And what happens? Come February we're picking up takeout on the way home from work, contemplating cancelling that gym membership, and vowing to "restart" tomorrow... or next week... or next year.
Let's face it. Life gets in the way. Sticking to a plan is hard work. The word DIET freaks a lot of people out. And it's much easier to stay in our comfort zone. In yoga pants. With wine. And Ben and Jerry.
So how do you make a commitment that's going to stick, and make healthy changes that are going to continue throughout the year, leaving you feeling refreshed come December and not regretful?
Here are 5 REAL SOLUTIONS that will help you turn your resolutions into lasting results!
1. Skip the Diet... Just Eat Healthy
Nobody likes the word DIET. It carries so many negative connotations. I remember growing up and my mom being on several "diets" and being miserable. So restricting. Only eating certain foods. Deprivation. Frustration. And ultimately cheating and throwing in the towel. I've had so many people tell me that they've ultimately failed because their diets have been so restrictive that they caved and ate a box of Oreos or a bag of potato chips. I say, treat yourself. Enjoy a treat or a cheat meal but don't overindulge. Everything in moderation. Never deprivation. Your results are directly correlated with the actions you take and if you want better results, you're going to have to work harder with nutrition. Clean eating. Avoiding processed foods. Cutting out fast foods, fried foods, refined sugars, limiting fats (i.e. cheeses, oils, butters) and loading up on veggies and fruits, lean meats and wholesome carbs/whole grains. Some days I struggle to get all of my fruits and veggies in and I use a protein shake/meal supplement (Shakeology) to give me what I can't get!
2. Do What You Love and Love What You Do
You're not going to go to the gym every day if you HATE lifting weights. You're not going to put your yoga pants on if yoga is your arch nemesis. Find something you love. Is it aerobic-type exercise? Is it pilates? Is it weightlifting or swimming or running? And if it's a combination, that's ok! Find a program that offers it all. The key is to finding your SOULMATE workout. It's much easier to stick to a program that you love to do than to force something you don't. Think of a time when you worked out that you were happiest. Do you recall lifting weights in high school and seeing some muscle definition? Maybe you should go back to that. Was it a Zumba class that peaked your interest? Finding a dance program may be your love! This will help you meet your long-term goals too. And don't be afraid to switch it up. Our bodies tend to plateau when we do the same thing day in and day out for a long period of time. Switching up our routine, our weights, our reps, our days (cardio, pilates, upper body, lower body) helps to shake up that muscle memory and give us better results.
3. Accountability Is Key
It's super difficult to go the road alone. Been there, done that. I needed a push. I continuously need a push. This morning my husband was in the basement while I was working out and told me I needed to push harder. I wasn't giving it my all. Get a buddy. Get an accountability group. Find a support system and someone who is going to keep you accountable! I do challenge groups every month to help people meet their goals and keep them on track. Join my next one (see below) and I'll hold you accountable to your own goals. Sometimes we need that daily push, that person to pick us up when we're feeling down and to tell us, "Listen... YOU want this. YOU made a commitment to yourself and YOU are going to do this. Get your butt moving!" Tough love but love nonetheless and finding someone who's going to push you when you don't want to push yourself is going to help you get there!
4. Don't Sweat if You Don't Sweat Everyday
Ease into a program. Get familiar with what your body can do. Get a routine going and aim to workout 5x each week, or don't go more than 3 days without a workout. A good one. A sweat sesh. Remember what you were doing before? The couch thing with the wine and the Ben and Jerry's? Now you're working out! 4 workouts each week is much better than that! Working out 30 minutes each day is strongly recommended. Move that body every day! Working out 30 minutes, 5 times each week is recommended by the American Heart Association to help reduce blood pressure, and reduce your risk for cardiovascular disease. Aim to do the best you can and remember, something is much better than nothing!
5. Track Your Goals and Your Progress
How do you know you're making progress if you're not keeping track? Get a journal. Use a fitness app tracker on your phone or computer. Use a FitBit type device (I've honestly never used one but I hear they're great). And TAKE PICTURES and MEASUREMENTS! This is one of the best ways to track your progress. Write down your goals daily, weekly, and for the year. And cross them off when you meet them. Then set new ones. Your goals should be ever evolving. Your health, your nutrition, and your body is changing, so should your goals. And step off the scale while you're at it. Remember, it's only a number. It doesn't measure your body fat, your muscle mass, and the way you look, nor does it measure your strength and determination. Weigh yourself at the start of your journey if you need to. Remember, we retain water, especially in our muscles when they're building and growing, and that can alter the numbers too. A one to two pound loss per week is normal if you're on a new program and adjusting your nutrition and fitness regimen and striving for weight loss. However, like I said, it's only a number. Inches and centimeters lost are such a better indicator.
Remember. No pills, shots, hormones, or phony weight loss tools (think ab belts, wraps, diet pills, overnight Hollywood juice cleanses etc) will do what old fashioned hard work, dedication, eating clean, eating healthy, and working out will do! Making a big life change can be scary, but what's even scarier is regret. 2016 is your year. Set goals. Push yourself. Don't let yourself talk you out of what you really want and know that a little support and motivation goes a long way! If you'd like additional support and accountability this year, please complete my application below or send me a message on Facebook and we'll create a plan of action to get you where you want to be!
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