Personal trainer Michelle Burns says weight loss resolutions can be achieved by setting a realistic goal.
Personal trainer Michelle Burns says weight loss resolutions can be achieved by setting a realistic goal. Renee Pilcher

Making a positive life change

THIS year I resolved not to make a new year's resolution.

As New Year's Eve rolled around I heard friends resolving to kick their smoking habits, exercise more and save money. Of those, only one has actually kept their resolution - me!

New Year's Day came and went and the smoker I was talking about bought a new pack: "I'm too stressed to quit right now," was the reasoning.

The hopeful gym junkie has not yet started their new regime and the spend-a-holic - yep, you guessed it, went shopping.

My decision not to make a resolution stems from years of not sticking to them.

I'm not a cynic, but I don't want to set myself up for failure. And yes, I did have a resolution in mind. Like most, I would like to lose some weight - Christmas has not been kind to me.

For most of my 29 years I have been making resolutions to lose weight and never sticking to it and studies show that most will fail when it comes to resolutions about weight loss.

It seems if you are serious about changing your life you won't wait until the new year to get started.

Research released by website myspecialk.com.au just before New Year's Day showed Australian women's best intentions for their eating and exercise habits were often fruitless, with only about 10% ever seeing the benefit.

Equation Training's Michelle Burns said to get fit and lose weight was 80% about the food you ate and 20% exercise.

"Portion sizes have changed in the last 10 years; we have bigger dinner plates and tend to fill them up. Protein needs to be the size of your palm and fill up on colourful fruit and vegies," she said.

"You know what things are bad, but you don't know how bad. One Tim Tam is a third of my daily intake."

Another friend, whose resolution was to quit smoking, started the process about a month out from the new year and so far, so good.

Weight loss tips, tricks

If your new year's resolution is to lose weight and keep it off, Gympie personal trainer Michelle Burns said to set a realistic goal.

"The best tip I could give is input has to be less than output and heart rate has to be up to lose weight," she said.

She says exercise has to be fun or you won't keep it up.

"Take baby steps. Exercising once a week is better than nothing."

She said to keep yourself motivated, measure your waist line instead of just jumping on the scales, and to keep yourself full, drink low-fat milk instead of juice.

Ms Burns holds 12-week challenges to encourage people trying to lose weight.

Most women lose about 50cm from their waistline during the challenge in which Ms Burns sets out what you can eat each day and does fortnightly weight and measurement checks. Everyone lost weight and centimetres in the challenge, she said.

The person who loses the most in a week gets a free training session and the biggest loser at the end of the challenge gets to keep the kitty. Her next challenge starts January 16.