With the New Year comes new dreams, goals and visions. Many men and women usually find themselves so excited to begin their journey into the New Year with goals of losing weight, gaining muscle or attaining better overall health through eating cleaner and exercising. However, within a few weeks of making this their year to make real changes, they usually find themselves falling off their fitness plans. They lose the excitement to stay on track and end up losing sight of their dreams, goals and visions.
People tend to focus on short-term goals for their plans starting off in the New Year and make the mistake of not planning for the long-term. You will need to do this in order to face and conquer the many obstacles that will come up when trying to reach your fitness goals. What will it take to be sure you will be able to reach your weight loss and health goals this year? What will you do in terms of solutions to obstacles that you have dealt with in the past and what are the factors that need to be addressed in order to have success this time around?
Some of the most popular goals for people in the New Year are to lose weight, exercise more and eat healthier. If this sounds like you and you have tried multiple times to successfully lose body fat and gain more muscle mass then you must implement baby steps (small goals) to reach your long-term goals whatever they may be.
Below are some of the most common diet and exercise concerns that have come up with many of my friends, family and clients over the past several years:
- How do I start eating healthier? Start by cleaning out all of the junk food in your kitchen cupboards, pantry and refrigerator. Remember, healthy eating starts in your shopping cart at the grocery store. If you bring home clean food you will have no choice but to eat clean food. This will set you up for success and you’ll be less likely to hit the drive-thru later in the day to order that greasy cheeseburger. It’s super important to always have ready-to-eat snacks on hand, or meals that can be made in minutes.
- How do I make better food choices at restaurants? Nowadays, you can actually look up restaurants online and most will have their menus posted with detailed nutritional information. You can look ahead and see if the restaurant has healthy options that will allow you to eat clean and healthy. Most restaurants have huge portion sizes and most of these portions are not a single size portion but can actually be large enough to feed three or more people. You might want to order a kid-sized entrée to cut calories and keep your portions reasonable. A popular trend of mine is to use smaller plates when I’m at a buffet. Just take a salad plate with you when loading up at the buffet. This will help keep your portions sizes much smaller. Try going in with a game plan before walking into a restaurant because this will help you choose the best foods so you can eat healthier and keep the weight off.
- If I am short on time for breakfast what are some great options for easy grab-and-go meals? There are many healthy and quick options available these days for people who have very little time for a sit down breakfast in the morning. You can find easy-to-prepare meals in your grocery store that are healthy and microwavable. In the breakfast cereal aisle you will find hot cereals that can be microwaved which are very convenient. They are healthy and contain things like superfoods, quinoa, oats, amaranth, cashews, cocoa, peptides and other clean ingredients. Just pop off the lid, add a little water and microwave for a couple of minutes. A quick bagel with a banana and natural peanut butter or nut butter is another quick and easy breakfast meal you can make in under a minute. The next time you are at the store be sure to look for clean, healthy and easy-to-prepare options so you can get in the most important meal of the day which is breakfast. Remember, in order to lose weight and keep it off, always make time for a healthy morning meal. High-fiber cereals, low-fat milk and fruit will do wonders to break your fast after sleeping all night and will help to get you started for the day!
- I am so upset because I only lost a pound this week. If you feel that you are not losing weight as fast as you would like, don’t get discouraged. Dropping pounds takes time. You should set a realistic weight loss goal of about 1-2 pounds per week. If you set your expectations too high when trying to lose excess weight you may give up when you don’t lose weight fast enough. Remember to take it slow and you’ll start to see many wonderful off-scale victories (looser fitting clothes, more energy, more endurance, overall sense of well-being) even with just a 5%-10% decrease in body weight.
- I just don’t have time to exercise. You must treat exercise as an appointment. Find a specific time during the day that is right for you to workout. A 5 a.m. workout before going into work may be right for you, or maybe you prefer working out later in the day around 5 p.m. Remember that you can also find time during your workdays where you can incorporate some exercise. Try parking farther away from the office and walk the extra distance. Climb stairs instead of taking the elevator. If you have 5-10 spare minutes at lunch time then take a pair of sneakers with you, grab a co-worker and hit the sidewalk around your building and get some walking in. It will all add up in the end. Baby steps are still baby steps to a healthier and fitter you! Exercising will also help you unwind from the hustle and bustle of your busy work day.
- I don’t like exercising. Take your thoughts elsewhere. Disassociate yourself from the act of exercising while you are actually exercising. During your workouts, listen to your favorite music or an audio book. This helps to pass the time while exercising.
- It’s such a hassle to get ready for workouts. You won’t have to struggle getting things in order to stay on track with your exercise sessions if you get ready beforehand. I find it easier to be prepared if I lay out my gear (shorts, shoes and everything else needed) the night before. I will also pack these items in a gym bag and take with me when I head out for my day. This way I have eliminated one more obstacle to help me achieve my dreams, goals and visions that I have set for myself in the New Year. Remember, a new year means a new you!
I hope you have learned some important tips from this article that will help you reach your goals for the New Year. Ask yourself, “What will I do to overcome obstacles in order to achieve my dreams, goals and visions?” Being prepared ahead of time will help you become successful in the long run. Make short-term goals to achieve your long-term goals and take baby steps along the way so you can reach your dreams! If I can help with your nutrition and exercise program, feel free to contact me anytime. This is your year to shine!