“I want to lose weight.” Every December, this single sentence becomes a goal for an upcoming New Year. Polls confirm that weight loss is the most common New Year’s resolution. Yet, every year, the majority of hopeful people who pledge to drop a few pounds don’t succeed in doing so. Why does this happen?

There are a number of reasons behind this repetitive annual hit-and-miss pledge. A lack of planning certainly can affect the chances of successfully keeping a New Year’s resolution. “All or nothing” approaches that fail to properly balance your nutritional needs and your cravings can also create the perfect environment for failure – for example, a pledge to never allow cookies into your diet again will never last. This same principle is why “crash diets” and extreme diets rarely deliver successful results.

There’s certainly help available that can help individuals avoid these initial pitfalls. Weight loss programs, for example, lead to many individuals dropping some weight with a strict daily diet. Research, unfortunately, has shown that over an extended period of time, many individuals are unable to properly maintain this weight loss after leaving a program.

So, again, we must ask: why does this happen? The answer likely lies not in the what people are eating, but why they are eating it.

Consider this example: it’s New Year’s Eve. The mood is light. You feel happy, and confident, and decide that 2016 will be the year you make a change you’ve wanted to make for a while: you’ll look into losing some weight. And at first, you do well. The day or two after your party, you have the ability to relax during a long weekend. And with a smile on your face, you head to the grocery store and pick up the freshest produce available.

Then, come Monday, it’s back to work you go. Piles of paperwork await you when you return. Phone calls leave you frazzled with little to no time to think clearly. Deadlines begin piling up. And with all of this activity, so does the reason why you find yourself eating more than you care to admit: you’re stressed. And when stress rises, so does our want for foods filled with fats and sugars. And no matter how much we tell ourselves no, sometimes, the stress wins – at which point, you sadly say good-bye to your New Year’s goal.

This is only a single example of why many people find that they struggle with healthy eating and weight management. It’s certainly not the only reason. Little daily triggers in our lives can all contribute to our emotional reasons for wanting to eat. Depression and anxiety can affect our cravings and eating patterns just as much as stress.

Ultimately, losing weight is relatively easy. With a few adjustments in diet and exercise routines, anyone will see an initial drop on their scale. But these adjustments that we make in our diet and routine are very rarely made with long term planning. Instead, they are made as short-term, “in the moment” necessities.

The result? Sooner or later, the why we eat what we eat will always come back. Yet weight loss programs everywhere fail to take these normal, everyday triggers into account – and as a result, set up short term weight loss for long term failure.

This year, we invite you to ditch this pattern of failure, and to join us on a journey that will end in success that is not measured by numbers on a scale. Our practice instead offers a program that is designed to help you make healthy, lifelong changes to your daily eating and exercise patterns. If interested in participating, you will be medically supervised and will receive balanced medical, dietary, and psychological support – giving you an opportunity to truly address every angle and every factor that affects weight loss efforts each day.

Consider it our way of saying, Happy holidays, and happy New Year!