On January 1, millions of people will pledge to change their old ways in the New Year and finally try to lose weight. We all start off with the best intentions, but sometime around March, motivation runs dry and all the passion with which we approached the New Year fades. In order to succeed we must change our minds about weight loss resolutions. For years I vowed to lose the same 30 pounds, and I consistently failed. I didn’t succeed until I applied the following tips to my life.

1. Stop focusing on a specific start date.
The problem with New Year’s weight loss resolutions is so much emphasis is put on the January 1 starting point that we set ourselves up for failure. This mindset is not just confined to the New Year. How often do we say “I will start on Monday” and binge eat until Monday? Stop putting health in a box. The moment you eat a meal that is less than ideal, make the choice to do better on the next meal. Don’t wait till Monday or even next year!

2. Fad diets don’t work.
Wrapped up in the passion to lose weight, we often try things that will get us the quickest results. The reality is that no specific “diet” will keep us thin forever. Keeping a healthy weight takes daily work and sacrifice. Going vegan, doing Paleo and juicing are all great ideas, but if we are not in it for the long run, those methods will not work. Moving beyond a diet and developing a healthy lifestyle is key.

3. Be honest about your lifestyle.
One of the biggest factors to weight loss success is truth. Being honest goes a long way. I was vegan for a long time after I lost weight and I remember thinking, “Am I never going to eat cheese again?” I knew I wasn’t being honest with myself. I had to create a healthy lifestyle that was authentic to me. I found vegetables I loved and created a way of eating that helped me sustain my weight loss.

4. When all else fails, consistency doesn’t.
Consistency equals results. It is nice to go to the gym every once in awhile to get your sweat on, but if you are trying to sculpt the body of your dreams, then irregular trips to the gym will not work. Consistency is crucial. Setting up a schedule and sticking to it will yield results much faster than you think.

5. Focus on your diet above all else.
A big myth when it comes to dieting and exercise is you can eat whatever you want as long as you exercise. This is rarely the case, especially in the post-college years. Drastically overhauling an unhealthy diet is the only way to see sizeable weight loss results. People write me about how they have tried everything but are not seeing results. I often ask a few simple questions and find the culprit blocking success is their diet. Eating healthy is hard work in the beginning, but don’t be discouraged. In the end you will be happy you stuck to it!

Khaleeqa Rouse is an Ironman triathlete and creator of the health and fitness blog Paparoxi. Through her 60-pound weight loss, love of cooking and passion for exercise, she uses her blog and fitness-consulting business to encourage people to improve their health. Follow her on Twitter @Paparoxi.

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