RUN THE RUN.......
New Years resolutions to get fit and lose weight are very popular. You may even have made one last year yourself. Did you keep it? Well if you didn't, you're not alone. Only 20 percent of people that make fitness resolutions keep them.
But that doesn't mean that you shouldn't make losing weight a top priority for 2011. Here are 10 things you can do to help strengthen your New Years Resolution to get fit....
1. Weigh yourself
Step on the scale and find out what you weigh. I know this may be difficult to do if you haven't weighed yourself in a while and you don't really want to know how much you weigh. However, you must know where your are to determine how much you need or want to lose. Weekly monitoring of your weight is crucial to determine if what you are doing is working and when you may need to tweak certain areas of your program.
2. Figure out how many calories you are eating each day.
Most people are consuming way too many calories to either lose weight or maintain their weight loss. It is important to find out how many calories you are consuming now before you start eating clean. After you know what you are consuming now, you can figure out how many calories you need to cut from your diet. Keep a food journal for a few days (make at least one a weekend day) before you start changing what you eat. Write down everything you eat and the calories that each food contains. When deciding how many calories you should cut from your diet, remember that 3500 calories equals 1 pound and it is safe to lose 1-2 pounds per week.
3. Clean out your kitchen
You will not be able to resist all of your favorite snacks and sugary treats if they are in your cabinets calling your name. So it is crucial to get rid of them (and I don't mean eat them til they are all gone, you aren't a garbage can...) and stock your kitchen with clean foods and snacks. If you are unsure of how to eat clean you can start by reading through my old blog posts (I have some links at the bottom of this blog) or pick up some clean eating books and magazines for tips. If your favorite snacks are your kids snack of choice, find some other things they can eat that might be healthier for them and less tempting for you!
4. Schedule time that you will workout 5-7 times a week.
It is crucial for you to schedule time to work out 5-7 times a week for 30-60 minutes a day. I know that sounds like a lot, however studies this year have found that people need to actually workout 60-90 minutes a day to lose weight and keep it off. So if you are just starting a workout program begin with 30-60 min. It is actually the bare minimum you should be doing.
When you are thinking about when you will workout for the week, actually block off time each day. Don't schedule anything during that time. If you are having trouble finding free time, wake up an hour earlier or workout during your lunch hour.
5. Write down specific short term and long term goals
Everyone says they want to lose weight and get in shape but what does that really mean for you? In order for your resolution to really get results you need to create specific goals for yourself that will be challenging yet attainable.
Think of your long term goal first. Do you want to lose 10, 20 or 50 lbs? Since it is best to lose between 1-2 lbs a week you can then plan how long it should take you to lose the amount you need to.
Then create smaller specific goals for yourself. These can be about your nutrition and exercise goals.
For the first week I am going to give up diet sodas and fried foods. I am also going to decrease my daily total calories by 250 calories and workout 4 days this week expending another 250 calories each day through exercise.
When you make specific daily and weekly goals, and fulfill them, you feel as though you are accomplishing something important everyday as you work towards your ultimate goal. This will keep you motivated and on track, especially in the beginning when you might not see results as quickly as you would like.
6. Start lifting
Begin a strength training program 3 times at week, so that you can build muscle and burn more calories. If you are a women over 30 (yes you!) then strength training it crucial to losing weight.
7. Find out your fitness level and create a program that will get progressively harder
When trying to lose weight it is important to continually challenge your body to work harder, but not so hard that you injure yourself or overtrain and become exhausted. Objectively assess what your fitness level is. If you are a beginner, do not try and go out and run 5 miles the first day or do 3 sets of 10lb weights! But do challenge yourself so that you break a sweat.
If you have been working out for a while now ,but aren't seeing the results you would like, its probably time to kick it up a notch.
If you are unsure where to begin or how to challenge yourself, consider hiring a personal trainer, at least for a session or two, so that they can show you how to begin a workout program that will be safe and get results. If you already belong to a gym, your membership might come with a free trainer session. Take advantage of it. If you don't go to a gym or wish for a little more privacy and one on one attention, you can hire someone to come to your house to train you. It is important to only hire a trainer if they are NCAA certified. There are a few good certifying agencies, but since I am an Ace Certified trainer, I am admittedly biased towards Ace. If you would like, you can find one in your area through this link www.acefitness.org.
** Always check with your physician before starting a new exercise and eating program**
8. Share your resolution with at least one other person you see on a regular basis
An important tool to keep you on track with your resolution is to be accountable to someone else. Pick someone who is close to you, will be supportive and push you to stay on track. Tell them what your goals are and what you will be doing to accomplish them.
9. Make your resolution a priority and understand that it might be difficult at times
You will probably be making some serious changes to your diet and exercise routine and we all know that change can be difficult. It's true that it takes 21 days to make something new into a habit. When you stop eating processed foods and and start eating clean there will definitely be a period of stress and adjustment. But if just knowing this before you begin is helpful. If you stick with it, you will soon feel more energetic and start seeing the weight come off.
10. Believe that you can
You may feel overwhelmed with the thought of trying to lose weight... again. However, even if you have tried and failed in the past, you CAN be successful this year.
Believe in yourself. I know you can do it.
As always, feel free to contact me with any questions you may have.
HAPPY NEW YEAR EVERYONE!
Here are a few links to some of my 2010 blog posts that may help you on your journey:
How to eat clean
How to create a vision board to keep you motivated
Count calories and Portion Control is Key
Clean Eating Shopping List
Start Strength Training
How to increase your intensity