It’s happened again. All the holiday eating and cold winter nights on the couch have caught up with you…and it doesn’t look pretty. Take heart. You’re in good company and where there’s a will to get rid of winter weight, there is a way.

GoalsGet a journal

Use your journal to record beginning and weekly weight, daily meals and snacks, measurements, accomplishments, pictures and quotes that inspire you to stay on your weight loss journey. You should also write out your goals. These should be realistic, measureable and time limited.


I will lose at least one pound each week for the next ten weeks.

I will exercise three times each week for 30 minutes for the next three months.

I will eat seven servings of fruits and vegetables every day for the next four weeks

You can revisit these goals at the end of the deadline you set and decide how or if they should be modified.

Know your why

Write about your motivation, too. Why is it important to you to lose weight? How will your life be changed? What benefits do you anticipate? Why does the benefit matter to you? As you write, be as clear and honest as you can about how you think your life will be changed, and why that change matters. When you are really committed to the why of weight loss, the how will be easier.

ScalesWeigh in

Get fully undressed and get on the scale before you eat anything. Record your weight in your journal. Take your measurements and include these in your journal as well. This step is important because lost inches can help you stay encouraged when it seems like to scale won’t budge.

Plan meals

You will need to burn 3500 calories to lose one pound. Broken down that is about 500 fewer calories each day that you must take in or 500 calories that you must burn with exercise. What you eat matters (that includes everything – snacks and nibbles too – you put in your mouth). Learn about ideal caloric intake for your weight, height and activity level, and plan your meals accordingly. Rely on good information rather than assumptions. People generally underestimate the number of calories they take in.

Get support

You are more likely to stick with your winter weight loss plan when you have support. Get your spouse, co-worker, neighbor, friend or family member to exercise with you a few times each week. You’ll have more fun and you may even work harder. After all, a little friendly competition can’t hurt.

Move more all day

Go to the gym. Get out of your seat, too. If you add all the hours of travel to work, sitting at desks, in front of television and sleeping, it is probably safe to say that you’re sedentary at least 20 hours a day. Get a pedometer and aim for 10,000 steps a day in addition to exercise.

Be realistic

The number one obstacle to weight loss is unrealistic expectations. You will lose weight but it won’t happen in a week. You have to stick with it. Make room for rewards so you don’t feel deprived. Celebrate every accomplishment along the way. Maybe you haven’t lost all the weight yet but maybe you snore less or have better blood pressure or cholesterol numbers. Find ways to stay encouraged. Remember why you started this journey in the first place.