It’s that time of year again when so many people make and break their New Year’s resolution. So, why does this happen so frequently? Why is it that so many people out there can commit to their resolution for a short period of time, whether it’s a few weeks or a few months, only to find themselves back where they started?
It’s simple: they don’t create a pattern of behaviors that will help them stick with it for the long-run…not just short term. Here’s my top 10 tips for sticking with your health and fitness-related New Year’s resolution, in no particular order:
1.) Plan and Prepare Your Meals Ahead of Time
Pre-planning your meals is one of the easiest and smartest ways to stick with healthy eating. After all, if you don’t know what you’re going to make for dinner, it’s already 7:30pm and you’re starving, it is way too easy to eat something less-than-healthy. Having that roasted chicken left over from two days earlier is a much better alternative.
Personally, every Sunday I bulk meal prep . I cook up chicken breasts and cut up veggies for my lunches Then I cook a roast or whole chicken in the crock pot for Monday night’s dinner which will provide leftovers.
2.) Stick to Whole Foods as Much as Possible
This is a no-brainer when it comes to being overall healthy and having the most energy for your workouts, but it also takes a lot more calories to digest whole foods than it does the pre-packaged processed sugar filled junk you find in your grocery store aisles that are full of unhealthy chemicals, so you’ll be burning calories with no added effort. My advice? Stick to the perimeter of your grocery store being sure to be lots of fresh fruits and veggies, and find healthy recipes you’ll want to follow me on Pinterest. After all, eating healthy doesn’t mean it has to be tasteless.
Worried about how much you’ll be spending? Read my article on how to eat healthy on a budget and remember that eating healthy is actually less expensive than eating pre-packaged processed food.
3.) Make Dining Out a Once-in-a-While Treat, Not Something You do Every Night
I know we’re all leading very busy lives, and sometimes we need to grab food on the go, but this is when prepping your dinners really come in handy. Eating out is not only bad for the waistline with unhealthy amounts of fat everywhere and overly salted foods, it is also much more expensive than making your own healthy meals.
4.) Drink Your Coffee Black or with Skim Milk
I have dealt with so many people who add almost 1/4c of creamer to each of their two to four cups of daily coffee. That equals 1/2 to one cup of creamer…ouch!!! Not only bad for the waistline, but really bad for your heart. If you can’t tolerate coffee black, add skim in place of your creamer. While the texture of your drink will be thinner than creamer, you will acquire a taste for it in time.
5.) Cut Out Soda Entirely
If you’re not already drinking 8, 8-ounce glasses of water daily, you must do so immediately. This is one of the best ways to cut out unwanted calories from your diet and give your body the hydration it needs to function optimally. I know of people who have lost 10lbs just from cutting out soda, diet and regular. Neither is good for you, so don’t even bother with the diet route.
If you’re looking for a bubbly treat, try naturally-flavored seltzer or sparkling water. And if you’re looking for something sweet, try adding frozen watermelon or other fruit to your water instead of ice cubes. You can read about other ways to sweeten your water here.
6.) Exercise at Least Five Days a Week
If you’re not doing at least five days of extra physical activity daily, then you’re not going to lose weight or be healthy. It takes your decision to commit to this, but if you’re ready, you will reap major rewards in not only your weight, but your energy – and life, in general. Reaching your health and fitness goals without a combination of a healthy diet and exercise is near impossible.
7.) Follow a Workout Program
I am honestly going to tell you from my experience with helping others, the people who make the decision to follow an at-home workout program and really stick with the exercise routine and the recommended diet plan, are the ones who achieve the highest success. Why?
Because programs like Focus T25, MAX:30, PiYo, Brazil Butt Lift, P90X3 and others make losing weight foolproof. There are programs designed with the couch potato in mind, with modified moves to those who have the last couple of pounds to lose. It may be something to consider if you’re not a gym person and like a program neatly planned out for you.
But if you’re more into wanting to run, try a Couch to 5K program and stick to a healthy, whole foods diet in the right calorie range for your weight, but if you’re looking for a more complex formula or detailed description of what a calorie is and why you shouldn’t hate them, you can read this article on why calories aren’t evil.
8.) Track Your Calories
This is another way that people can easily gain weight or plateau without even realizing it. If you’re not keeping track of your calories, you are never going to know how much you’re eating. I like myfitnesspal.com to keep track of what I’m eating. Those pesky good-for-you almonds are only good for you if you’re eating a small handful.
9.) Weigh Yourself Weekly – NOT Daily
Weighing yourself weekly is the best way to track weight loss or weight maintenance. Weight can fluctuate day-to-day, which is ultimately, why the scale is not always the most accurate. However, weekly weigh-ins, not daily, will give you a more accurate picture of where your weight is headed.
10.) Get Support!
One of the easiest ways to fail at losing weight and living a healthy lifestyle is to not have any kind of support around you. If you have a friend or family member who wants to get in the best shape of their life with you, that is wonderful, but if you don’t, you need to make sure you have somewhere to connect with others. Being alone on a tough journey like this is okay for a while, but you will reach some point where you have a question or may feel like quitting when you’re not getting the results you want or just feel too tired to work out.
You may want to consider signing up for a FREE Team Beachbody account where you can connect with others who are doing the same thing as you and facing the same issues and get me as your personal coach who will be there for you whenever you need it. Connecting with others when you need it is the key to success with your New Year resolution!