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New Year’s Resolutions: One Month In…Have You Fallen Off the Wagon?

Every year around this time, you’re likely to hear regular gym goers (and those who think they are) shout, ‘ Hallelujah! I’m so glad those New Year’s people are gone!’

While you might wince at their elliptical-machine-fueled resentment, the gym rats have a point. According to a recent article in the New York Times, studies of past New Year’s resolutions have shown that those who have kept their resolutions through January tend to stick with their goals longer.  Congratulations if you’ve made it this far!

But what if you’ve strayed from the treadmill? Are you doomed to a life of couches, Twinkies and reruns of infomercials on weight loss featuring d-list celebrities?

No. But medical experts say you DO need a strategy. And since so many resolutions revolve around diet and exercise – that means choosing an eating and fitness plan that’s right for you.

Einstein’s Yasmin Mossavar-Rahmani, Ph.D., R.D., associate professor of clinical epidemiology & population health, is one of those experts. She  helped develop the latest U. S. News and World Reports Best Diets 2012 rankings and says that personality matters when choosing a diet.

“Are you the Lone Ranger, or the one who needs a large group around him or herself,” Dr. Mossavar-Rahmani asks.

While immediate goals such as a loss of 10 pounds or the ability to do 100 pushups a day might get you started, figuring out what motivates you to stay on track is the key to long-term success, she said.  Watch this video for more of Dr. Mossavar-Rahmani’s suggestions on choosing and sticking with your diet.

Whatever you do, don’t give up. As John C. Norcross, Ph.D., from the University of Scranton, says in the Times piece,  “Contrary to widespread public opinion, a considerable proportion of New Year resolvers do succeed. You are 10 times more likely to change by making a New Year’s resolution compared to non-resolvers with the identical goals and comparable motivation to change.”

Have you stuck with your resolution? If so, what’s been your motivation? If not, what’s the plan to get back on the wagon? Share your experiences in the comments below.

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