Whether you are starting a new fitness program or cleaning up your eating, here are a few health and fitness tips that work to help you succeed longterm. To the naked eye they may seem obvious, but when implemented daily, they add up to create a lean, mean, fitter you!
- Don’t starve yourself. Time and time again, both men and women alike think less calories will result in a thinner image but our bodies are too smart for that. When you reduce your calories too much, your body goes into “starvation mode” and actually stores the calories you do eat. This creates the lovely fat storage we see over our midsection or accumulating on our inner thighs. So tip number one: Keep your protein (30%), carbs (40%), and fat (30%) ratios inline with your activity level.
- Plan ahead. This means setting a schedule for your fitness activities. Planning the days and times ahead of time ensures you’ll stick with it. You’ve already allotted the time, no excuses to not make it happen.
- Don’t weigh yourself. As much as you want to, stay away from the scale! First of all, if you are working out and eating healthy, chances are you are losing fat (which you’ll notice by the fit of your clothes) and gaining muscle… a positive! Second, muscle, while smaller in size, weights more than fat. Using the scale as your only indication of health and fitness will drive you insane! Instead, use high tech tools such as a fat analysis dunk tank or low tech tools like a tape measure.
- Learn about your food. Food isn’t tricky so if you don’t understand what the label says is inside the wrapper, chances are it isn’t good for you. When cleaning up your eating, it’s important to understand the relationship food plays in the success (or sabotage) of your new fitness program. Try to stick with food without labels i.e. fruits and vegetables, meat, nuts, and seeds. Rule of thumb: If you can find it in nature and eat it in it’s natural state without processing, chances are it’s ok to eat!
- Find a support system. Why do group classes like kickboxing, spin, and CrossFit work? Because you build a network (or community) of people striving towards a common goal: health. Every day you join forces to push past your mental limits and show what your body is really capable of achieving. So grab a friend, or make a few new ones, and work towards the new you!
- Don’t cheat. Ever. Once you cheat, you convince yourself it’s ok and more and more cheats will creep into your daily routine. First you’ll cheat on a workout by skipping the last few reps then you’ll cheat on your healthy eating and next thing you know you’re back right where you started. Commit 100% to the new you and be ok with the occasional mishap (nobody is perfect!). Just don’t make it a habit.