Few would argue that they don’t want to be thinner, leaner and stronger, but many factors can play against optimal health, including sleep, stress, diet and lack of exercise. That is why seeing medical professionals can help make a New Year’s resolution or existing one become reality.

Each year, roughly 40 percent of Americans make a New Year’s resolution but only 8 percent actually succeed in completing their resolution by the end of the year, according to Forbes.

“Change is hard at first, messy in the middle and gorgeous at the end,” says Cindy Guirino, founder of UB-Fit, LLC and author of The Thin Diary: Write Your Way to Lasting Weight Loss in 12 Weeks.

The problem is no one ever said completing a resolution would be easy.

As a previous inpatient dietitian at a Dayton area hospital, Guirino has witnessed many people in pain because of the lifestyle choices they’ve made. She spent time developing a weight loss program that she uses with her clients today, and knows that many people fail before they even start trying to lose weight.

“Goals are too drastic. Individuals want a quick fix, a magic pill for a condition that took years to develop,” says Guirino, who is also a certified personal trainer.

She says that goals are achievable if they are SMART: specific, measurable, action-oriented, realistic and timely. This produces the long-term and lasting results that many desire to achieve.

While many people fear dramatically changing their diets, thus staying out of a health professional’s office, Nutrition-Advantage founder and dietician Deborah Serenius says, “[Dieticians] are not the food police.”

“If there is something you love to eat, find a way to keep it in your diet,” she adds.

Dietitians are assets for individuals, couples and families looking to lose weight through nutrition assessments, nutrition intervention and, ultimately, setting a reachable goal.

“I want to get them to focus so I like to say, ‘Connect the mind with the gut,’” says Serenius, who is a huge Dorothy Lane Market fan.

One of Serenius’ tips is to buy produce in season and not to rely on supplements.

“You are not getting all the nutrients from that particular food if you take it in pill form,” says Serenius.

Guirino agrees that real food plays a great role in getting nutrients.

“Everyone wants cheaper food, but the body needs high quality food to fuel itself,” says Guirino.

“When trying to change overall, she says, “develop evidence-based regimens that are effective and efficient.”

There is another way to get a new and improved you, but dieticians won’t always agree with it unless it is absolutely necessary. It’s called plastic surgery.

“Some people come to see me just so I can sign off on their bariatric surgery,” says Serenius.

One of Serenius’ clients chose Serenius as a “last-ditch effort” before bariatric surgery. That same client lost 50 pounds in four months and part of his workout was doing “more pushups than he weighed.”

“I tell them they have to try my way first,” she says.

Dr. James Apesos of The Plastic Surgery Pavilion agrees that diet and exercise is always the best idea for optimal weight loss.

“We are living longer, are healthier longer, so people do want to maintain themselves,” says Dr. Apesos, a plastic surgeon with more than 30 years of experience.

Cosmetic plastic surgery helps individuals maintain their appearance and comes in handy for those that have worked hard to lose weight.

One of Dr. Apesos patients lost 105 pounds and had a lot of excess skin. The patient had a tummy tuck to remove the excess skin for a tighter abdomen.

“I was happy to help him, so he can maintain it,” says Dr. Apesos.

Plastic surgery is not a quick fix, though.

“Liposuction is not a quick way to loose weight. It’s designed to sculpt the body fat in specific regions,” he says. “Many people will gain weight after liposuction because they depend on the liposuction instead of diet control.”

Dr. Apesos adds that liposuction will not help with illnesses like diabetes or cholesterol.

However, not all plastic surgery deals with weight loss. Some common cosmetic plastic surgery procedures are facelifts, breast implants, nose jobs and tummy tucks. It’s not for the faint of heart though.

“You have to really want it,” says Dr. Apesos. “It’s expensive.”

There are also many questions to ask, and asking a professional is the best method to know what to expect.

“The Internet is helpful, but often the information is general and patients get misinformation about other people’s problems,” he says. “I remind them to always call me with questions and problems.”

Dr. Apesos has answered questions about scarring, the number of surgeries he’s performed, is saline or silicone better, and much more.

When starting on the journey to a new and better you, remember that there are some things that can be changed through diet and exercise, others through surgical procedures and sometimes a mix of both. It’s a resolution unique to you, which is why finding the right professionals is an important factor.