The time for New Year’s resolutions is on the horizon, and once again, weight loss is heading up the most sought-after goals for the year. If you’re determined to shed unwanted pounds and reveal a healthier, happier you in 2013, here are some ways to ensure your success. Make this year count; here’s how:
Motivation is the key to getting started. Personal trainer Jenn Nims, from www.girl-heroes.com, states, “You have to find what motivates you. For some people, that’s looking good in a swimsuit or dress. For others, it’s being able to lift heavier and heavier weights or run a specific distance. For others, it’s being able to play with their kids. None of these reasons are better than another. You just have to be honest about what is really important to you”. Finding physically fit and healthy men and women in magazines can help motivate you. Make sure you select proper role models to inspire you to begin your challenge. Tell friends and family about your weight loss initiative so that they become part of your motivational support system. Encouragement and support will help guide you on the path to success.
Prepare for your weight loss journey by purchasing quality athletic gear. The proper tools will make exercising more comfortable and encourage you to continue working towards improvement. Find affordable, name-brand gear online with discounts like 6pm.com coupons or dickssportinggoods.com coupons. Rid your house of tempting foods that lack nutrition and replace them with healthy alternatives. A helpful tip is to shop along the outer rims of the supermarket, as these areas tend to have fresh vegetables, fruits, meats, and dairy that make for a balanced diet. Ten10-year-long Fatwallet member Allen Stern from letstalkfitness.com claims that green smoothies for breakfast are his weight loss secret. “Green smoothies are easy to make and will give you an awesome charge of energy to start the day. Getting started is easy- my favorite recipe to start with is: strawberries, a banana, spinach, apple juice and water. Later on, you can add a variety of superfoods, but my suggestion is to start simple.”
Set realistic goals that can be attained within a reasonable time frame. Break down your overall weight loss goal into several mini-goals. Baby steps seem more manageable to accomplish and less overwhelming. Set dates as deadlines for your goals, and write them down. The act of writing down something somehow makes one feel accountable for it.
Make a plan to achieve your goals, including diet and exercise. Decide how and where you will work, how you will ensure that you will eat only a certain amount of calories per meal, etc. Local gyms, food weights, or pre-made meals may become part of your plan.
Keep on Track-
Food diaries and journals are great ways to keep track of your eating, thoughts, and feelings about eating, as well as take responsibility for your food consumption. This will help you identify your trigger foods and how to avoid them. Emily, from skinnyemmie, is a 31-year-old weight loss blogger who has lost over 100 pounds and has found that documentation of her eating has helped immensely in her journey towards being healthy. “Document the ‘why’,” Emily says. “When you feel bad or have a moment where you think, ‘I really need to get healthy’, grab a journal and write. Write what you feel in your mind and in your body. Use as many adjectives as you can- be as vivid as possible. This will be gold for all of those times when you are about to talk yourself out of doing something you’ll regret, or for when you need to get back on track.”
Replace bad habits with good ones. Instead of finishing dinner with a sweet, over-caloric dessert, try rewarding yourself with a juicy piece of fruit. You will satisfy your craving for sweets without straying from your healthy diet. Or, as Allen found helpful, “forget the elevator, take the stairs!”
It’s perfectly normal to get frustrated during weight loss. Losing weight healthily is a challenge that requires patience and persistence. Ultimately, the rewards are great, so find ways to stay optimistic about your progress. Photograph your changes over time to remind yourself how much you’ve accomplished. Give yourself credit for the lost inches, even if the scale does not seem to change so quickly. As Jenn Nims says, “Perfection doesn’t exist. It’s consistency that counts when it comes to getting fit and losing weight. Actually, consistency, not perfection, helps us find success for any goal”.
To maintain the “new you,” it is essential to reward yourself, occasionally, for your hard work. Enjoy that chocolate cake for dessert, or go out and have cocktails with your friends now and again. Learn to allow yourself these simple pleasures and compensate with diet and exercise the following days. This will prevent you from struggling to keep up with your new, healthier lifestyle. Eventually, your new habits will become a lifestyle change, and it will be easier to maintain. So get started now!
A new you mean a new life. Are you ready to make that commitment for 2024?