Why does it take New Year’s resolutions for people to start thinking about their health and making changes? Your bodies health, which affects your minds health, is your temple, and should always be respected and taken care of all year long. I’m grateful for new clients who come to me during January with a list of fitness goals they have set for their New Year; however, most of these goals are unattainable with the time frame they have set for themselves, and usually, sets the stage for big disappointments.
When you’re thinking about your health and fitness resolutions for 2012, here are some things to think about before you race towards your goals and burn out before the finish line. In my ten years of experience as a fitness trainer and wellness coach, I can say with certainty that less is sometimes more when it comes to your fitness goals and health!
If you have big plans for your fitness and health goals this year such as losing weight, be realistic. When clients come to me saying they want to lose 50 pounds in two months, I look at them and smile, and say, how about losing 1 to 2 pounds per week. Not only will this goal be easier for you to achieve, it’s healthier too!
When the body loses weight too fast you’re actually losing muscle and water instead of fat. Severe and quick weight loss will leave you feeling tired and sluggish, while healthy weight loss invigorates your mind and energizes your body. If your goal is to try and lose a large amount of weight in a short amount of time, you will burn out before you reach your goal, and, you will gain all of your weight back within a month after stopping your crash diet or whatever it was that slopped off the weight quickly. Losing weight too fast put’s undue pressure on the heart as well and should be avoided. If you set your goals to realistic standards such as losing 1 to 2 pounds of fat per week, instead of 50 pounds in 2 months, you will reach the finish line and accomplish the goals you have set out to achieve!
Eliminate Processed Foods
You don’t have to starve yourself this year to get in shape! In fact, crash diets, shakes, and not eating enough calories will cause weight gain and muscle loss in the long run. Here is what you should do instead… avoid buying processed foods! What are processed foods? Processed foods are anything that does not come from Mother Earth, for example, soda, candy, and anything pre-packaged is considered processed. Next time you shop for food, avoid these ingredients; high-fructose corn syrup, artificially sweetened foods, and foods that say enriched or refined.
Cutting out processed foods does not mean eating less or forcing tasteless food into your mouth. Fortunately, when we eat real food that has not been processed, we can eat more of it. Real foods such as, fruits and veggies from the farmers market, grass fed beef, and cheeses that don’t have the label Kraft, give our bodies nutrients that we need and keep us feeling full longer than processed foods, thus, making our unhealthy caloric intake less.
Processed food is nothing more than empty calories and has been linked to diseases such as, cancer, diabetes, and coronary heart disease. If its flavor you’re craving, believe me, real food has more flavor than processed foods do, it’s just familiarizing your taste buds to them. Carrots for a snake, Dark chocolate for desert, and Fresh fish from the market, are all excellent foods you should add into your diet this year! And remember to start small, baby steps—if you are used to only eating processed foods, eliminate them over a period of time, incorporating real foods into your diet in-between the processed junk, and eventually the good stuff will win out, you’ll feel better, look better, and never look back!
Lifestyle Change versus Bullet Trains
Instead of treating this New Year as a bullet train to reach all of your health and fitness goals within the first few months, how about easing up on the accelerator and slowly incorporating your goals as life long, or lifestyle changes instead? Be patient with yourself this year, and don’t have the over used attitude and phrase, “all or nothing.” Most of my clients who rush into a diet or new workout routine too quickly always give up before they reach their destinations. If you look at your fitness goals as mere Lifestyle changes, things you incorporate into your life naturally and with ease, you’re sure to reach them all. Don’t tell yourself that you have to do this or that, don’t think of your health as a task but rather, think of it as something you can enjoy, like you’re favorite television series or novel. Many people feel like working out and eating healthy is a nuisance, a job that has to be done in-between real life and work. However, if you slowly begin to incorporate healthy lifestyle changes into your busy schedule, it will no longer feel like a chore, but instead, a part of who you are, a piece of the puzzle helping to create the final masterpiece, your life!
So there you have it, a few pointers to make your health and fitness goals become a reality this year and for the rest of your lives. If you need more suggestions on this topic or have some of your own, I would love to hear from you! Happy 2012!