1. SET REALISTIC GOALS.
It’s good to envision your ultimate goal but you must give yourself enough time to reach it. It took some time for you to be where you are now, so it will take some time to implement a lifestyle change. The best way to do this is to set both short-term and long-term goals. For example, if your ultimate goal is to lose 50 pounds, aim to lose 5 or 10 pounds a month for the short-term. Reaching your short-term goals will eventually lead to you reaching your bigger goal. The more steady you are with your weight loss, the longer-lasting the results!
2. CREATE A PLAN.
In order for you to reach your goals you need to have a calculated plan. Prioritize your activities and plan your meals for the week instead of “winging it” day by day that way you have no excuse not to stay on track. If you have family or work obligations you will need to figure out how you can fit exercise and meal prepping into your schedule. Also plan for recovery days completely off from the gym for self-care or spend time with friends and loved ones.
3. LEARN TO BE FLEXIBLE WITH YOUR SCHEDULE.
We all have those days where we skip a workout or celebrate with family and friends with food that is not on your plan. If you slip on your routine then hop back on as soon as you can. Deviating from your plan occasionally will not hurt you, but using it as an excuse to continue staying off will. Understand that there needs to be balance to be successful in reaching your goals.
4. DON’T TRY TO CHANGE EVERYTHING AT ONCE.
Quitting “cold turkey” and doing a complete 180-degree on previous habits may work for some individuals, but not for most of us. You might be successful for the first couple weeks but will eventually start to feel burnt out after some time. It is best to focus on changing one thing at a time. Develop good, long-lasting habits by trying something different every week. For example, if you normally skip meals you can work on implementing breakfast, then the following week try adding in an afternoon snack.
5. REWARD YOURSELF WITH ACTIVITIES THAT ARE NOT GOAL-RELATED.
So you’ve lost your first 10 pounds, congratulations! Now what? Treat yourself to something nice, like a new (and smaller!) outfit, a new haircut, or a nice massage at the spa. This will give you more of an incentive to reach your goals. Don’t reward yourself with something that might tempt and throw you off track such as an all-day pig-out session! Remember, you are trying to make a lifestyle change so remember what got you there in the first place.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Katrina Ignacio is a Personal Trainer at XSport Fitness Fairfax, VA