New year, new life: “I will go on a diet!”

“After the holidays, I will go on a diet”. Raise your hand if you thought this, while holding a slice of cake in one hand, and trying to get the last spoonful of whipped cream with the other.

Starting to eat better and shedding some kilos has always been one of our favourite New Year resolutions.

Abc News has recently announced that following a healthier life style and losing weight top the list of resolutions for 2016: a survey conducted in the last weeks confirmed that these are the resolutions of about 40% of more than 5,000 persons interviewed.

But how many people have really managed to get to the end of the year having stuck to their resolutions? According to recent statistics, only 8% of the persons surveyed managed this.

Here’s some advice to keep your resolution to lose some excess kilos during the year, and maintain the results of the diet.

1) Realistic goals

An advice of the Mayo Clinic for the success of our diet is to set realistic goals, starting from the speed at which we supposed to slim: from 0.5 to 1 kg a week could be a reasonable goal, but it also depends on how many kilos we would like to lose.

A diet of this type corresponds to burning 500 – 1,000 Kcal more than those that we would consume everyday, either by means of a restricted calories diet or increased physical activity.

The University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) also adds that the goal we should set is to become a “healthier me”, and not necessarily to reach a lesser weight or the ideal weight according to calculations or tables.

To set the slimming goals and the procedures to follow, the best choice is to always consult with healthcare professionals, dieticians and nutritionists.

2) Out of sight, out of stomach

UCSF also suggests to play it clever at home and, in some ways, at work as well: knowing that resisting temptation is too much for us, let’s make sure not to create temptations at all.

Let’s refrain from buying too much appetizing food or, if we already have them at home for the other members of the family, try not to put them in the most easily accessible places of the kitchen.

Instead, keep some healthy food like fruit and a bottle of water close by: drinking water helps us to keep healthy dietary habits and, when we get hungry between meals, helps us avoid unhealthy snacking.

3) Spend more time at the table

Another trick from UCSF is to not only to watch what we eat but also how we eat, by changing the way we stay at the table.

Let’s start to eat only when we are sitting down at the table, not while we are cooking, and let’s dedicate mealtime to just eating: watching TV, reading, and using your phone make more difficult to understand how much we are eating.

Let’s not eat in a hurry, chew slowly so that our stomach will have enough time to send a signal of satiety to our brain, which can take up to 20 minutes. Iin this way, we can avoid the false hunger that would lead us to eat more.