13 Incentives for Making (and keeping) a Weight Loss Resolution in 2018

If you are one of the many Americans who resolved to drop 20 pounds in 2017 and still have 25 pounds left to lose, you’re not alone. With two out of every three Americans either overweight or obese, it’s no surprise that losing weight was one of the most common New Year’s resolutions last January. But lofty aspirations are not enough since most New Year’s resolutions vanish long before the groundhog even thinks about seeing his shadow, with an estimated 92% never reaching their goal.

One of the ways to avoid dealing with what the NIH refers to as False Hope Syndrome is to add some really effective incentives to your dieting arsenal. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recently published the results of a study that gives 13 incentives to achieve and maintain a healthy weight. Unfortunately, all 13 are different types of cancers associated with being overweight and obese. While all other types of cancer have decreased, all but one of those affected by excess weight continue to increase. The sole exception to the increase was colon and rectum cancer, which can be detected with screening and treated before becoming cancerous. (Yes, unpleasant as it is, it is worth the discomfort to have those dreaded colon screenings. Approximately 224,800 cases have been prevented since 2005.)

Cancer caused by too many calories and too little exercise is expected to soon overtake the rate of cancer caused by smoking, becoming the highest preventable risk of cancer.

One significant take-away is the fact that your cancer risk rises with each point that your BMI increases. The rate of risk for these 13 cancers ranges from a 2% increase in risk of breast cancer with each additional BMI point to 9% per point for throat cancer. Studies have shown that even a weight gain as small as 11 pounds can affect your cancer risk.

Since even relatively small weight gains/losses can have a big impact in your risk level, make your 2018 resolution SMART.


It's not enough to simply decide to lose weight. You need a plan, preferably one that includes both exercise and diet changes. Some options and resources to consider are The Ideal Protein Weight Loss Method, The Beck Diet Program, MyFitnessPal, and SuperTracker.


You need a method to determine your progress. While it's tempting to rely totally on the scale for gauging how well you are doing, it may be better to measure your success by how well you follow the plan you choose.


There's nothing quite as motivating as having someone check your progress. This is one area where The Ideal Protein Weight Loss Method is particularly effective. It makes it so much easier to leave that doughnut in the box if you know your coach will quickly be able to tell the level of your self-control at your weekly appointment.


Sure, you'd like to lose all 50 pounds in the first month but that's not possible or healthy. Instead, make your goal doable (i.e. eat a specified amount of vegetables and low fat protein or increase your daily steps by 1,000.)


Make goals to achieve each day, each week, and each month.

Steele CB, Thomas CC, Henley SJ, et al. Vital Signs: Trends in Incidence of Cancers Associated with Overweight and Obesity — United States, 2005–2014. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep 2017;66:1052–1058. DOI:

By Diane M. Bowman, CMA, CCRC

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