Why Losing Weight Is The Hardest New Year's Resolution To Keep

Every December, millions of Americans resolve to lose weight in the new year -- almost all fail. Here's why you're better off trying something new.

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Everyone wants to lose weight.

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"Losing weight and getting fit" is one of the most common New Year's resolutions -- and one of the most commonly broken. TIME chalks it up to people being lazy, but it's a bit more complicated than that.

Some studies are even more depressing.

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This BBC article cites a study that puts the figure at 1 percent: only 1 in 100 people who go on a diet will lose weight and keep the weight off.

If you do find a successful diet, you have to make sure you're not losing weight too fast.

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Losing more than a pound a week is often dangerous: there are serious health risks and complications that can arise. Plus, your body's starvation response will eventually inhibit weight loss, so your crash diet isn't sustainable in the long run.

If you find your weight seesawing, that's dangerous, too.

Yo-yo diets or seesawing weight has its own set of problems. Studies have found a link between fast weight loss/weight gain and high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and gallbladder disease.

It's more important to be active than to lose weight.

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Fitness is key. Losing weight may be an uphill battle, but you can always be more active and healthy. You'll feel better, even if the number on the scale isn't going down.

You'll be happier if you don't diet.

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Diets can make you stressed, yes. They can also make you unhappy and seriously depressed. Not to mention less fun to be around -- have you ever hung out with a hardcore dieter? They tend to be grumpy.

Try this resolution instead: take a yoga class.

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Instead of trying a diet that won't work or getting a gym membership you won't use, why not give a yoga class a shot? You might lose weight, but there are plenty of other benefits as well.

And find friends to exercise with.

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If you make it a social activity, it won't seem like such a chore. And sure, you're more likely to lose weight that way, but what's important is you'll be more inclined to stick with it. While keeping the weight off doesn't really matter, maintaining a healthy lifestyle does.

Don't forget to enjoy life.

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Make 2013 the year you don't make an impossible resolution. Don't obsess over the number on the scale. Don't stress over your waist size. And don't deny yourself dessert. Everything in moderation.