Are you setting yourself up for success or failure in your fitness journey? It’s far too common to get excited about starting a new diet and/or exercise program only to get discouraged and quit after a week or so.
The main thought to keep in mind is this: You did not become unfit overnight and you will not become fit overnight either.
Now everyone knows this on an intellectual level but the majority of us want to see quick, tangible results. It’s only natural to want to see physical evidence of our efforts and that evidence will show up in time. It takes patience and perseverance, but it will happen as long as you stick with it.
Before beginning your fitness routine, ask yourself if your goals are realistic? The following are examples of unrealistic goals that set you up to fail.
- Trying to lose 30 pounds in 30 days.
- Going from being sedentary to working out at the gym every day.
- Deciding to never eat chocolate (or ice cream, chips, cookies, etc) ever again.
- Putting off doing things you enjoy until you lose the weight.
- Thinking you can do the same workout you did in school.
- Thinking the diet that helped you lose weight before will be just as effective now.
Losing 30 pounds in a month is certainly possible with a crash diet or fasting, but chances are great you’ll pack it all back on and more! Extremely restrictive diets throw the body into starvation mode and lowers the basal metabolic rate. Lower metabolism equals more weight gain on fewer calories!
If you have been inactive for some time light exercise will certainly make a difference. Start out with 15 minutes of brisk walking 3 to 5 times per week. As you feel better and more energetic you can increase the time.
Don’t eliminate a particular food as “bad”. What normally happens is you will want that food more than ever simply because you can’t have it! It’s human nature to crave what we are denying ourselves. Instead, tell yourself you are choosing not to eat potato chips (or whatever your weakness is) today. Or allow yourself a handful and then put the bag away. Limiting how much of your trigger foods are in your home is a huge help as well.
Do the things you enjoy.Getting out and participating in activities you love may just help keep you inspired to stick with your new fitness plan!
Reward yourself but not with food! Setting smaller goals along the way help keep you motivated as you move towards your big goal. Taking the plunge into better health and fitness can be challenging, but the rewards are worth it.
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