As women, we have juicing fasts, fad diets and general quick fixes thrown in our faces ever day of the week. Almost every magazine cover promises ’10 pounds of weight loss in 4 weeks’ or ‘drop 7 pounds in our one week juice cleanse’. I guess this stuff sells magazines.
But what it doesn’t do is provide us women with a sustainable solution, one that actually allows us to get in shape….and stay there for the rest of our lives. After all, what does the magazine care if you gain your weight back a week after finishing your ‘detox’?
So, here’s my advice on how to go about getting in shape this new year and how to stick to your plan!
Set Long Term Goals
I’m definitely impatient….aren’t we all when it comes to getting what we want? But if you were to ask me “Would I rather have the body of my dreams in a year” or “a body thats just a little bit better than I have right now in a month” I bet you can guess which one I’d pick.
Stop leaving everything till the last minute. Stop looking for the quick fix. Stop looking for the miracle solution. Start planning for your summer holiday now – summer is still more than 6 months away! If anyone were to lose 6kg of fat they would look vastly different ….do the maths, 6kg in 6 months is 0.25kg a week. For a body that looks completely different – now tell me you couldn’t – or wouldn’t want to achieve that?!
Break Long Term Goals into Actions
This comes down to planning. What are you going to do EVERY day, EVERY week to ensure you hit that goal? You’ve probably heard of SMART goals before….you need to apply the same principles to getting in shape. Your plan needs to be specific and it needs to be measurable. Saying “I’m going to lose weight” is simply not enough.
It’s the HOW that’s important. For me it’s about committing to taking actions every single day, let me give you a few examples of my own:
- I log my food in MyFitnessPal at the beginning of each day, so I know exactly what I’m going to eat for each meal – once it is already logged there is less excuse to deviate from it
- I commit to walking 140,000 steps a week on my FitBit 🙂 That means I aim for 20,000 a day. I have to be active all week, BUT it still gives me the flexibility to have a lazy day at the weekend – as long as I balance it out elsewhere 😉 Simply moving more is the most underrated tool you have!
- I PLAN to have one dinner out where I eat what I like every 2 weeks PROVIDING I have hit my goal for that two weeks. Rewards are for hard work and success – you have to earn them remember 🙂 Unplanned ‘cheat’ or treat meals are detrimental to overall progress because they put you in a negative mindset. The frame of mind that comes with knowing you screwed up leads to more mistakes and more slips ups further down the line and needs to be avoided at all costs.
Set the RIGHT Targets
So, you set yourself a target of 140,000 steps a week, then you miss that target….what happens now? For most people, absolutely nothing, and that’s where the problem lies! If you set a REALISTIC target, you shouldn’t miss it – plain and simple. Fair enough there might be the odd set of extenuating circumstances that causes this to happen…but on the whole there should be no excuses.
Generally people set goals that are too lofty – which results in disappointment when they are not met. Once you’ve messed up a couple of times, its easy to see how the ‘can’t do it’ thoughts start to creep in and it becomes a self fulfilling prophecy! I’m not saying don’t aim high, I’m saying make sure you don’t expect more than the laws of physics can produce!
- Put your goals in writing and check in against them every single week
- Share your goals with the important people in your life so they can hold you accountable
- Don’t plan on giving up chocolate completely if chocolate is your favourite thing in the world! Its unrealistic and it’s impractical. Build it into your plan in a structured way then you can enjoy it without feeling guilty.
Like anything in life, getting in shape is as much about having the right plan and structure in place than it is about what is in the actual plan….as the saying goes, there are many ways to skin a cat 😉
Don’t expect to just wing it and get results – in the same way you wouldn’t just jump in a swimming pool and hope you can swim, don’t go head first into your new fitness regime before doing your homework….. and you’ll be sure to reap the awards.
Start 2016 fit, strong and healthy!
About the author
Becs Cronshaw – Look out for more articles on training, nutrition and how to transform your body over the next few months. If you would like to ask specific questions, feel free to email me at [email protected] or visit our website www.salecca.co.uk where you can register for our blog.