Posted on 2 Comments

7 Ways to Stay Motivated With Your Fitness Goals

Taking the first step towards something important is always a significant milestone. It comes with energy, excitement, and endless possibilities, which are all great things!

What becomes more difficult at times, though, is the moments after you have started, and maybe some of the original feelings have faded away. These are the moments that will make or break whatever you are trying to accomplish. It is when you find that second wind, or when you decide to give up. 

So the better prepared you are for these moments of decision, the more likely you will be to push through and continue on with your journey. That is what this article is all about. 

These 7 ways to stay motivated with your fitness goals will keep you moving forward and onward. They will be there to continue to challenge you and to help you pursue your best.

Inspirational Books and Videos

What you put into yourself is what comes out. So if you want to feel like you can accomplish anything, read about people that have already done so. There are so many success stories out there (fitness and others) where people have overcome seemingly impossible challenges. Reading and watching videos about people that have already conquered their giants will only help to motivate you. You will be able to draw motivation and energy from their stories. And who knows, maybe someday someone will be reading about your inspirational story and will do the same. 

Follow Positive Social Media Accounts

Social media is here to stay (for better or worse), so you might as well make it work for you. In the same way that you want to watch and read positive material, your social media feeds should be the same. So take the time to find some social media influencers that speak to you, and that will help stay motivated to be your best every day. The more you can surround yourself with positive and encouraging messages, the more you will want to be your best self. 

Make a Plan

It is hard to stick to something if you are unsure of what you should be doing. This means that you need to sit down and figure out a fitness plan for you. If you are a beginner, get online and do some research on one of the many great fitness websites out there. Before long, you will have a good understanding of where to start and what you should be doing each week. And as you go, you will continue to learn and adapt as needed. It all starts with first taking the time to chart the right course, though.

Set Goals and Write Them Down

This is similar to making a plan, but slightly different as well. Along with creating a plan, you also want to set short term and long term goals for yourself. By doing this, you will have something to look forward to accomplishing, which will inspire you to keep working. 

When you set your goals, make sure that they are customized to you, and that they are challenging, but also realistic. Secondly, make sure that you write them down somewhere. It could be on a physical piece of paper, a whiteboard, or even on your phone. Just make sure that it is somewhere that you will see it regularly. This will help remind you to stay locked in and on task. 

Find a Fitness Partner

This is not always the easiest thing to do, but it can be a huge gamechanger. If you can find a fitness partner to join you on your journey, it will make a world of difference. You will be able to have someone to challenge you, encourage you, and hold you accountable. Also, on the flip side, you will be able to do the same, and you will also want to work harder so that you don’t let them down. 

If you cannot find a fitness partner because of scheduling or another reason, try and find an accountability partner instead. Ask a close friend or family member to hold you accountable, and then permit them to call you out if you aren’t doing what you should be. Setting up a regularly scheduled check-in time is also encouraged. This will make sure that you have regular accountability. 

Give Yourself a Break

You may not be able to make it to the gym every day, or you may miss a couple of days in a row because something pops up, that is okay. You should do your best to get right back on it as soon as you can, but don’t beat yourself up. Do your best to stay positive, and remember that progress is progress. 

Also, what will really help with this is being able to be flexible with your workouts. For example, if you are unable to get to the gym, but have 30 minutes at night, do some bodyweight exercises, yoga, or something along those lines. It might not be exactly what you wanted to accomplish for the day, but it is still a step in the right direction. 

Enjoy the Process

Anything worth doing takes time, and it is rarely ever going to be done the first time perfectly. It is a process that takes time, so enjoy that process and enjoy the challenges that come with it. The more you can learn to do this, the more you will want to continue on. And not only will you want to continue on, but when you accomplish your goals, you will want to set even bigger ones the next time. 

7 Ways to Stay Motivated With Your Fitness Goals Conclusion

Staying motivated with anything in life is all about how you prepare and organize your daily routine. It is the same way when it comes to fitness. If you do an excellent job with these seven ways to stay motivated and use them regularly, the sky is the limit. It is up to you, though, to make sure that you are staying locked in and setting yourself up for success. 

So have fun with the journey, and continue to improve and challenge yourself physically and in every other area of your life. 

Kyle Ohman

Kyle Ohman

Kyle is a basketball trainer in Tampa, Florida, and is also the CEO of BasketballHQ.com and ListsForAll.com. He enjoys all things fitness, sports, writing, and outdoors.

Posted on 6 Comments

How to avoid emotional eating

How to avoid emotional eating

You just finished your lunch and you’re already thinking about what you’ll have for dinner? Do you feel that in front of any plate of food, your life is on autopilot? Do you hardly remember any time when your desire is not simply to chew?

