With the extra weight that creeped up during Halloween and stayed through New Years, it’s time for a strategic weight loss plan. Getting fit and eating healthy is a challenge that is well worth it. Motivation, commitment, and dedication are what make resolutions work. And if living a healthy lifestyle isn’t enough, Spring Break is just around the corner.
Tips to start the year off right:
Be Realistic with your Goals.
Don’t aim for fast, drastic weight loss. Working out seven days a week is unnecessary and unrealistic. Strict or fad diets set you up for failure. People tend to throw in the towel quickly when their goals are unrealistic. Start with small diet and exercise goals and add on as you progress.
Make an investment.
Start a gym membership or invest in some fitness gear. A new pair of running shoes, a set of dumbbells, a fitness tracker, or clearing out the junk from your pantry will do. Having invested some money into your plan may keep you from finding excuses.
Sign up for fitness or healthy nutrition newsletters. Follow other fitness or nutrition enthusiasts on Facebook or Instagram. Read success stories of others who accomplished their goals. Others who have succeeded in the same goals as you can be extremely motivating.
Write it down.
Plan plan plan! Be diligent with your meal planning. Meal planning is a great way for success. Set aside time to plan, shop, and prep for meals. Include recipes for healthy meals and soups. Soups are great when the weather is cool. If you keep them broth based and loaded with vegetables and beans, they can be filling and sustaining.
Keep track of what you eat.
Keep a food diary. MyFitnessPal is a great app for that. Studies show that keeping a record of your progress can help you succeed. It helps to uncover unhealthy patterns and figure out where help is needed—like a reality check! Try to eat a lean protein and veggies at every meal. Reduce your meat intake, try swapping meat for a vegetarian protein source. Eat more omega-3’s like salmon, tuna, or sardines. If you’re not a fish lover, opt for walnuts or flaxseed. Cut back on indulgences, but don’t deprive yourself. Aim for the 80/20 rule. Eat healthy 80% of the time, reserving the 20% for special occasions.
Get proper sleep.
People who get less then seven hours of sleep per night are susceptible to weight gain. Sleep deprivation can lead to poor food choices. Maintain a routine sleep schedule. Try to go to bed and wake at the same time daily.
Mix up your fitness routine.
Try a variety of different workouts to keep you interested and that you will enjoy. Yoga, barre classes, or weightlifting are excellent for strength and flexibility while walking, running, or biking are great cardio choices. Pick days and times that work for you, so it becomes a habit and another part of your regular routine.
Staying motivated requires incentive. Reward yourself with something nice to wear, new gear, or take a fit trip to celebrate your progress and your new lifestyle.
Lisa Mullin is a Certified Holistic Nutritionist whose passion is helping others eat for optimal health, weight, and wellness. Contact Lisa at firstname.lastname@example.org or Like & Follow her Health and Wellness page on Facebook that shares nutrition, fitness, and health tips, as well as nutritious recipes at Facebook.com/lbmullin1.