Every year in February, some lose heart and begin to slowly abandon those lofty health, fat-loss and weight-loss goals. Are you getting discouraged one month into the year?
The goal-setting and visualization part of your fitness assessment is critical for your success. Infomercials many times give people the wrong information when it comes to losing weight.
Health, fitness and weight loss goals need to be long-term and grounded in reality. Even then, you will continually make adjustments to your fitness program due to circumstances such as:
- Illness, depression, injury, stale exercise routines, bad advice, over-eating, under-eating, binge-eating, too much cardio, too little strength training, over-training, under-training, confidence problems and limiting behaviors.
Making adjustments are good. Your health and fitness program never ends. And, as you change, your program needs to change.
So, one month into your program, what adjustments do you need to make to keep progressing? One trait you need to cultivate (if you don’t have it) is to never give up on your goals.
In a Mayo Clinic article, “Don’t give up on weight-loss resolutions,” by Donald Hensrud, M.D., he stated, “It's not uncommon to approach resolutions with lots of enthusiasm. After a couple weeks, your enthusiasm often lessens and it's back to those same old habits. These habits seem comfortable and are easy to fall back into, but they don't help you lose weight or improve your health long-term. Before you give up on this year's resolutions, try to take the following things into consideration.”
Two things he mentions that you should consider: 1) are you ready and 2) do you have a good plan. If you don’t have realistic plans to reach your goals, you are setting yourself up for failure. You can never reach unrealistic goals.
A Medical News Today article, “Planning Your Success Is Best Way For New Year's Resolution To Last,” said, “Breaking down your New Year's weight loss resolutions into small, manageable tasks you can work on every day is the best road to success.”
"Instead of making the number on the scale the focus, look for other ways to find to measure success," said Stefanie C. Barthmare, a psychotherapist with the Methodist Weight Management Center in Houston. "I worked with a patient recently who said that when she lost 60 pounds she was going to sign up for a half-marathon. She signed up last June and is running the full 13 miles in January."
Here are five steps you can take to consistently make progress towards your health, fat-loss and weight-loss goals:
1. Keep health as your number one priority. Living a healthy life can be a great motivator. This includes much more than your weight.
When was the last time you had a full physical exam? Do you know your blood pressure, cholesterol levels and triglyceride (blood fat) levels?
2. Your body fat percentage is more important than weight loss. Burn body fat and lose inches regardless of what the weigh scale shows. Rest assured, you will begin to permanently lose weight as well.
3. Establish healthy eating habits that you can maintain to reach your goals. One reason that quick weight-loss programs do not work is that you cannot maintain severe calorie restriction for very long. As soon as you begin to eat regularly, you will regain the weight.
4. Lead an active lifestyle which includes regular exercise. This has health and emotional benefits that go beyond “just weight loss.”
Don’t give up on your workouts because you aren’t experiencing the weight loss you want! Keep in mind that you can lose tons of weight and still be unhealthy and overfat.
5. If your fat loss and weight loss has stalled, don’t despair. Weight often melts off easily at the beginning of a workout program — especially if you have been inactive or are overweight/obese.
But then your body adapts to your workouts. When this happens, you need to vary your workout routines and intensity.
You can do this in several ways such as:
-Do different exercises for the same body parts
-Shorten your rest periods between exercises
-Speed up your exercises
-Do shorter, more intense workouts
-Lift heavier weights
-Try different methods such as supersets, drop sets or circuit training
-Instead of traditional cardio, try bodyweight exercise cardio
Continue to eat right, exercise, lead an active lifestyle and make adjustments along the way. Your body will become more lean and healthy.
Mayo Clinic article, “Don’t give up on weight-loss resolutions,” by Donald Hensrud, M.D. Retrieved Jan. 31, 2012. http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/weight-loss-resolutions/MY01657
Medical News Today article, “Planning Your Success Is Best Way For New Year's Resolution To Last,” Stefanie C. Barthmare, psychotherapist, Methodist Weight Management Center in Houston. Retrieved Jan. 31, 2012. http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/211811.php
Mark Dilworth, BA, PES is a fitness writer and trainer. Mark is the owner of My Fitness Hut, Her Fitness Hut and Sports Fitness Hut. Mark’s Fat Blaster Athletic Training System has been proven to give his clients the fit, sculpted and athletic-type bodies they want.
Visit Mark’s main site:
Your Fitness University http://yourfitnessuniversity.com/
Reviewed February 1, 2012
by Michele Blacksberg RN
Edited by Jody Smith