Want to lose weight in 2020? Ditch the resolutions and challenge yourself to succeed.

New Year’s resolutions are so 2019! If you are keen to make changes to your diet and weight this year, it’s time to take a new approach: the real way to succeed in 2020 is with a New Year’s challenge.

Challenges require us to shift our focus to ‘the means’ rather than ‘the end’. Your New Year’s resolution may be to lose 20 pounds (approximately 10kg), but have you worked out how you are actually going to do that? Writing a seven-day weight loss challenge that includes daily tasks will give you a tangible plan to follow. A challenge breaks down our long-term goal into smaller goals that are easier to achieve. When we meet these goals, we feel like we are succeeding every day. And when we feel like we are succeeding, we feel motivated to carry on and get the results we are aiming for. Completing our daily tasks allows us to escape the feeling of being overwhelmed that often comes with New Year’s resolutions; we also escape the feelings of failure associated with not sticking to them. Te beauty of a challenge lies in its simplicity and the habitual momentum it can create. Follow these simple steps to write yourself a New Year’s weight loss challenge.

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Challenges can be seven days short or 30 days long but should specify one to four actions to do each day.

Each action should take no longer than 10 minutes to complete. That’s about the time it takes to make, drink and clean up after one green smoothie.

If you have more time available, you can spend more time on an action. The times specified are minimums. If you can go for a 30-minute brisk walk that would be amazing, but if you can only do the minimum 10 minutes, you will still be able to tick that box.

. Use a framework for your daily actions eg one food group to eat more of, one food group to avoid, 10 minutes of exercise to do, volume of water to drink. Combined, these four actions meet your daily challenge.

Plan your daily challenge around your lifestyle. If you know that Saturdays are taken up with ferrying kids to weekend soccer practice and birthday parties, then plan your actions accordingly so that your needs are still met.

Only weigh yourself once a week. Our weight fluctuates naturally during the week and frequent or daily readings can be misleading.

Sarah Walford nutritionist at NW3 Nutrition, helps expats improve their health and well-

being by making simple changes to their diet and lifestyle. Her no-nonsense nutrition plans are fad-diet free, realistic and achievable. To arrange a consultation please visit

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