Want to lose weight in 2016? Experts say start right now

Do it. Now.

If you're like most of us, you want to lose weight in 2016. The experts we spoke to suggest that you start now.

As in, today.

"There's no need to wait for January 1st," said Jocelyn Shaw, a Weight Watchers personal coach and leader. "The very next decision you make can turn it around and move you in the right direction."

Jennifer Cohen, health and fitness expert and author of "Strong Is the New Skinny," said the plan doesn't need to be time consuming or complicated. Cohen said that starting a food journal, committing to 15 minutes of daily exercise and choosing a healthful breakfast can kick-start your fitness goals long before Jan. 1 rolls around: "Once you see the results and feel good it will become addictive — and you'll get into a routine."

And don't worry if your health and fitness regimen takes a hit during the holidays.

"It's inevitable," Cohen said. "You're constantly tempted by treats, excess food and alcohol ... it doesn't make it easy to keep on point." The good news: Maybe that's OK. "It's not what you do in a week or in three weeks, it's what you do in three or four months or a year. ... It's consistency over time."

Shaw said, "Start where you are, start small."

"As the holidays wind down, people start to get ambitious," she said. "They start thinking about all the things they want to accomplish and it often translates to really big, vague goals." Instead of pledging to be more healthy or lose weight, Shaw said, the trick is to be as specific as you can and create achievable goals. Then, break them down. Replace sweeping proclamations — "I will exercise more" — with "I will go for a 10-minute walk twice a week."

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"It's so important to realize that all movement counts," Shaw said. "All fitness counts. Sometimes people think it's all or nothing, but you just have to jump in."

health@latimes.com

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A version of this article appeared in print on December 19, 2015, in the Features section of the Los Angeles Times with the headline "Want to drop weight in 2016? Experts say start now" — Today's paperToday's paper | Subscribe
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