New Year, New You? Tips for Getting Fit
Okay, so you've been saying the same thing for five years in a row...but this year will be different, right? Here's How to Make 2019 Your Year:
1. Start slow - take it one step at a time!
There is one HUGE mistake most people make when beginning their journey to a healthier self in the new year: they try to do too much at once. Instead of trying to radically change your eating habits and work out in the gym 6 days a week from the get-go, ease your body into all of these changes. Easing yourself into a lifestyle change increases the likelihood you'll actually stick to your New Year's resolution.
For example, start by cutting soda from your diet. Once you've successfully done this, move on to cutting down candy/chocolate consumption, then fried foods, then switch from milk to soy or almond milk, replacing peanut butter with Beardy Boys and so on. Before you know it, you'll be eating much healthier and you won't feel the difference (or as if you're depriving yourself of anything) like you would if you tried cutting all these foods from your diet at once. The same thing applies to your workouts.
2. You're not starting a "diet," you're changing your lifestyle.
Your mindset going into the new year is EVERYTHING. Your brain is the control center of your entire body and affects well, every aspect of your body and life. You have to train your brain to think and look at your journey for a healthier self in a different way, which means changing your self-talk. The way you talk to yourself and think about your health makes a huge difference in the long-run. Keeping a realistic perspective helps you stick to your lifestyle changes.
The word "diet" implies a temporary change in eating habits. You do not want to enter the new year with this attitude - if you're trying to lose weight and become all-around healthier, you want it to stick, not become temporary. Calling these changes a "diet" is a self-fulfilling prophecy and will almost certainly ensure failure. However, if you tell yourself you're making a lifestyle change and adopt this attitude, you'll be much more successful in your health journey and will see the results you want.
3. Keep It Consistent. Do. Not. Give. Up.
When you first start working out and eating healthier, you'll want to give up after a couple weeks. It's hard to maintain working out more often and changing your eating habits (especially when you're out to eat and that beautiful chocolate mousse cake is calling your name!). You may be tempted to call it quits when you don't see immediate results and you're working hard to lose those pounds. However, you cannot let yourself give up that easily.
Keeping a consistent exercise and eating schedule is crucial for your maintaining your health journey. Set realistic goals for yourself that are manageable for your lifestyle. Instead of trying to go all-in at the gym, aim to get yourself to the gym two to three times a week to start. Instead of cutting out all junk food, give yourself a cheat day. Keeping these changes in your life consistent turns them into long-term habits. You'll achieve your New Year's resolution easier than you expected!
4. Treat yo'self! You need a break.
It's okay to flub up from time-to-time. Everyone does! When you do skip the gym for a week, or gorge yourself at that new buffet down the street, don't be hard on yourself. Don't call it quits, your health journey isn't inevitably ruined! You need to treat yourself, otherwise you'll almost never maintain those health changes (unless you're Tom Brady, of course). Your body needs breaks between workouts. Your brain wants cheat days. By taking breaks and treating yourself, you're setting the stage for success in maintaining your health goals long-term. Shop Beardy Boys for a delicious, healthy treat. It feels like cheating, but isn’t.
5. Write it all down and keep track!
Writing your goals down on paper turns them from an abstract thought into a concrete, physical reality. You're more likely to achieve your health goals when you write them down on paper, since you're reminded of them every time you see them. To maintain your goals in your daily life, keep a food and exercise journal. Writing down what you've eaten each day makes you reflect on your food decisions. When you are forced to reflect on your daily food decisions, you become more mindful of your food choices in future moments. The same goes with your daily exercise routine. Keeping track of your health also helps you learn what works and doesn't work so well for your body. If you find yourself plateauing, you can easily go back through your journal and identify why this is happening.
Additionally, having the ability to track your past progress fuels your future progress. Once you can look back and see the weight you've lost or how much you're able to squat versus when you first started out, you'll be inspired and motivated that much more to continue to push yourself. Long-term success is attainable and you'll almost inevitably stick to these lifestyle changes by keeping a journal.