This is going to be a good year for you. Why am I so positive? I recently came across some evidence to back up my sunny forecast. My friend John C. Norcross, PhD, professor of psychology at the University of Scranton and coauthor of the book "Changing for Good," recently shared some research with me. According to his research published in the Journal of Clinical Psychology, between 40 percent and 50 percent of adults in the United States will make New Year's resolutions and two-thirds will concern life threatening behaviors (smoking, alcohol consumption, obesity). In fact, 40-46 percent of New Year's resolvers will be successful at six months. Contrary to conventional opinion, a considerable proportion of New Year resolvers do succeed. This gives me enormous hope and strengthens my resolve to help you with a very important resolution: helping you lose weight.
New Year's resolutions are a teachable moments, and Dr. Norcross shared with me that you are 10 times more likely to change by making a New Year's resolution than someone with identical goals and motivation who does not make a resolution. For the two-thirds of all Americans who are overweight or obese, this could be life saving information. The stark reality is that carrying excess body fat puts you at greater risk heart disease, cancer, diabetes and stroke. This is a resolution you must take very seriously. I want you to look at this year's resolution a little differently -- not as a promise to lose a certain amount of pounds but rather an investment in yourself because you are worth it.
If I start this year with the belief that this year you will reach your goal weight then so must you. I have been teaching about weight loss for decades and with the help of some of my colleagues, co-authors, producers and advisors came up with an 11-week plan that takes the most important principles and combines them into a single plan that will yield the best results and be the easiest to follow. Like all meaningful change, this is a marathon, not a wind sprint. It's an 11 week program called "11 Weeks to Move it and Lose It" and its designed to instill lifestyle, exercise and eating habits that extend long into 2011 and beyond and is easy to find at www.doctoroz.com. Best of all, the program is free so you have run out of excuses.
A New Year's Resolution can be a dramatic or cathartic moment for many people, but I would rather just see it as a new way to do things from now on rather than with the burden and drama of drastic change. Forget about how hard weight loss has been in prior years. Forget that you may have not succeeded in the past. Expect to slip a few times. Dr. Norcross corroborated what I have long taught on the show which is that failing along the way is normal and should be embraced. Like a GPS, simply recalibrate after a wrong turn and make an authorized U turn so you are back on the right path. Allow yourself to be one of the 71 percent of people we know are strengthened by a slip or minor failure. Refuse to judge yourself.
The first step is to make realistic, attainable goals. Be as specific as possible. Vague goals beget vague resolutions and grandiose goals beget resignation. Body Mass Index (BMI) is a standard tool for helping you judge body weight and amount of body fat you have. An ideal BMI is 25. It's easier to aspire to an ideal BMI than constantly think about how many pounds you have to lose. There is a BMI calculator in this program which will calculate yours if you know your height and weight.
The next step is to choose who is going to be your partner in crime. Social support has been show as critical to success in numerous research studies. I am confident you have at least one friend or family member that needs to lose weight along with you. That person will be a terrific ally in your weight loss journey and you in theirs. If you can include more than one person in your support network, do so. Motivate and support one another. My plan offers a social network for you to talk with other people who are on the same journey. Exercise is central to any weight loss program. You need at least 20 minutes a day and I refuse to believe that is impossible for anybody. I do understand that many people need to be taught how to work out and which techniques yield results. Exercise is not one size fits all. If you have a program customized for you, it will be easier, appropriate, and more likely to bring you to your goal weight. As part of the New Year's "11 Weeks to Move it and Lose It" plan, the Nike SPARQ Training Network (NSTN) have tutorials on the site that will be customized to your individual circumstances. You have the absolute cream of the crop teaching you. You can also plan daily menus and log your meals so you can evaluate eating that is right for you and see where you are failing.
This is going to be a good year. Is there any other way to look at it? It's not about the weight; it's never been about the weight. It's about how much you care about yourself and believing that you can do it. I know this is easier said than done, so as we start our journey know that I care about you and I believe in you. I just want you to care about yourself as much as I care for you. Go start your resolution revolution at www.doctoroz.com and watch the January 3 show!
Follow Mehmet Oz, M.D. on Twitter: www.twitter.com/droz.com