Every year you make the same promise. 12 months later you find yourself in a similar position to the year before. It happens to the best of us, but why?
As a personal trainer my job is primarily to help my clients adhere to a healthy, sustainable program. Believe it or not, weight loss is secondary. It's hard, because clients come in wanting to lose weight at record speeds - usually in preparation for the summer or a wedding. I have to help them understand why long term weight loss is so important, and why it's the only approach that makes sense. Realistically speaking we should be losing 1 to 2lbs a week. If you are losing more than that you are probably doing something extreme and unsustainable, or you're just losing water weight.
When coming up with your New Years resolution for weight loss here are some tips for keeping it real, adhering to your program, and actually losing weight.
Make S.M.A.R.T goals
I repeat this tip all the time! Make sustainable, measurable, attainable, realistic, and time-bound goals.
Saying, "I want to lose weight this year," just isn't enough. How much weight? How will you lose it? What are the small but sustainable steps you will take to do so? How will you measure your results? When will you lose the weight by?
A better goal would be, "I want to lose approx. 4lbs a month for a total of 40lbs this year by working out 3 days a week for 45mins at our local gym, and cutting soft-drinks and processed food from my diet. I will record my weight and measurements weekly, and will keep a food diary to make sure I am on track."
Do Not Drain Your Willpower
You hear it a lot, "I just don't have the willpower to resist junk food." Let's make something clear, you have the willpower but you're draining it on excess decision making. The research shows that if you have to make too many decisions in a day you will eventually exhaust your mind into making poorer and poorer decisions as time passes. What does this mean for weight loss?
Plan for 'Failure'
Do not let failure get the best of you. You are not superhuman.
What situations can make you fall off the band wagon and how do you tackle them?
2. Family/friends are visiting. "My family is visiting and we're going to be eating out a lot and I just won't have time to exercise."
Going on vacation. "I'm going on vacation and we're going to be eating out a lot and I won't have time to exercise"
If you approach weight loss as though it's a lifetime goal and a journey you will eventually succeed. Taking small consistent steps towards your goals will result in easily attainable progress. It took years to put on the weight, and it will take months if not years to lose it... but aren't you worth it?
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