Chances are, if you’re contemplating a New Year’s resolution, shedding those extra pounds is at the top of your list, according to a Marist Poll.

But the best time to make a weight loss commitment is sooner rather than later, according to Dr. Pamela Peeke, chair of the Jenny Craig Science Advisory Board, who is sharing four good reasons to make a pre-New Year’s resolution.

Here are her insights to consider, and, if you add the help of Jenny Craig’s Rapid Results, you can lose up to 16 pounds in the first four weeks (average weight loss was 11.6 pounds for those who completed the studies), making it a great way to start an early weight loss resolution.

1: You’ll Love Your Holiday Photos. Whether work party snapshots or the chronicling of special moments spent with family and friends, the holidays are loaded with photo ops. But how often have you avoided pictures because you didn’t feel good about being in front of the camera?

“A common refrain we hear from members is that they avoided having pictures taken of themselves because they weren’t happy with their weight,” says Carrie Elkins, division manager for Jenny Craig Anywhere.

By making a commitment now, you can feel healthier and more confident during the holidays -- and have the photos to remember those moments.

2: You’ll Be More Proactive and Procrastinate Less. Let’s face it: If you know you want to lose weight but are waiting until January to start, you may just be delaying the inevitable. Waiting can set you up for procrastination, and procrastination can actually be harmful, according to the Association for Psychological Science, causing people higher levels of stress and lower well-being. Resolve to start losing weight now before the holiday madness begins and while you have the drive.

“Motivation is key when it comes to preparing the psyche for any important behavior change,” says Peeke.

3. Starting Now Means a Different Resolution in January. Beginning your weight loss journey now can give you the confidence to tackle a different resolution in January. So, make a new New Year’s resolution! Use the motivation gained by following through on your weight loss goal to fuel your next challenge.

4. The Time is Right. For many Americans, the holiday season starts with Halloween. That’s three months of potential overindulgence. In fact, the average American starts to gain weight around Thanksgiving, with weight gain peaking around the December holidays or the New Year and it can take up to five months to lose it, according to Cornell University’s Food & Brand Lab. If you can adopt healthy habits before the holidays, you may just counteract these effects to gain less or even maintain your weight during the holidays.

So instead of waiting until 2019 to start making changes, get a head start on your resolution and your journey to better health.

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