Friday, March 20, 2015
Setting yourself up for FITNESS Success!
But, it doesn't have to be this way. Eating healthy and exercising should be a lifestyle, not a short-term fix. You don't have to starve yourself to get results. In fact, a very low calorie "starvation" diet will have detrimental results on your metabolism, causing you to burn less calories daily because your body will think it is starvation mode and hold onto body fat as reserve.
Here are some tips to help you succeed at your new healthy lifestyle and achieve your goals.
1. Pick a day to officially begin. Take progress pictures, weigh yourself (first thing, on an empty stomach), and take your measurements. Record everything in a log of some sort so you can gauge your progress at a later date.
2. Set an attainable goal. You know the old saying, "Rome wasn't built in a day." You cannot expect to transform your body overnight. It's just not possible. You may want to lose 50 pounds as an overall goal. If this is your goal, start on a smaller scale. You can set a goal to lose 5 pounds in your first month. Don't be discouraged by this recommendation. A healthy weight loss is 1 to 2 pounds per week. Some weeks may be lower, and your first week of a new healthy eating plan you may lose much more. That's perfectly normal as it is water weight loss.
3. Measure and log your food. It is too easy to eyeball a portion and overeat. Invest in a set of measuring cups and spoons as well as a food scale and use them. Also, a food log such as My Fitness Pal can be very helpful for tracking your daily calories as well as macronutrients consumed. The program I use is the Fix, which comes with containers to measure your portions. (I can get you details on the Fix, if you are interested, just comment below.)
4. Avoid processed foods. Your goal should be to shop the perimeter of the grocery store - lean protein, fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains. Pre-packaged granola bars, cookies, chips and other snacks are empty calories that will not provide necessary fuel for your body.
5. Drink 64 ounces of water daily. You'll be amazed at the difference if you consistently do this.
6. Find a fitness program you enjoy. Fitness is meant to be FUN! If you don't like a form of exercise, find one you do. Perhaps a group zumba class if you like to dance. If you prefer to work out alone, why not try a fitness dvd with your favorite genre of workout. If you prefer to work out with friends, why not schedule regular walks or runs or take a group fitness class together. Fitness is meant to be fun, so if you hate doing a certain method of exercise, don't do it - but rather, find something you do love. There are so many methods of exercise out there, so I am sure you will find one that is best for you!
7. Take progress pictures, weight and measurements regularly during your fitness journey. Once a month would be an ideal time period. The pictures should be taken from the front, side and back in the same outfit you took your initial pictures (preferably a sports bra and form fitting bottoms, a swimsuit or swim trunks). Log your progress so you can see your body changing.
8. Finally, celebrate your progress! You can set a goal, such as a new piece of workout gear, a new dvd, or a pedicure, after you reach each milestone goal. Your hard work deserves to be rewarded. Keep going - the results you will see and feel will be so worthwhile.