With the year in full swing, looking and feeling your best is more desirable than ever. It’s easy to feel all gung-ho at the beginning. For the first few weeks, you’re determined, focused and ready to work off the pounds; however, the real challenge is staying motivated. Over time, the routine might feel tedious, causing you to get lazy or abort the mission entirely. If you’re feeling guilty about all your false starts, then maybe all you need is a new approach to keep you going.
A major reason why people give up is because they can’t achieve their perfect body in the time allotted. Remember, you can only lose so much weight at any given time. Excessively fast weight loss is unhealthy and will ultimately do more harm than good.
Create a Goal
A lot of the time, our fitness decision amounts to “well, I guess I’ll lose some weight”. But without a quantifiable idea, it’s impossible to tell if you’re really making progress. This is why setting a goal is important.
First, imagine the bigger picture. How much weight do you want to lose? What timeframe are you hoping for? Again, be reasonable. Dropping 100 pounds in 2 months is impossible, but losing 20 is certainly attainable.
Next, take baby steps. Split your ultimate objective into several smaller ones, then plan accordingly. For instance, if you’re looking to lose 20 pounds in two months, that amounts to 2.5 pounds per week — absolutely doable! This way, you’ll feel a consistent string of successes that will help keep you on track.
Enjoy Your Exercise
Finding a sport you like is critical. If you do something you enjoy, then weight loss becomes a by-product of your recreation, rather than the main prize. Perhaps you like boxing, martial arts, spinning, swimming, tennis, soccer — the sky’s the limit. Heck, even quidditch is now an official sport in some circles, so you’re guaranteed to see something that suits you.
Change Your Diet, Save Some Change
This goes without saying. Unless you exercise profusely to the point of near death, burning off ice cream and pizza will shoot your weight loss plan in the foot. Cutting out certain fatty and sugary foods is a no-brainer, but don’t feel like this is the end for the treats you love.
Junk food may be cheap, but the costs quickly add up. Next time you’re tempted to dine out, take that money and place it in a jar or savings account. Check out how much you have in your side pot at the end of the month, and the extra cash you see sitting there might be all it takes to “change” your attitude.
Designate a “Cheat Day”
Giving up your favorite food is tough, but the good news is that you don’t have to do this. Everything is fine in moderation, so a “cheat day” once every one or two weeks isn’t going to set you back.
If you decide to go this route, consistency is the key. Try not to deviate from your cheat day schedule. For example, if your friends have a weekly ritual of Friday dinners at Applebees, then set your cheat day accordingly.
Weight loss is never easy, but it doesn’t have to be impossible. Once you find your niche, all it takes is some good planning and the right program to achieve and maintain your goals.