The New Year brings a host of resolutions, many of which are the same ones that we were unable to achieve last year. And it's a good bet the most popular (and often most difficult) resolution to attain is to lose weight.
Researchers say most New Year's resolutions are destined to end in failure. A study released in 2007 found that the reason for this might be because people are setting unrealistic resolutions — such as dropping 50 pounds in two months.
Richard Wiseman of the University of Bristol in England said 80 percent of such resolutions are doomed to fail.
That doesn't mean you should give up on becoming more fit and healthier in the new year.
But if you are serious about losing weight in 2012, the first thing you need to accept is there is no miracle pill that will help you lose weight quickly and safely.
Likewise, there are no revolutionary short cuts to dropping weight and becoming physically fit.
It's important to consult your physician before trying any weight-loss program or diet products.
There are no miracle cures to address the problem. Sure you might lose some weight, maybe even a lot of weight.
But fitness experts say the key is to be able to keep that weight off safely for years to come. That requires making better lifestyle choices, such as eating healthier or engaging in walking or some other form of regular exercise.
The new year generally sees an increase in the number of people joining gyms or fitness centers. That's great, but a gym membership alone will not help you meet your resolutions.
It's important to have realistic goals and follow a proper regimen of diet and exercise.
And remember — you didn't put all that weight overnight and you won't take it off overnight either.
We want to hear from you. Have you been able to keep a New Year's resolution to lose weight?
Send your comments to Mailbag, P.O. Box 1717, Johnson City, TN 37605-1717, or firstname.lastname@example.org. Please include your name, telephone number and address for verification.
We will print your responses on the Opinion pages in the coming weeks. You also can go to www.johnsoncitypress.com to cast a vote in the online poll.
Results of the poll, along with comments from readers, will appear on the Opinion page Jan. 10.