loss journey and your goals. When your current goals are completed, set up new goals that complement your previous goals. This way you can continue to improve, working towards a healthier (and happier) you! Just remember to take things steady because taking “baby steps” ensures you are more likely to stick with what you desire to achieve.

As I always tell clients, “Motivation is what gets you started, habit is what keeps you going.”

Lucy Vaca
About the Author

Lucy Vaca is a certified personal trainer and fitness instructor at HFM Wellness Center. To schedule a personal training session with Lucy or for more information about the HFM Wellness Center, visit or call (920) 320-4600.