As another year rolls by and the New Year whispers the sweet nothings of the perfect body waiting for you around the corner, it’s important to set realistic goals when it comes to your weight loss and fitness regime.
A few factors to keep in mind is that the perfect cut out images of models and celebrities and their personal routines aren’t always going to work for you personally when it comes to keeping the commitment to your individual long term fitness goals.
I tried out the old classic; stick some motivating images and celebrity diet tips on the fridge routine a few years back until I discovered my own golden rules for more effective fitness techniques.
It’s easy to feel pressured as the year draws to a close, you know that you will have a lot of work to do before it’s even started, shedding off that Christmas feast and the New Years alcohol intake.
The truth is that your fitness/weight loss journey will be closer to a long distance marathon than a sprint so here’s some tips to keep you motivated and boost your chances of success.
Realistic and Attainable Expectations
The problem with New Year’s Resolutions is they generally reflect a vague overall goal instead of a specific goal, so instead of telling yourself, “I want to lose 10 kilos to fit into my sweet sixteen outfit” – focus on specifics. For example, “I’m going to aim to lose 1 kilo every week for 10 weeks.”
As every body type is different, buying a stock standard size 4 dress and hanging it where you can receive a dose of daily torture may not be the best motivating method, if you have bigger hips, problem thighs or a focus point you know you want to work on, talk to a trainer (or even Google) toning exercises that are catered to your body goals.
Mind Over Matter
I’m a firm believer that any change you want to make comes down to your mental strength and the clarity of the goal you have in view, so you should reaffirm the goals you have in mind and why you want to reach them.
Do you have a special occasion your want to train for? One of my favourite things to do is have a fitness diary or calendar visible at home, where you can mark off the days and food intake/ exercises completed on a daily basis as this all works to stimulate my motivation levels.
Don’t be so hard on yourself
As the saying always goes, the harshest critic is always going to be you, sometimes we can be a bit hard on ourselves when it comes to achieving our goals, if you feel guilty with the choice of Friday night drinks VS that Pilates class just remember as long as you’re determined to make up the workout another time, you should let yourself have some controlled breathing space.
Food Becomes Her
Yes, I’m sure that you’ve heard that your diet accounts for 80% of weight loss and starving yourself thin just confuses your metabolism into storing more weight.
I’ve found that some of the best options for my healthy eating plan don’t have to be a bland and boring chore, experimenting with difference spices in your food can add extra dimension to your food without the calories.
One of the best things to stick to is the old and reliable high protein low carbohydrate meal plans, everything really comes down to portion control, a handful of protein a day such as fish, chicken and red meat coupled with brown rice and quinoa is always a favourite and a small amount of carbohydrates for daily energy.
I find that most of my hunger creeps up after work and in this case the blender is my bestie, simply combining oats, chia seeds, coconut water, frozen berries and a low carb protein powder gives me a nourishing smoothie that keeps me fuller for longer.
The Perfect Potion of strength work and Cardio
Based on your body goals, it’s important to get the ratio of Cardio vs. Strength training right so you can work on individual areas for a tailored approach to fitness.
I try and aim for a 5 day workout plan with 2 days focussed on strength and core training and 3 days on cardio with weights incorporated.
Don’t be afraid to mix up your routine, you might enjoy only running on the treadmill 3 times a week but if your goal is to tone and define areas of your body as opposed to just losing body weight, try and include a circuit workout specifically designed for toning 15-20 minutes after your normal regime.
Stay motivated by doing what you love
It’s no surprise that statistics show we are more likely to be successful in things we are passionate about; this also applies to finding the type of workout we enjoy the most which will contribute to your personal success story.
For me, my boxing classes keep me motivated, the appeal is not only just in punching until I can’t lift my arms and leaving in a pool of sweat but also in the mental benefits it gives me in terms of stress relief and the strength in body and mind it provides.
If you open yourself up to different classes and activities you’re bound to find your workout match which will bring you enjoyment and provide you with the determination you need to stick to your new found regime.
So with all these tips in mind it’s time to make 2017 the year of achievable changes.