So, you need to accept that you eat emotionally. And although at this moment it seems that there is no way out, that you have no escape, I come to tell you the opposite.

  • To stop eating emotionally, you must change your attitude and mentality. You should change limiting thoughts, such as “I can’t eat much” for thoughts that take away frustration, like “I can eat much better.”
  • In addition, you should eat healthy foods more frequently. Don´t limit yourself to just three times a day! About this, I’ll talk to you in a second.
  • Include any physical activity routine, which not only allows you to connect with the body you want, but with the emotions that make you happy.

You will tell me, “David, it is very easy to say, but doing so is something else.” And you are right. Beating a compulsion is not easy, there will be difficult times, but the first step is to make the decision to do it from a completely healthy place.

Let me tell you Sofia´s story, whom I met through an email she sent me. An email that touched me to the last fiber of my being.

In that email, written with an open heart, Sofia told me about her despair, because she couldn’t stop eating. Her life had been transformed into endless binge eating, which didn’t even satisfy her.

The bingeing did not appear out of nowhere. In a year, she had moved from her beloved Sevilla to Paris, had broken up with her boyfriend and had changed jobs.

All these situations were leading her, without noticing, to a state of terrible anxiety, and she felt more out of control every day. Eating had become unconscious. When she was overeating, she swore that she would not do it again, and the next minute, she was already putting in her mouth one more bite.

And most of the time, they weren’t even foods that gratified her, she almost didn’t enjoy the flavors. At some point, when she felt that food was dominating her life, and she asked for help.

The first request for help, was addressed to a psychologist, and the second S.O.S, was the email she sent me.

She wanted my help to fix the nutritional issue, but also, she wanted someone to inspire her to find through physical activity, a way to control her anxiety.

Because, after all, emotional eating is related to anxiety. In Sofia’s words, she “ate to numb emotions.”

What if instead of numbing emotions, you let them flow through a physical activity that gratifies you? That was what we did with Sofia.

We worked with clear mottos to overcome mental blocks, agreed on a nutritional plan, where there were more “allowed” foods than “forbidden” ones, and established training routines, where she could release her tensions and negative thoughts.

Time heals everything, but you must help it. As did Sofia, who today has a healthy relationship with food, her body, and her surroundings.

Therefore, if you feel that you eat because of anxiety rather than hunger, do not move from there, because I will explain:

  • Differences between emotional hunger and physical hunger.
  • How to identify what generates emotional eating habits.
  • Some ways to leave behind the compulsion for food.

How to differentiate emotional hunger from physical hunger

Before you can free yourself from the emotional eating cycle, you must learn to distinguish between emotional and physical hunger. This can be more complicated than it seems, especially if you regularly use food to deal with your feelings.

Emotional hunger can be powerful, but there are some clues that can help you.

  • Emotional hunger appears suddenly. It hits you in an second and you feel overwhelmed. Physical hunger, on the other hand, occurs more gradually. The need to eat is not so serious and doesn´t require instant satisfaction, unless you have not eaten for a long time.
  • Emotional hunger leads you to eat certain types of food. When you are physically hungry, almost everything sounds good, including healthy things like vegetables. But emotional hunger craves junk food. You feel you “need” chocolate or pizza, and nothing else will work.
  • Emotional hunger often leads to meaningless eating. Before you know it, you’ve eaten a whole bag of chips without really paying attention or enjoying it at all. When you eat in response to physical hunger, you are generally more aware of what you are doing.
  • Emotional hunger is not satisfied once you are full. You still want more, and more. When you feel physical hunger, you feel satisfied when you have a full stomach.
  • Emotional hunger is not found in the stomach. Instead of a stomach that growls, you feel hunger as a desire that cannot get out of your head. You are focused on specific textures, flavors and smells.
  • Emotional hunger often leads to regret, guilt, or shame. When you eat to satisfy physical hunger, you are unlikely to feel guilty or ashamed because you are simply giving your body what it needs. If you feel guilty after eating, it is because deep down you know that you are not eating for nutritional reasons.

Now that we can differentiate physical hunger from emotional hunger, let’s look at the triggers that can lead to it.

Reasons why we eat emotionally, almost without realizing it

The first step to stop eating compulsively is to identify the reasons that lead us to do so. What situations or feelings trigger your desire to eat?

Stress: Have you noticed how stress makes you hungry? It is not only in your mind. When stress is chronic, as often happens in our chaotic and accelerated world, your body produces high levels of the stress hormone, cortisol.

Cortisol triggers cravings for salty, sweet and fried foods, foods that give you an explosion of energy and pleasure. The less you control stress, the more likely you are to rely on food to get that emotional relief you are looking for.

