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Weight loss tops resolution attempts

Long before the population of the United States became collectively obese, losing weight has been at or near the top of people’s New Year’s resolutions.

Quitting smoking dropped a spot to No. 3 and was replaced at the No. 2 slot with volunteering. Statistics show, however, the success rate for meeting self-imposed goals set by New Year’s resolutions is very slim, according to statisticbrain.com.

Of the estimated 45 percent of Americans who will make resolutions for 2014, only 8 percent will achieve their goal and less than half will adhere to set resolutions more than six months.

“We see a rather large spike in membership at the end of December and beginning of January.” Ryan Walker, personal trainer at Elite Rehab and Fitness in Ironton, said. “People make resolutions and start coming here and suddenly at times when there’s usually 10 people working out in here it becomes 15 or 20.”

Walker, who has a degree in exercise science, said by late March or early April, the number of regular gym attendees is back down to around 10.

“It seems people want instant results,” he said. “TV shows like the Biggest Loser give people the impression they can drop 25 pounds in a week or two and the truth is they probably can’t.”

Losing weight is an arduous process, Walker said, that takes time, dedication and determination. Sometimes, he said, life gets in the way of people’s best intentions.

“The people on the Biggest Loser live on a fitness ranch 24/7 with three world-class trainers at their fingertips and healthy food prepared for them,” he said. “That’s just not realistic. In real life people have jobs, families and other things they have to worry about, too. The first thing sacrificed if there is a time issue is the gym.”

Getting fit and eating healthier foods is also on the list of top resolutions. Getting more or better education, a better job, managing money better, drinking less alcohol, recycling and taking a trip round out the list of resolutions.

“It’s a time management issue,” Kenneth Jenkins, who has been a trainer for more than four years at Preferred Fitness in Ironton, said. “The No. 1 excuse we hear from people is they can’t find the time. But, honestly, it’s going to be some kind of excuse no matter what.”

Jenkins said the big end of the year increase in membership at Preferred Fitness has a relevancy span of only a couple months, with most new members ending their regular attendance by late February or early March.

Statistics from the Weight-control Information Network (WIN) states losing 5 to 7 percent of your body weight – for a person weighing 200 it would mean 10 to 14 pounds – may improve quality of life, prevent weight-related health problems and decrease chances for developing Type 2 diabetes.