Get Fired Up: How to Stick to Your Fitness Program and Achieve Your Weight Loss Goals
It's that time of year. We are closing the chapter of the past and we are ready to embark on fantastic new journeys.
One of the most common resolutions is to lose weight. This is the time when we are filled with determination and motivation to get in the best shape of our lives. This will be the year... or so we tell ourselves. It's easy to get overwhelmed and give up, or to jump in so quickly and end up burning out within a month.
With a little preparation, this year truly can be different. You can achieve your fitness goals and completely transform your life. Read on to learn my top tips and tricks on how to stick to any fitness program and achieve your weight loss goals.
Disclaimer: You should always consult your physician before beginning any fitness or nutrition program.
Before you do anything, get clear on what you want. Ask yourself these questions and answer them honestly:
- What do you want to achieve?
- Why do you want to achieve it?
It is okay to want to look hot in your bikini, but try to look beyond that. Fitness is a lifestyle, not a trend. Once you achieve the short term goal, it's common to be left with feelings of what is next? How do I maintain this progress? It is easy to get overwhelmed or lost. Some derail and end up gaining back some, or all of what was lost. Avoid this by setting goals that are achievable and sustainable.
Pick a fitness program that is interesting to you and one that you will enjoy, at least for the majority of the time. This may take a few tries. Do some research. Go to the library and check out some fitness DVD's. Try some of the free workouts available on YouTube. See what you like and what you don't like; How different workout varieties make your body feel, and how your body responds to the different variations.
Contrary to popular belief, exercise is not one size fits all.
Most importantly, and I can't stress this enough - Listen to your body. No one knows you better than you. There is a definitive line between muscle soreness and pain associated with injury. Challenge your mind and body, but don't push yourself so hard that you get injured.
How to Make your New Year's Resolution Work! - Tracy Campoli
"Success isn't always about greatness; it's about consistency. Consistent hard work gains success. Greatness will come."— Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson
Consistency is Key
Any workout program has the potential of being successful – but you have to put in the work. As with many things in life, you can't expect to see results if you don't put in the effort. Show up everyday. Give it all you’ve got every time.
It might mean getting up a little earlier, or staying up a little later. Maybe you schedule your daily workout as you would a doctor's appointment or a business meeting - Whatever works for you and your life. Whatever will ensure that you visit the gym, get outside, push play, etc. The most important thing is that you get the workout done. When you continually show up for yourself, and stay committed to your goal, you begin to feel better. You will notice your mood improves, you are happier, your body will begin to change, and you will begin to crave movement. It's an amazing feeling.
But there will be days when life is hectic and chaos abounds. There will be days when you lack any motivation, and all you want to do is lay on the couch and watch TV. Those are the times when it is most important to get up and workout. Remember your goal. Stay dedicated.
"Small daily improvements over time lead to stunning results. Why? Because consistency is the mother of mastery. And incremental improvements are the father of exceptionalism."— Robin Sharma
Surround yourself with like minded people. In real life and/or on social media. This helps keep you accountable and motivated – seeing your friends post about their workouts will inspire you to get up and get moving. Checking in with your workout helps keep you on track, will garner support and love, and just might inspire others to get their workout done, too.
Many fitness programs come with built in communities. You can join in on their websites or become a member of a Facebook group. These support groups are wonderful. Don't be afraid to ask for help or to reach out. You may just meet some new best friends.
Everything in Moderation
I love pizza, soda, carbs, and I have a huge sweet tooth. I know my limits when it comes to these foods, but I have been guilty of overdoing it. When that happens, I feel pretty miserable. My body feels heavy and bloated. I get headaches. I am fatigued and unmotivated. Sound familiar?
The solution is simple. You don't have to give up all the delicious foods you love. There's nothing wrong with having pizza and soda for dinner one night, or crullers for breakfast on Saturday morning. The key is this: everything in moderation. Truly enjoy your splurges and make healthy choices most of the time. For example, swap your pop tart for cheerios. Choose a yogurt instead of a cookie. Have one piece of chocolate instead of the whole bar. Small changes add up to big results.
When you constantly tell yourself that you can't have something, it makes you want it that much more. When you do a complete overhaul of your diet, completely ridding yourself of those very foods that you love and want, you set yourself up for failure. Some people find success with having one "cheat meal" a week, where they eat anything they want. Others do an entire "cheat day," filled with anything their heart desires. However, for some, "cheat meals" and "cheat days" turns into reckless binging on junk, completely undoing any progress he or she might have made. This is why I'm a big fan of incorporating treats and practicing an everything in moderation mindset. Do what works best for you and your lifestyle.
There is Always Something You Can Do.
Whether you are tired with your current routine, life gets hectic, or when traveling, there is always a fitness option. Sometimes you might have to get creative.
You don't need to join a gym or spend a ton of money to get fit. Utilize YouTube. It's an amazing, free resource that gives you access to a variety of fitness programs. Visit your local library and check out their fitness inventory. Invest in one of the many fitness programs that now stream over the internet. Tracy Campoli offers Total Body Transformation; Anna Kaiser offers AKT on Demand; Tracy Anderson offers her unique method through streaming; and BeachBody is now offering access to all of its fitness programs through BeachBody on Demand. The best part about the streaming options is that you can take your fitness program with you, anywhere you go, so long as you have an internet connection. That is amazing!
In addition, most hotels have a fitness center and WiFi. You can go for a walk or jog around town. Connect with other people or research the area you are visiting to get information about interesting local fitness classes.
Remember, there is always something you can do.