New years is a time to reflect on the past year and dive into goals and ambitions we want to achieve for the next 365 days. It is the most popular time of the year for gym membership purchases, personal training sessions, and healthy eating habits. Fast forward 3 months later and you can almost guarantee that half of the people who made these goals January 1st will have dropped off the map. WHY IS THAT? I think it comes down to not following these 5 simple steps that I’ve outlined below.
1 . START OUT SLOW– don’t go full speed ahead with a goal like this.. especially if you haven’t been to the gym in quite awhile. You’ll just end up really sore, unable to sit down on the toilet, and extremely unmotivated to go back. Start out your sessions light so that you’ll continue to be motivated to come back! I fully believe in getting a personal trainer if you’re new to the gym (do your research first) because they can help avoid injury or being too sore.
2. PREP YOUR MEALS– the biggest mistake I see people do is thinking that it’s possible to outwork a bad diet. It’s very difficult and next to impossible to do that. By planning out meals, or “meal prepping”, you can be confident that you will be successful all week. When you’re hungry, its a lot easier to grab a meal that’s prepared ahead of time instead of needing to prepare each meal. I personally cook two times a week (On Sundays and Wednesdays) so that all of my meals are prepared for me ahead of time! I know what I’m going to eat, and when I’m going to eat it.
3. TRACK YOUR FOOD– I’ve seen this happen to many times where people think they are eating all of the right things, and they are, but they don’t realize that the quantity of those foods still matter. I highly recommend the app “MyFitnessPal” as you are able to plug in your personal goals and it will let you know how much of each macro nutrient and total calories to eat. You can even scan your food items into the app which is extremely convenient.
4. DON’T KICK YOURSELF WHEN YOU’RE DOWN- This isn’t something that you’re going to start and immediately be perfect about it. There are going to be times you’ll mess up, you’ll cheat on your diet, and you’ll feel terrible about it. I’m here to tell you: DON’T DO THAT. Don’t punish yourself by doing extra cardio, don’t sulk about it for days, and don’t cry. Pick yourself back up and start fresh the next day. I find that if you write everything down that you’re putting into your mouth you’ll be less likely to cheat. If you do, don’t make it into a binge week. Dust yourself off, and get back to your goals.
5. IT’S A LIFESTYLE, NOT A DIET- I’m sure you’ve heard this saying many times and may or may not have rolled your eyes about it, but it’s the honest to God truth. This isn’t something that you can do for a few months and then go back to all of your old habits before (unless you want to end up where you started). Instead, this is going to be something you’ll need to dedicate your lifestyle to. This is why when I was a personal trainer I always told my clients that it’s okay to have a pizza night with your girlfriends if you have plans that Friday night. I also told them that if they have those plans it’s very important to eat healthy that week so that you can have that time with your friends. It flows up and down and its all about balance.
6. DON’T REACH FOR THAT SCALE- at least not everyday. The scale is a tool used to measure progress but it shouldn’t be something to eat, breath and lose sleep over. Muscle is more dense than fat and so if you’re working out properly you should be looking to add muscle in order to speed up your metabolism. That means the scale may not move as much as you think it will. Enter Progress Pictures. I find this to be a much more reliable way of seeing your transformation, and it’s really amazing to see how far you’ve come when you finally reach your goals!