Being healthy, fit, lean, and strong isn’t a result of a gimmick or shortcut. Looking great is the result of living a healthy lifestyle where fitness and diet are elements you’ve ingrained into your lifestyle. If you are carrying extra weight and want to get it off, maybe for an upcoming event or the usual summer season rush to get fit, ask yourself a question; do you intend on putting that weight back on?
It’s a simple question. Many of us don’t think that far ahead. We put our head in the sand as we eat poorly and remain inactive until we catch ourselves in the mirror and think we need to lose 5 or 10 pounds. Again this is likely just being dishonest with ourselves. If we say we need to lose 10 pounds it’s likely that we need to lose 20. A healthy lifestyle then is as much about being honest with ourselves as it is about following a workout routine or a nutritious diet. The point is if we put it back on we are just as likely to put on additional weight. Putting on only a few pounds every year will add up before you know it.
Is it so hard to get and remain fit? By far the majority of us love some kind of activity or at the very least that fresh, invigorated feeling we have when we are leaving the gym or coming home from a game, run, bike or swim. As for diet, eating well never leaves us with that bloated feeling that comes from fast food or junk food. Heck, eating well is often a damn sight more tasty, it is usually just the time it takes to prepare our own food that prevents us from a proper diet.
Fitness and diet do require effort. There is no getting around it, but the pay-off far outweighs the effort. Imagine looking in the mirror and feeling great about how you look. Imagine never “feeling fat”. Imagine shopping and everything you try on looks great. Imagine catching stares from others ogling your body at the beach. Imagine being completely confident with how you look.
Are you starting to feel motivated? Do you want to change? It isn’t all that hard. Just change one thing each week so it’s an easy, gradual change. Within a few months you will have developed habits that are shedding the fat and will keep you fit year-round day-in, day-out. How many times have you started a new diet or training routine and quit it a few weeks later? Too much too soon can be too much. Instead, try one of these new habits each week. Start one a week and no more and make it a permanent change.
1) Drink 3 litres of water each day
2) Eat a healthy breakfast first thing each and every morning
3) Don’t eat late (don’t eat 3 hours before your typical bedtime)
4) Exercise 4 times a week, if you haven’t exercised in a good while just start with 1/2 hour brisk walk
5) Don’t eat carbohydrates after mid-afternoon, just protein and green vegetables
6) Keep a diary of what you eat including drinks (This way you can track your cheat meals)
7) Start some kind of strength training (weights or body weight exercises) 3 times a week
8) Limit your cheat meals to 3 meals a week
9) Limit the alcohol to once a week
10)Take a yoga class once a week
11)Eliminate soda pop from your diet (except for cheat meals)
12)Eliminate processed foods (except for cheat meals)
This list could go on and on. In fact, by week 13 you may be looking for the next way to amp up your workouts or refine your diet. By this time you will start to see some serious results and will be motivated to see more. You diet will be pretty darn good at this point and you will be doing cardio (walking or running), strength training, and some flexibility training (yoga). You will be feeling great, maybe a little sore for the first few weeks, but great.
Now all you have to do is keep up the momentum. Look for ways to motivate yourself. If you lose a certain amount of weight treat yourself with some kind of gift. If you run your usual run for a certain time give yourself a little treat. If you do a certain amount of squats celebrate it. Then keep setting new milestones. As you make each small goal it will spur you to reach higher.