New Year’s resolutions are here and the most popular one is weight loss. Ever wondered why New Year goals usually never stick, especially the dreaded goal of weight loss? It probably has to do with most resolutions are truly lifestyle shifts, and not just bad habits. A complete body transformation for the new you is not just a week, two-week or twelve-week process, but actually a lifetime of positive change. Let’s discuss more on understanding your New Year’s resolution, steps for success and why your new, healthier lifestyle will be completely worth it.
Undoing years to decades of bad habits is not easy, but not impossible. You have developed a semi-comfortable lifestyle doing what you are accustomed to do. So why would a twelve-week challenge undo decades of unhealthy habits? Granted, you can make some incredible physical transformations in twelve weeks, but those changes are only going to last if you are content mentally and emotionally with your progress. Reaching your twelve-week goal and then partying like it’s 1999 is progress sabotage. You can handle a little deviation, but your body is so sensitive to change at this point that overdoing it will cause a complete rebound. Just look at bodybuilders, figure competitors and other fitness challengers who routinely put themselves through twelve-week, competition formatted diets to compete for one or two shows. The majority of these competitors are constantly slimming down. Once the show is over, they generally have weight gain unless eating habits are well managed. The yo-yo effect is not healthy and very stressful on your body.
The healthy approach to weight loss is gradual, sustainable change. Find a well-balanced, lean, clean and organic diet that works for you and your body type. Allow these foods to consist of five meals a day. Then, according to your ability level find a program with a combination of anaerobic and aerobic exercise that keeps you active throughout the week. Weekly, increase the intensity of your workout regimen to break through training plateaus and provide a constant high caloric burn. The combination of these factors is essential for fat loss. Just remember that you will respond positively to positive change, so find a healthy meal plan that calms your cravings and revs up your metabolism without cutting macronutrients. Stay on track and this will grow on you and make you feel like a million bucks.
Eating clean does not have to be boring and monotonous. In fact, it’s all about the ingredients. There are extremely delicious and clean alternatives to any desired dish. By cutting out saturated oils, sugars, alcohol and simple carbs, one is bound to see immediate results. Substitute healthy alternatives like good fats, fructose or stevia and complex carbs for dieting success. Just remember, too much of a good thing can still be bad, so remember to practice portion control. One can determine the right ratio and balance of macronutrients as well as caloric intake by contacting an experienced fitness professional or using programs like livestrong.com or bodybuilding.com, both of which have tutorials for finding what works for you.
Unfortunately, dieting and exercise are not the only components to weight loss. When referring to weight loss, I’m actually speaking about body fat reduction since most people are trying to avoid muscle loss. With that said, you need to rev up your metabolism and allow your body the optimal environment for metabolizing body fat. By doing the steps listed above and cutting out stress, you’ll likely see your metabolism grow towards the optimal fat burning zone. So, to avoid stress, do just that. Try to avoid it. Be positive and optimistic about every situation, even the normally stressful ones. Sleep at least eight hours nightly and stay hydrated. Also, don’t forget to breathe. It is amazing what deep breaths can do for our health. In all, wake up and hydrate. Eat breakfast no more than an hour after waking. Make sure breakfast is a mixture of lean protein, complex carbs and good fats. Have meals of this blend four more times a day, every two and a half to three hours apart. Get your workout in and sleep eight hours. Then repeat!
For some added motivation, realize that the investment in your own fitness and nutrition habits is the easiest and most cost-effective health plan, period. The value of your health is priceless. Most other remedies do not pay the dividends that regular exercise and balanced nutrition can. You have the opportunity to place your life into your hands and, for the most part, control the outcome. Beyond enhancing your life, you’ll have increased energy, improved physical performance, improved mental performance and the fit physique of your dreams. All you have to do is accept the lifestyle.