Tip # 1: Make Home the “Safe” Place to eat
You want to make healthy eating convenient and unhealthy eating as inconvenient as possible, so keep the cookies, pop, chips and other sugary junk foods out of the house. Instead plan your healthy meals and snacks in advance and grocery shop ONLY for those healthy choices.
Tip # 2: Create easy action goals
Rome wasn’t built in a day and neither will the new body you’re looking to achieve. Start off by making really easy goals that you are 100% certain you can achieve. It will help you to build motivation and confidence before you tackle some of the more difficult goals. An example might be to start going for a 10minute walk 3xweek. Eventually this will become habit and once it becomes a habit, it’s now the first of many steps towards permanent lifestyle changes.
Tip # 3: Track it
Get a notebook, or journal and write down your goals, be as specific as possible, create an action plan and track everyday those actions that will get you to your goals. Research shows that writing it down can boost your chances of success by up to 75%.
Tip # 4: Rally the troops
It’s very rare someone achieves success by themselves. You need support so announce your goals to friends and family, invest in a coach or trainer, garner as much support as you can and surround yourself with people who will either motivate you and cheer you on or help you get to your goals and stay there.
Tip # 5: Accept the fact that you are not perfect
Don’t strive to be 100% perfect all the time. This is a big reason why people give up, you feel like a failure if you screw up on your diet or exercise plan. SNAP OUT OF IT! You are human and you are going to make mistakes, you are going to miss a workout now and then, you are going to eat foods you wish you hadn’t sometimes and that’s ok. The important thing to remember is to just be better this week than you were last week. I always tell me clients to strive to be 90% clean and 10% of the time let loose. But hey if this week you have not exercised once and all you ate was cheeseburgers then striving to workout once or eating 1 cup of veggies is better than you were. If you continue to improve little by little you’ll get there. Stop stressing and start enjoying the journey.
Tip # 6: The 10,000 years method
Here is a simply and quick nutrition tip to live by. If it wasn’t around 10,000 years ago don’t put it in your mouth, If the first 3 ingredients are sugar, high fructose corn syrup or something you can’t pronounce give it to someone you don’t like. If you stick to these rules 90% of the time you will do just fine.
Tip # 7: Strength Train 3-4 times a week
Strength training helps to increase your metabolism permanently. This means you burn more calories all day long, not just during your workout. Isn’t it nice to know that when you are sitting down watching TV at night you are going to be burning more calories because you’ve been strength training? I know it comforts me.
Tip # 8: Interval Train
Long slow cardio is fine if you like it, but it doesn’t do much in terms of burning a lot of calories and if you aren’t strength training you could actually be burning your muscles away meaning lower metabolism. Switch your cardio sessions to interval training to maximize your time, burn more calories, and stimulate the type of hormones that help you lose fat. A good interval to start with is 60seconds of higher intensity followed by 2minutes of lower intensity or rest. An easy example is jump rope for 60sec then walk or stretch for 2minutes and repeat 7 times for a total of 21minutes.
Tip # 9: Believe you are worth it
More than half the clients I start with are self saboteurs, and the big reason behind it is because they don’t believe they are worthy of having a better body, having more health or having more energy. Shut those thoughts out of your head this instant because you are worth it. If you want permanent success you have to love yourself from the inside out.
Tip # 10: Don’t trust your scale
I can spot you a mile away, yes you, the one stepping on that damn scale almost daily to measure if you’ve lost a pound or gained one. Stressing out about that number biting your nails in fear all day long, and then of course relieving your stress with “comfort foods” and then repeating the cycle. Let me give it to you straight, first of all the scale measures your weight not your fat. Gain 1 pound of muscle (about half the size of your fist) and lose 1 pound of fat (about the size of two fists) and the scale will reveal you have done nothing when in reality you’ve lost inches of fat. Fearing that number on the scale is such a waste of energy, and it’s unproductive. Instead of tracking your number on the scale track your actions towards the fitness goals you wish to achieve.
Tip # 11: Drop a Jean size in 4 weeks
Step 1: Be clear on your goal to drop a jean size and prepare for a focused month.
Step 2: Start making progress every workout. Do one more rep, take 15sec less rest, add one more set, lift 5 more pounds, whatever you do just make progress in your workouts to challenge your body to change.
Step 3: Start each week with a nutrition plan that you know you can do. Fill the meal plan with plenty of veggies and consume slightly less calories than you normally would.
Step 4: Measure in 2weeks and reflect on your progress or what needs to change.
Step 5: Buy a new pair of jeans!
Tip # 12: Reward yourself NOW!
Ever catch yourself saying “If I do this for a month I am going to reward myself with (fill in reward here)? Why wait 4 weeks? Reward yourself every time you workout when you normally wouldn’t, reward yourself every time you eat a healthy meal. The reward should be personal and should make you feel well rewarded. For example maybe you want to go on a tropical vacation but need to save up for it. Get rolls of loonies and a jar labeled “vacation fund”. For every time you reward yourself put a dollar in the vacation fund getting you closer to paying for that well deserved holiday.