The year has started an everyone has resolved to get in shape and lose weight! There is a myriad of information available that provides us plans on how we intend to accomplish this but at the end of the day, it comes down to this: eat the right things and move. Although you may be tempted to start another fad diet, pick up the magazine article, “Five minutes a day to the perfect body” or just stop eating in general, none of these things in the long run will likely help you toward improving your health, getting fit or loosing weight. Fitness and health is best achieved through basic principles.
To keep you from derailing your efforts, here are some simple strategies to follow. (Sorry, no fad diet advice here!)
Strategy #1: Place fitness on your calendar.
For those of you who attended college, try to remember, what was the number one way to achieve satisfactory grades in your classes? Working in higher education for several years and having talked with countless students about academic success, I know the answer to this. Attend! Show up. That’s a sure-fire way to earn a satisfactory grade, which is a great start. The same goes with fitness. The best way to insure you are making progress is to show-up. So, place your fitness activity, whatever it might be, on your weekly calendar and attend. Even if you plan to not give 100% make sure and get there and do something. Treat exercise like a priority. You’ll make progress and as you see results that will likely motivate you to work hard, earning you the grade you desire.
Strategy #2: Enlist accountability!
Today, my friend posted her exercise and weight loss goals on facebook. That was a bold move. Better yet, another friend started a blog on her journey toward weight loss. I imagine some of us write our fitness goals down and tuck them away in the drawer for fear that we will disappoint others if we don’t meet them. The truth is, when you share your goals with others, you make a commitment to them. If you truly want to get fit, lose weight or regain health, you need to be vocal about your plans. If you fail to meet all your goals, it’s likely that it will be you that’s the most disappointed. Your friends will be the ones that admire you for working toward something valuable.
Strategy #3: Eat, and eat the right things.
Avoid the nearest fast food restaurant. Think about this, every time you eat fast food is it because you truly are craving it or is it because it is quick and convenient? I’m going to guess the latter is true for many of us. Unfortunately there are very few fast food restaurants that offer healthy choices. Fast food restaurants tout that they offer healthy alternatives but if we are going to take the time to stop at a drive-thru, the reality is we usually end up making a poor choice. Planning is the key. The best way to insure you eat the right things is to plan ahead. Spend one day a week preparing meals and portioning out snacks. If you do this I guarantee you’ll be less likely to eat poorly. Don’t forget, of course, to take your food with you and eat before hunger strikes. If you get too hungry, you are going to eat whatever’s put in front of you. Pack a cooler in your car, throw small bags of snacks in your handbag, and remember to eat regularly.
Simply by implementing these strategies you can improve your success in getting in shape in the new year. They might seem obvious to a lot of us but the truth is we don’t all do them. Make it a priority. You’ll be glad you did come next December! Good luck in your journey!