Eating can be a way to temporarily silence or calm down, negative emotions such as anger, fear, sadness, anxiety, loneliness, resentment, and shame. While you get numb with food, you feel that you can take away those feelings that overwhelm you. But, at the end of the day, you will face the inevitable: awkward emotions are still there.

Boredom or emptiness feelings: Have you ever eaten simply to do something, relieve boredom, or as a way to fill a void in your life? You feel dissatisfied and empty, and food is a way to occupy your time.

Childhood habits: think about your childhood. Did your parents reward your good behavior with ice cream, did they take you to eat pizza when you got good grades, did they give you candy when you felt sad?

If you are depressed or alone, call someone who makes you feel better, play with your dog or cat, or go for a walk in the park.

If you are anxious, spend your energy dancing your favorite song, squeezing an anti stress ball or taking a quick walk.

If you’re exhausted, have a cup of hot tea, take a hot bath and light some scented candles.

If you’re bored, read a good book, watch your favorite series on Netflix, or do an activity you enjoy.

And above all, do not miss the tips I offer below.

Tips to stop eating... emotionally!

Now that we know how to differentiate physiological hunger from emotional hunger, and that we can even know what originates it, it is also important to have a clear concept: when there is emotional hunger it is NOT about stopping eating, it is about eating what is right and the right amount of it.

But make no mistake, diets that restrict carbohydrates too much usually lead to failure and overeating foods that we shouldn’t touch.

Why does this happen? The reason is our response to insulin. Since low carbohydrate intake causes our blood sugar to drop significantly, our brain creates a desire to eat in order to stabilize blood sugar levels and replenish glycogen stores.

This, linked to the emotional tensions of our daily lives, such as stress, sadness, anger, worry, or even sleep, will make inevitable to fall into temptation.

So there are several important lessons to learn here:

1.- Include carbohydrates in your diet to keep blood sugar levels controlled.

2.- Modify your beliefs to improve your emotions, everything has a solution!

3.- Make five or six small meals a day.

More than three hours between meals decreases your blood sugar levels, and you´ll need sugars or refined foods to create high insulin spikes. But this will only create an unnecessary addiction for this type of food.

That is why it is important to make 5 or 6 meals a day of small portions and that your main meals include unprocessed carbohydrates and high in fiber: oatmeal, brown rice, legumes, fruits. Served along with vegetables and proteins, will generate greater satiety.

4.- Add protein into your diet.

If proteins are present in your main meal, for example, salmon, turkey breast, chicken breast, eggs, quinoa, veal and lentils, you will have your appetite controlled. Your need to eat is going to adapt quietly to 3 or 4 hours intervals without making you feel uncomfortable.

5.- Make physical exercise a priority in your life.

Physical activity works wonders on your mood and energy levels, and is also a powerful stress reducer.

If you don’t have enough will, you can always count on an online personal trainer.

6.- Try to sleep 8 hours every night.

When you don’t sleep as much as you need, your body craves sugary foods that give you a quick energy boost. Getting enough rest will help control your appetite and reduce cravings.

7.- Take some time to relax.

Give yourself permission to take at least 30 minutes every day to relax. This is your time to take a break from your responsibilities and recharge your batteries.

8.- Connect with others.

Do not underestimate the importance of relationships with your friends and social activities. Spending time with positive people that improve your mood will help protect you from the negative effects of stress.

You don’t always have to behave!

Everything in life is a balance, but definitely 85% of your behaviors are the ones that will have the most impact on you.

If 85% of your routine is healthy, that remaining 15% will not harm you so much. Sometimes it is necessary to get out of the routine a bit and then come back stronger!

As the Roman poet Horacio said: “Carpe diem, quam minimum credula postero”, which if you do not understand Latin means, “take advantage of the day, do not trust tomorrow.”

It’s time to leave the limiting thoughts behind! If you need help to organize your nutritional plan and your training routine, just let me know.

Posted on 6 Comments

9 Reasons Why You’re Not Losing Weight

9 Reasons Why You’re Not Losing Weight

It takes a lot of effort and determination to get on the path towards losing weight. Depending on how badly you want it, it can mark a line in the sand of your life, a decision that changes your direction. So it would understandably be pretty disappointing if, despite your efforts, you didn’t end up losing weight. This is a problem that many people face. They think that they’re on the right path, yet they have nothing to show for it. The good news is that this happens as a result of one or more errors, which can be changed. Below, we take a look at some of the common reasons why you may not be losing weight, all of which can be changed and/or managed.

