Use These Weight Loss Tips to Make a Permanent Change!
Every year millions of people make New Year’s Resolutions about losing weight, getting healthier, exercising more, lifting weights, or any other of the countless “healthy” resolutions. Unfortunately, only a very small portion of those people actually accomplish what they set out to do. Why is this? It’s not because people don’t sincerely want to get healthier. Everyone would love to lose that spare tire or get back to their goal weight. However, many people either set goals without a good strategy, or figure out the right strategy but don’t determine their goals. This article will present 5 tips that will help you set attainable goals and figure out a strategy to reach those goals.
1. Set Attainable, realistic goals, then write them down, and plaster them everywhere you go
You cannot reach a goal if you don’t set it. It’s great to say “this year I’m going to be healthier” or “2015 is the year I lose weight,” but these are vague goals that you could strive to reach forever without a specific end date. If you want to lose weight, make your goal that you’re going to lose 20 pounds by a certain date. Don’t leave it open ended. In addition to that, set smaller, intermittent goals to keep you on track. If your goal is to lose 20 pounds in 2 months, then set smaller weekly and monthly goals to keep you on track.
Secondly, set realistic goals. You aren’t going to go from couch potato to Arnold in a month. If you want to lose 50 pounds of body fat, don’t expect that to happen in 30 days. Set goals you can reach, so every time you reach that goal, your motivation builds, rather than being overwhelmed by this shoot-for-the-moon-type goal that seems unattainable. This ties in to setting up a step-by-step timeline for your goals.
2. Keep a Food Log
Most people have no idea how much or how little (eating too little is every bit as bad for weight loss as eating too much) they actually eat. If you’ve never taken the time to count your macronutrients (learn why this is absolutely crucial here), then you probably don’t know how much you actually eat in a day. Whether your goal is weight loss or to build muscle, your diet is instrumental in the process. You have to know exactly how much you’re consuming, and the breakdown of your total calories. I recommend making this part of your permanent routine. It’s really not that hard to log your food nowadays with all the apps available. MyFitnessPal is a great app that allows you to simply scan the barcode of your food and it will generate the nutrient contents for you. It also logs the breakdown of carbs, fat, protein, fiber, and more, rather than just calories.
At very least, try logging your food for a couple weeks so you get an idea of how much you’re actually supposed to eat. If you never establish a point of reference for yourself, you’ll never know if you’re overeating and not eating enough.
3. Plan Your Exercise Schedule for Each Day of the Week
You can lose weight through your diet, but if you want to tone, tighten, sculpt, build definition, increase lean muscle mass, get big as hell, or whatever other hot phrase is out there for building muscle and definition you have to incorporate resistance training. Cardio is great, but it takes the right combination of resistance training and cardiovascular exercise to build a healthy, great-looking physique.
In order to build your new physique, you need to establish a plan of attack and stick to it. It’s too easy to skip a day if you’re just trying to fit exercise in when you can. Even if it’s as little as 20 minutes per day, you need to set a time every day for exercise.
In addition to that, you need to plan your actual exercise. Which muscles are you going to work each day? Will you do cardio and resistance training or just one? How long will your rest periods be? Sets? Reps? Have a plan. If you really want to spend a ton of time at the gym and not get any results at all, go without any kind of plan. Don’t waste time walking around thinking about what you’re going to do, or forgetting which muscles you worked yesterday, or which exercises you did two days ago. Take ten minutes to sit down and plan the attack you’re about to bring upon your body. You’ll save time and see more progress.
4. Recruit a Friend or Family Member
Reaching your goals will be a lot easier if you can get someone to do it with you. One very important thing to remember is to recruit someone who either already exercises consistently or really wants to make a change. Don’t pick the laziest person you know to be your workout buddy. There will be plenty of days you’ll need a little extra motivation, so it’ll help a lot to have someone around who will push you to get better, not agree that you should take the day off to eat pizza and ice cream instead. Plus, when you do start to see progress, you’ll have someone to share in that joy, and you can continue to help each other get better.
5. Learn Something New Every Day
Take 10 minutes every day to read something new about nutrition or fitness. It’s really hard to stick to something if you don’t care about it, and it’s a lot easier to care about something if you know about it. If you feel like you don’t know how to eat right, lift weights, do effective cardio, set great goals, or anything else, then learn about it! You can find pretty much anything on the internet. Take it upon yourself to learn about what you’re trying to do. Learn about effective methods of lifting weights. Learn about the most effective forms of cardio. If getting in shape was simple, everyone would be in shape. It’s not magic but it does take some knowledge. This is an important part of your strategy. If you don’t know how to create an awesome strategy, it will seriously hinder your goals.
If you don’t want to take the time to learn (or don’t have it), then hire a professional, like a Certified Personal Trainer. Their sole purpose is to provide you with a road map to success. All you have to do is follow it.
As a special New Year’s present, I’ve created a New Year’s Resolution Kickstarter Kit. It comes complete with a food log template, examples of workouts for different schedules, my “Roadmap to Success” goal sheet, and a ton of awesome information about Macronutrient counting apps, effective forms of cardio, how to determine exact numbers for how much you should be eating, and more! To get the kit, subscribe with your email address here, and I’ll send it to you right now!