Hey now! It’s Ally. New Year New Me, isn’t that what we all say? Many of us want to start fresh every new year to reach our fitness goals. However, usually many commit for as little as a month or less before surrendering to the powers of couch surfing and Netflix . We’ve all been there. This year could be different though if you follow some of my tips for sticking to your fitness resolutions. Why listen to me you might ask? Well, I have a BS in Exercise Science from William Paterson University so this is my expertise. I also lost 20 lbs from January to June in 2014. Though 6 months may seem like a slow process I did have some bumps along the way. Realistically speaking if you could lose 20 lbs in 6 months you would still do it right? Exactly.
First, have a realistic goal. What do you want to achieve in the short and long term? Don’t forget it has to be realistic! If you want to lose 10 lbs in a month that is realistic… if you plan on drastically changing your diet and exercise habits. Can you do that? Sure, but will you do that? It’s up to you. If you can burn 1500 calories a week , meaning 3 work outs a week that burn 500 cals or 5 weekly work outs that burn 250 calories, then that is a pretty good start. They can be any type of aerobic exercise such as walking, running, swimming, or cardio like dancing, jumping roping ,etc. If you are lucky and have a Fitbit or a similar product this can be easy to determine. You can also go by what the the cardio machine displays if you enter your accurate weight before the workout. These are all very realistic things you can do without getting more specific. In general aim for a 1500 calorie burn a week. If you can also cut 215 calories from your current daily diet you could lose 1-2 lbs a week which is safe and effective. That is a potential weight loss of approximately 8-10 lbs in a month IF you are consistent.
Second thing, make time for exercise. If you schedule a specific time for your workout then you will have no excuses. For example, planning to have 3 cardio sessions at 7 pm Monday, Wednesday, Friday that burns 500 calories a session each week is feasible. Also try to have a plan B. If you have a date, meeting, party, study session, class, etc at that time make alternate plans. If you can’t complete one of the work outs try to add in 2 other workouts that burn 250 calories that week to make up for it. I suggest to do what is best for you and fit it into your schedule so you do not make excuses. If you miss a session make up the session you missed.
Third, have constant motivation and envision success. This is easy. Something or someone motivated you to get into shape in the first place whether it was you favorite celebrity, athletes, Pinterest, Instagram, or just improving your health and fitness level. Whatever keeps you motivated make sure you can see it everyday, especially before and after a workout. Try making a special pin board for your fitness inspirations, or follow a specific person that motivates you. You can even have a picture of that person on your mirror or as your background on your phone. if you want to keep it simple create a vision board with good old paper and glue. Always having a vision even when it gets tough will help you to push and perceive. You are as strong as you think you are so believe that you can do it and stay motivated.
Fourth, enlist a friend to come along for the ride. Having a friend or gym partner has a higher success rate of consistency. A lot of my personal success in 2014 was because of the motivation from my gym partner. Not only will you push each other but you will stay accountable to someone that you do not want to disappoint. Plus you guys can share recipes and do partner exercises together. Not to mention all the awesome posts you will tag each other in on Instagram.
Fifth, Consistency is key. You can’t workout for a month and expect to see results instantly. It takes 20 consistent days to develop a habit so give it at least 3 weeks to start to notice changes.If you lose the weigh and then go back to old habits expect to gain the weigh back. Also if you workout but don;t change your diet for the better you may not see the results you want. We have unlimited calorie stores so any excess calories you take in and don’t utilize will be store as fat. Cough, cough, my mistake. If you cheat yourself you will not see results and will take steps backwards.
Sixth, be accountable and keep a record. Write down what exercises you do and when. This will keep you consistent with tracking and you can look back and see when you got stronger and adapted to exercises. After 3 weeks you should change your workouts to different ones, longer ones, or at a higher resistance. Remember, the body adapts so do your research and look for new workouts that will challenge your muscles to change. There are tons of resources online.
Lastly, don’t be too hard on yourself. Everyone is different. What may work for one person may not work for someone else. I remember how frustrated I was for the first 3 months. I wasn’t losing any weight. I then gave up on weighing myself for lent. Almost 3 months later I realized I had lost 20 lbs. Don’t give up. Some changes don’t happen overnight. Keep track of how you feel, your progress, how your clothes fit, and measurements. Weight loss is not easy but it you stick with it you can change.
Even for myself, I am restarting again this year. I hope to surpass my progress from 2 years ago and stay more consistent. I will be using these tips to stay on track. If you guys have any questions please feel free to ask. I will be posting my TOP 5s later this week. Good luck and thanks for reading.