A resolution to lose weight is fairly common right after the new year begins. Unfortunately, only about 20% of dieters are successful in keeping lost weight off for a year or longer. Dr. Jessica Bartfield of Gottlieb Memorial Hospital offers these tips for long-term success. They were originally published online at

Set Realistic Goals. Don’t be over-ambitious or vague about what you see yourself accomplishing in a week, a month or a year. Your goals have to be attainable, but not too easy to achieve.

Always Eat Breakfast. One of the reasons it’s considered the most important meal of the day has a lot to do with successful dieting. Eating within an hour of waking up can boost your metabolism by 20% for the rest of the day.

Exercise for an Hour Daily. Whether it’s running, cycling, lifting weights or skipping rope, make a point of getting some form of exercise every day. For best results, do something different every day.

Track Your Progress. Write down what you eat and how hard you work. This includes the approximate number of calories consumed at each meal, and between meals, what you did at the gym, and what you weigh.

Have A Plan For Setbacks. At some point, you’ll fall off your diet and get tired of heading to the gym every day. That’s to be expected with any lifestyle change. Have a plan for getting back on track before the progress you’ve made is lost.

Finally, convince a friend or family member to chase a weight loss goal with you. Sharing the experience will make the effort more enjoyable and you’re likely to keep each other more motivated for long-term success.

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