One of the most common New Years resolutions is to get healthier and lose some weight.  But how many people out there making that resolution will stick with it?  All resolutions are easy to make and even easier to break, but if you are serious about getting healthier and losing some weight in the next year I know some tricks that will help you along the way.

The first thing you need to do is make your plan for your health and weight loss goals.  More importantly you need to make it real and you need to make it measurable.  If you go into this thinking you are going to have results as fast as people on tv you will be disappointed and will probably give up on your resolution.  Realistically you want to think about losing 1 - 2 pounds a week, depending on the amount of work you want to put in.  Anymore than that and you are looking at making some extreme lifestyle changes.  Huge changes are hard to keep up and thus make it much more likely that you will gain your weight back. So take the weight that you want to lose, say 30 pounds, and divide it by the weight that you think that you can lose per week, 1 pound for me. So I will plan to lose 1 pound per week for 30 weeks.  I plan to hit my FINAL goal by the end of July 2013.  Much more important than my final goal is all the little goals that make it up.  I like to weight myself every 2 weeks, so I hope to see a loss of 2 pounds each time I weigh myself.  Along with regular goals mark out what time you want to hit intervals that you find important.  Label when you want to hit a 10 pound loss, 20 pound loss, and so on.  Reaching little goals first will help you to reach your total goal in the end.  If it happens you don't hit one of your mini goals don't panic, just check what you are doing and make some changes to get you back on track.

## Stay Away From The Soda

The average American drinks about 45 - 50 gallons of soda per year.  Let's go with the low number and do some math just for the fun of it.  There are 128 ounces in a gallon.  128 times 45 equals 5,760 ounces of soda.  At 12 ounces per can that comes out to 480 cans of soda or 40 boxes of soda (12 can boxes).  If we look at an average can of soda (120 calories, 32 grams of sugar, and 0 protein) that is an extra 57,600 calories and 15,360 grams of sugar to put into your body.  At 454 grams per pound that makes just under 34 pounds of sugar and enough calories to put 16.5 pounds of fat on your body.  If you want to lose weight drinking soda is going to be like trying to win a 5k race by runing your first mile in the wrong direction.  If you want to meet your goal and finish 1st in that race get yourself back on track.  Drink water when you are thirsty, stay hydrated, and stay away from sweet drinks loaded down with sugar.  The worst calories you can take in are the ones that you drink.  They are easy to put into your body and usually pretty hard to get out.

## White Meat VS Red Meat

Credit: By Martin Abegglen (Flickr: calf) [CC-BY-SA-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

I know that Americans love their red meat, I am no exception.  We eat way too much of it.  Eating larger quantities of red meat has been linked to early deaths and increased chances of developing cancer cells.  If that is not incentive enough how about this, when I decided to cut almost all red meat out of my diet I lost 15 unexpected extra pounds in 3 months without altering any other parts of my routine.  White meat has many advantages for you.  It is lower in calories than red meat and comparable in protein.  It also has less fat and the fat that it does have is usually better for you and your overall health.  There is also not much of a cost difference.  If you shop right making the switch is easy.  There are tons of recipes out there for substituting white meat into your favorite recipes.  Go give it a try.  What do you have to lose, or should I ask how much?  Just make sure to stay away from the skin.

## Get Active

Credit: By Nevit Dilmen (Own work) [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html) or CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/)], via Wikimedia Commons

## Eat In Not Out

Credit: By Daniel Barcelona (Own work) [CC-BY-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons