The New Year is here and it’s time to make another resolution to get in shape. Studies have shown that this is the most frequently made resolution. I am willing to bet that you have made a similar resolution before. Did you meet your goal? If so, what kept you motivated? If not, what was it that kept you from reaching your diet and exercise goals past January?
Before you shuffle off to the crowded rows of treadmills at the gym, what can you do to give yourself the best chance of success this year? I have been thinking about what has kept me motivated over the years besides the fact that my jeans feel a little tighter after the holidays. Here are a few tips for staying motivated and staying sane during this time of the New Year.
Tips For Resolution Success:
1.Ditch the All-Or-Nothing Thoughts
The “all-or-nothing” mindset is an easy way to derail your progress. There will always be temptations such as the giant plate of cheesecake bites someone generously left in the break room. Every moment has an opportunity to make a healthier choice. This kind of thinking may lead to a vicious cycle of overindulgence, and strict deprivation. Around and around it goes until you are left feeling guilty and depressed because your body isn’t changing like you hoped.
Ditching these thoughts applies to your workouts as well. Just because you don’t have a full hour to fit in a workout doesn’t mean you should throw in towel and just go take a nap. Even just doing 50 Jumping jacks and 10 knee push ups is a start. I know you have heard it before but park in the back row of the parking lot or take the stairs. Again, every moment is an opportunity to make a healthier choice. Think of every meal as a time to reset, not every day. And I bet once you start doing these things, you will feel better and want to do more!
2. Small Changes Over The Long Term
No one is perfect and your diet and fitness routine doesn’t have to be either. A series of small changes will lead to new, healthier habits and a more sustainable lifestyle. Consistently applying little things over the long haul will add up. You might not see huge changes in your body quickly, but you are more likely to keep going for years down the road. You will feel less deprived and happier overall.
3. Cook More Often and Eat Out Less
While its much easier to pick up the phone and order a tasty bowl of beef lo-mein after a long day at work, you are doing yourself a disservice. Diet is so important when it comes to getting in shape. You can workout 7 days a week but if you are still eating crap, you will never get the results you want. When you cook for yourself, you are in control. You wouldn’t believe how many calories are in many dishes from restaurants . I’m not saying you can never go out to dinner, but maybe limit it to once a week.
Cooking can be fun! Take a class, cook with a friend. It doen’t have to feel like a job. Find a fun recipe, put on some fun music and enjoy the process.
4. Pack Leftovers for Lunch
When you are cooking, make sure you add enough for an extra serving or two. Buy extra containers so when you are putting away the leftovers, you can pack it into single serving meals right there. It is so much easier to have it ready to go in the morning instead of opening up 4 different container of leftovers. Bonus: You will also find you are saving a ton of money by not eating out!
5. Plan Ahead
Plan to make a few healthy meals and snacks ahead of time. When you are hungry and will literally eat the leg off your chair, you are more likely to make healthier choices if you already have something made. When you don’t have to take the time to cook something, that bag of potato chips seems less tempting. A few of my favorite make ahead snacks are:
- Pre- Cut Veggies such as cucumbers, celery or bell peppers
- Hard boiled eggs (My favorite egg cooker here)
- Mason Jar Salads
- Chia Seed Pudding
6. No More “Cheat Days”
I hate the term “cheat day”. The problem is that people use this as an excuse to go nuts and overeat terrible food. I agree with everything in moderation, but if you are depriving yourself all week just to go cray cray into that gravy covered plate of cheddar poutines, you have essentially negated all the hard work you have put in during the week. Instead, try having a bite or two or limiting your cheat day to a cheat meal. I think you will find you feel better and will see results quicker.
7. Focus on the Long Term
You will have good days and bad days. Results may take a while but that doesn’t mean you’re not making progress. You definitely won’t see huge changes right away but be patient. Practice makes perfect and go easy on yourself.
Here is a great leg workout you can do at home or the gym.
Jog / Walk 0.5 mile
Circuit 1: 3 Rounds
Round the world lunges – 15 each leg
Skater lunges-15 each leg
Sumo Squats with swinging kettle-bell or dumbbell- 15
Jog/ Walk 0.5 miles before circuit 2
Circuit 2: 3 Rounds
Air squats – 20
Squat Jumps – 15
Rear Butt lifts- 15 each leg
Jog/ Walk 0.5 miles before circuit 3
Circuit 3: 3 Rounds
Calf raises- 30
Clamshells- 15 each side
Side lunge with leg lift- 15 each side
Stretch – 10 mins
Be sure to check back next Wednesday for another workout. Thanks for reading and enjoy your workout!
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