Paige is a Phoenix, Arizona-based personal trainer. Her passion and commitment is helping people take care of themselves. Check out more of her work at LearnFit.
Tips To Keep Your Weight Loss Goals on Track
Improving your fitness, or more specifically, weight loss, is a noble endeavor – but it certainly isn’t easy.
That’s because people think about weight loss in terms of a singular diet, as opposed to an overall shift in how they eat and exercise. Going on a strict diet overnight will most likely leave you miserable, so much so that you eventually throw in the towel. Instead of looking for a quick fix, try setting a series of small, attainable goals for yourself.
Shock and awe
You want to lose weight and feel better. Unfortunately, that’s an end result; you haven’t established a process for getting there just by setting your goal. What you need is to make a big splash – do something specific that helps you achieve that generic goal.
Some common steps are:
- Stop drinking soft drinks
- Stop drinking alcoholic beverages
- Stop eating sugary dessert
- Reduce fatty meat intake;
- Mandate at least two green vegetables with each meal
These are concrete, bold steps that you can take to make an immediate impact. Pick one or two and stick with it. Don’t try to do it all at once.
Don’t just wing it – keep track of everything
In order for any goal to stick, you have to hold yourself accountable and make a real plan. You can’t just say I’m going to make better eating choices. You have to keep track of everything – at least at first.
If your goal is to lose weight, you need to track your weight loss. If your goal is to limit caloric intake or amounts of specific foods, you can’t just trust your brain to regulate. Keep a detailed journal of everything you consume. You’ll find that concrete numbers can keep you motivated. It’s hard to see the weight coming off just by looking in a mirror. Knowing you’re on the right track helps.
Add a realistic fitness goal to accompany your new eating habits
The best way to lose weight and feel better is to improve both diet and exercise simultaneously, but that can be overwhelming for some people and cause them to ultimately abandon their health goals. So for some, it may make sense to focus on one aspect at a time while easing into the other.
If you’re focusing on the eating side of things, you should add a very modest exercise goal. Let it depend on your current level of physical activity – if you are completely sedentary, try adding a brisk 30 minute walk or a swim a few times a week to your schedule. If that’s already something you did, maybe try a more strenuous exercise routine such as Cross Fit. Small changes work best at first.
Speaking of small changes, try adding in short bursts of exercise throughout the day:
- Park as far away from entrances as possible to get in extra steps
- Take a walk during your lunch or break at work
- Do a set of squats or lunges while you’re folding laundry
- Do a set of push-ups or jumping jacks between commercials
- Put everyday kitchen items in low and high spots so you have to work to reach them
- Incorporate light yoga into your pre-bedtime routine to help stretch and calm your body
Slip up? Don’t beat yourself up
The hardest part about sticking with any new health-focused plan is pushing through a setback. If you have a brownie, don’t beat yourself up over it or turn to worse habits. You want to enjoy your healthy lifestyle and getting into shape. All is not lost because you didn’t keep 100% to your goal. You’re still 99% on the path. Just think about all that you’ve done right.
Paige is a fitness nerd and shares her insights on LearnFit. She believes that with the help of discipline and determination you can definitely reach your fitness goals.
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