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New Year, New You

We made it through another holiday season and 2019 is here! After another season of too many cookies, more than a few glasses of egg nog, and a half dozen holiday parties, it’s no wonder were starting the New Year off feeling tired, sluggish and a bit out of shape.

Its tough to get back on the fitness wagon once we’ve fallen off and with every year that passes, it seems to get even harder. When the New Year arrives most of us gym goers manage to do pretty good for, oh, a few weeks. Then we casually start skipping a few workouts here and there. Before you know it, we haven’t swiped our gym card in months. We try to reignite our passion for fitness, but creatively start coming up with all kinds of excuses as to why we can’t make it to the gym.

Did you know that thirty percent of all New Year’s resolutions are broken before February? This is because people set unrealistic goals and expect too much too soon. The key to losing weight and keeping it off successfully is to set goals that are realistic and obtainable. You also have to move!

If you feel like staying committed to your exercise program is an uphill battle you’re not alone. Lots of people struggle this time of year. Below are a few tips to help you get started and keep you on track in the New Year.

Set a Goal

If you fail to plan, you plan to fail. Don’t set a weight-loss goal without a plan as to how you will get there. A detailed plan will prevent you from falling back into previous eating and exercise patterns. Set a goal that is specific, measurable, realistic and trackable. Walk for thirty minutes three times a week after work or add a serving of fruits or vegetables with each meal. Focus on changes that you can make a part of your lifestyle seamlessly so you will be able to sustain them for the long haul.

Find a Gym

Finding a gym you really like is a good start, but simply signing up won’t help you lose weight.  You have to stay on a schedule like you would with a job and make sure you don’t get distracted along the way. Designate an hour, three days a week for your workout. If you miss a day make sure you make it up. No excuses allowed!

Take it One Day at a Time

Dropping twenty pounds is a great long-term goal, but don’t bite off more than you can chew. Dieters tend to fall off the wagon when they have such a lofty resolution. Instead, focus on losing one to two pounds a week by setting small diet and exercise goals. Reward yourself in a non-food way for every small goal you reach. Remember, small accomplishments can result in BIG change.

Make Some Basic Alterations

Don’t plan on losing thirty pounds by March. If you have unrealistic expectations you’ll just get discouraged and give up.  Make some basic alterations to your lifestyle. These changes don’t all have to happen overnight, but making changes in what you eat, when you eat, and making a conscious effort to keep moving will ultimately result in good things!

Make Smarter Meal Choices

Have you vowed to never eat out again? Don’t be ridiculous! You can still go out to eat on occasion, and even enjoy some of your favorite foods. You just need to look over the menu and make a conscious effort to make smarter choices.

Don’t Avoid Trigger Foods

Banning your favorite treat, whether it’s chocolate, soda, lattes, or french fries, is bound to backfire at some point. You will eventually buckle, binge, feel bad about it and then revert back to your old eating patterns. You don’t have to have these foods at home staring you in the face, but allow yourself to have them once or twice a week.

Don’t Skip Breakfast

Research shows that foregoing a morning meal will put you on the fast track to weight gain, not loss. People who skip breakfast are generally hungrier and more likely to indulge in fattening foods later in the day. Instead, eat a protein-packed breakfast every morning. Pair lean proteins with high fiber, complex carbs such as a veggie omelet with a slice of Ezekiel bread or a serving of Greek yogurt, with a piece of fruit and a tablespoon of almonds.

Don’t Eat by the Clock

Are you one of those people who thinks you can’t eat after 6 pm? There is no rule of thumb as to what time you need to stop eating. It’s very much “what” you eat not “when” you eat it that really matters. The body stores any calories that aren’t used for energy regardless of the time those calories are eaten.

Hold Yourself Accountable

You CAN do it all – eat better, lose weight, and start exercising. If this seems like an unrealistic goal for you to achieve on your own team up with a weight-loss companion (a friend, relative, or personal trainer) who will make sure you stick to the plan. It is much easier to show up at the gym at 6 am if you know someone is waiting for you.

Reflect on All You’ve Achieved

Rejoice in the lifelong health benefits you’ll be creating instead of focusing on what you can and cannot eat. This is about your health and your life. Losing weight will become easy when you invest your energy into making positive, healthy changes for YOU.

In Conclusion:

You are AWESOME! Stay inspired, keep moving toward your goals and never give up on your dreams. There definitely isn’t a one-size-fits-all diet and exercise plan. Putting in the work and making this a lifestyle is the only way to get REAL RESULTS. Set small attainable goals, and approach the process in a healthy, realistic way and you will be a huge success. Good luck to you and Happy New Year!

Jennifer Nastasi Guzelak
I have been a personal trainer for over seventeen years and I absolutely love what I do. I honestly feel that I have one of the best jobs out there! The most rewarding part of my profession is helping one of my clients succeed at reaching their personal fitness goals. Making a difference in someone’s life makes it all worthwhile. I am currently certified by the National Sports Conditioning Association, Apex Fitness Group, and the International Sports Science Association.