A new year means new goals and new changes.
For many, a new year spurs a new diet regimen and a new gym membership. As a personal trainer, I love seeing all the excited members looking to turn over a new leaf to get fit and healthy. Too often, these goals fizzle out though. I’ve been guilty of it in my past, as well. Granted, the initial goal was accomplished, but then gradually those old habits return. Time and again this happens to the best of us. I have a few ideas as to why this happens and a plan of action to keep you, and I, on track this year.
The first step is to get that word “diet” out of our heads. Diets are very difficult to maintain long-term. Not to discredit any diet you may be do doing or looking into, but often they entail some sort of sacrifice or cutting something out – particularly cravings. When we feel like we have to say no or sacrifice, that item becomes the first thing we indulge in after the “diet” is over. And we don’t just indulge; we bring it right back in the daily mix and start falling off the wagon. What did we learn from that? We learned that we could accomplish something in a short period of time. The question is: what didn’t we learn? We didn’t learn how to turn that “diet” into a lifestyle. The reason is most diet plans are unrealistic – and let’s be honest – life is real and going to happen. Events will come up; friends will want to have parties; you’ll want to go out to eat, etc.
What if I told you, you CAN do all of those things you love, while also sticking to your new year goals.
A plan is needed and a little conscious effort to have lifelong success with this. It’s going to take a moment in the morning or on a Sunday afternoon to take a step back and look at what’s on the schedule for the upcoming day or week. We want to formulate a plan of action to help us stay on track.
Let’s say, your friend’s birthday is coming up on Friday night. They’re going out to dinner and you hesitate because of you’re not sure what you’ll be able to eat or drink. STOP! By all means, go out to your friend’s party, have the meal you want and have a drink or two. One night will not set you back.
Doing so every night, WILL set you back. The party is on Friday, so look at your week and make sure to stick to your healthy eating habits all the way up to Friday night. Make sure to get your workout sessions in that week. You can be confident you did everything in your power to allow for one night of fun. Even if there isn’t an event coming up, find some way to reward yourself for your efforts. Rewards keep us going and give us something to look forward to.
Well, what CAN I do?
You may be wondering what plan I stick to and why I’m sharing this real life knowledge with you. Here’s a quick (secret) breakdown of what helps keep me on point and schedule out my days: I actually eat more! Whaaaat?!
Make sure to check the serving sizes of the food you choose. I also make sure to stay hydrated and focus on consuming water at about half of my body weight in ounces. Three balanced meals along with three snacks throughout the day. Get creative so you don’t get bored.
The key is having options of what to have and not blatantly being told exactly what dinner is going to be. Allow yourself to be flexible and use social media and the internet for fun ideas. Innovative Health & Fitness has a Pinterest page full of great recipes to try.
Figuring in six small meals a day keeps your metabolism fired up. Think of your metabolism as a burning fire. One log at a time keeps it burning consistently, right? A ton of logs at once will fizzle it out. Same goes for the body. We wait all day to have one or two big meals and pile it on. Your body doesn’t know what to do with all of that. It shuts down and stores all that nutrition, fat, sugar, etc. If we add to our system, say every three hours or so, it keeps it going and working with you. Not only does it help burn and process the food throughout your body, but it also keeps those energy levels up and your muscles protected. Muscle is your fat-burning side kick. Build muscle and protect it with your nutrition. You’ll have a fat-burning dynamic duo in no time.
Make sure to include exercise.
Working out plays a key role in staying on track and reaching your goals. You can boost metabolism through nutrition, but you can also compound that with strength and resistance training. Don’t be shy to grab some dumbbells, cables or weight machines and see what happens.
Keep it interesting.
Working out can certainly get boring for us, as well. Simply apply similar principles you added to your nutrition plan, to your workout regimen. Make a realistic goal for how many times you want to work out that week and look at your schedule to see when those workouts can get scheduled. If something suddenly comes up and the workout gets pushed to the back burner, then find time on another day to plug that in. Allow for flexibility and don’t beat yourself up. Put workouts on your calendar to help remind yourself and stay on course.
The beauty of this plan is you can start one or both parts right away. Make small changes and build from there. I wish you the utmost success on your new journey and lifestyle. Please share some of your meal and snack creations or workout routines on the Innovative Health & Fitness Facebook page . We can all learn and grow from one another.
If you’d like more assistance with nutrition, contact a personal trainer for a quick nutritional assessment at (414) 529-9900, ext. 730. We’re always here to help.