Now that the holidays are behind you, you can start finishing up those yummy chocolates, cakes, brownies, pies, cookies and candies. It is likely that you enjoyed your fair share of high calorie and high fat foods over the past month and a half and you are ready to get back to your normal routine of healthy eating and consistent exercise. Perhaps you don't have a consistent routine of exercise and you have struggled with your eating for the past year. Regardless of which person you are, it is likely that you are ready to throw out every "bad" food in the house, exercise like a mad-man/women in order to burn a mega amount of calories in the first week of your new lifestyle and vow to yourself that you will change every eating habit in order to get off the extra lbs that you gained during the past month or two.
If you gained a few lbs over the months of November and December, it is probable that getting back to your old healthy habits will quickly get you back to your healthy weight. However, if you gained a few winter lbs to your already overweight body you do not have to stick to a strict exercise and eating routine in order to lose weight in the next 3 weeks.
As you read in my last few resolution posts, you certainly understand that your weight loss and/or exercise journey is going to be slow. If you are planning to run a marathon, you are going to build in those miles. If you are planning to do your first IM, you are going to plan out all those long bikes and runs so you don't risk injury, risk overtraining and teach your body to metabolize fat as an efficient source of fuel. If you are planning on qualifying for the 70.3 World Championships, you are going to work on your weakness's as you build a solid base in the next few months.
If you are hoping to lose 30 lbs this year, you are going to aim for a 6-10% weight loss in the next 6 months, not exceeding 1-2 lbs per week. If you make small changes, those changes will stick.
If you are wanting to increase your lean muscle mass, you are going to get into the gym and stick to a solid weight lifting and cardio routine. You aren't going to rely on "metabolism booster" drugs or any drug for that matter. You are going to make your body do the work and you will reap every benefit from your consistent routine.
If you are planning on just getting to the gym a few times per week, then you are going to set realistic expectations. The night before you plan on going to gym, don't tell yourself that you are going to do a 1-hour workout on the treadmill if you haven't done a 1-hour workout in the past few weeks (or months). Aim for 20 minutes on the treadmill, at a slow pace or easy incline, and 10 minutes of strength training exercises (be sure to get a trained personal trainer to guide you through the proper way to lift weights or use machines).
So, now that you have a better understanding of realistic ways to incorporate exercise and healthy eating habits into your lifestyle, what's next?
While it may seem that your life revolves around the way you look, it is important that your life revolves around the way your feel. I guarantee that healthy eating and daily exercise will make you feel better in the inside, but there are many other ways to enjoy life.
In my latest New Year Resolution tip from the Iron Girl e-blast, I included some non-typical resolutions that are just as important to your new lifestyle as the way you look in the mirror.
BTW-don't forget that the Iron Girl 2010 Race series registration opens on December 31st!!
New Year's Tip
from Marni Sumbal, M.S., CISSN, USAT level-1 coach, ADA Adult Weight management certification and Iron Girl Sports Nutritionist
Typical New Year's resolutions involve dieting, cleaning out the fridge and pantry, getting a gym membership, hiring a personal trainer or all of the above. Although many people set out to reach realistic (and unrealistic) weight loss and fitness goals in the first few weeks of January, it is likewise important to focus on other aspects of your life which can bring you happiness, higher self-esteem, increased productivity and a quality-filled life.
How about some non-diet and physical activity New Year's resolutions?
1. Keep a to-do list and cross off your items with a pen in your favorite color
2. Say something positive about the day when you wake up and before you go to bed
3. On a daily basis, tell your friends and family (and pets) how much you love and appreciate them
4. Go to bed around the same time every night and get enough sleep to wake up rested
5. Accept constructive criticism and don't be so hard on yourself
6. Learn something new, try new healthy foods and ask more questions
8. Get more sunshine
9. Don't argue about pointless topics. Pick your battles and always be nice when speaking from the heart
10. Appreciate the little things in life