9 Reasons Why You’re Not Losing Weight

Source: Pexels.com

You’re Phoning It In

Most people understand that some physical exercise is required if you’re going to lose weight. So they join the gym, or buy running shoes, and go about the strenuous business of getting into shape. Only there’s an issue: they’re not doing anywhere near as much as they should be doing. They may be physically at the gym, but they’re not pushing their bodies. You don’t begin to magically get into shape just by walking through the front doors of the gym; it’s what you do while you’re there that counts. If you’re spending an hour at the gym, but only twenty minutes on the machines, and forty minutes on your phone/walking around, then you’ve only done twenty minutes of worthwhile work. You’ve got to push yourself.

You’re Not Mixing It Up

Similarly, you should also look at what types of exercising you’re doing. It’s best to have a varied routine. It’s fine to have your favourite routines, but make sure you’re throwing some others in there, too. You’ll make more weight loss gains from swimming, weights, and running, than you would, say, just running marathons.

You’re Eating the Wrong Foods

You could have the most varied workout routine in the world, yet still struggle to meet your weight goals, all because you’re simply not eating well enough. If motivating yourself to visit the gym is one of the main obstacles that you need to overcome, then the other should be cooking healthy meals. It’s much easier to eat quick to make, unhealthy meals, but they’re not going to help you. You might need to change how you think about cooking if you’re going to make long-lasting changes. Cooking doesn’t have to be a chore. It can be fun. Get some music playing, open a glass of wine, and go into the flow.

And Too Much Of It

As well as what you’re eating, you also need to take a look at how much of it you’re eating. There’s little value in cooking a relatively healthy meal, if you’re then going to eat the equivalent of three portions. If you can’t keep yourself from eating larger portions or snacking even after you’ve finished your meal, then look at eating smaller portions and then supplementing with shakes. Weight loss shakes can be a great way to avoid snacking throughout the day, and are also a good source of the nutrients you need. Plus, they’re simple enough to make, so don’t take up any time in your busy day.

Poor Sleeping Habits

There’s an often overlooked of losing weight: you need to sleep well. It’s when you’re at your most restful that your metabolism does the bulk of its work, and also, maintaining sleeping habits is an integral part of keeping stress at bay (which also affects weight loss, but more on that later). If you’re finding that you’re not getting a full night of rest as often as you’d like/need, then look at making some changes. Things like avoiding screen time before you hit the hay, and having an all-around relaxing evening — including drinking tea and listening to music — can help.

Source: Pexels.com

Underlying Medical Issues

If you’re finding weight especially difficult to shift, then it’s recommended that you visit a doctor, to see if there are any underlying reasons why it might not be coming off. An underactive thyroid and diabetes, amongst others, can cause weight gain/make it difficult to lose. You may need to work towards actively managing these conditions before you’re able to lose weight.

You’re Stressed

Stress is something else that makes it difficult to lose weight. This works in various ways. First, when you’re stressed, you’re more likely to have unhealthy eating habits. You’ll be less likely to cook meals, and instead opt for fast food options. It can also wreak havoc on your body, which will mean that it won’t work as well as it could do. Fortunately, stress is a medical condition which is, more or less, in your control. There are things you can to keep stress at bay in the first place. If you’re in the middle of a particularly stressful period, then you can look at meditation and yoga, two activities that have been shown to lower our stress levels.

Sneaking Foods

By far and away, the most common reason why people don’t reach their weight loss goals is that they lack discipline. If you’re going to shift those extra pounds, then you need to recognize that you can’t have it all; those snacks and treats will have to go. People can convince themselves to eat just one sugary snack, but it’s the same as sneaking just one cigarette; it’s never just one. There might be a time in the future when you can eat more unhealthy foods, but in the early days, it’s best to have a “total ban” approach.

You’re Not Patient

Finally, remember to be patient! You might not have lost weight because you’re expecting results too quickly. You wouldn’t expect to have muscles the day after visiting the gym for the first time. It’s only when we commit to living our good habits that the results eventually begin to show. So stick with it — it’ll happen!

Posted on 12 Comments

tips to drop your last 5 pounds

5 tips to drop your last 5 pounds
Summer is coming and you may still want or need to lose a few pounds to look perfect. Here are some overlooking tips to drop your last 5 pounds, reach your goal, and look stunning.
 
You´re trying to reduce your body fat to the minimum so you´re fighting a natural survival mechanism. Food shortage has been a constant threat throughout human evolution. Without fat as a powerful energy store, humankind would have been extinct long before Stone Age. Body fat serves as:
  • an energy store,
  • a padding against mechanical impacts,
  • a coating against heat loss,
  • a construction material for tissues and organs,
  • and as a carrier substance for vitamins and other important components of metabolism, just to name a few.
(The beneficial effects of of body fat and adipose tisue in humans: https://www.nature.com/articles/0800473.pdf?origin=ppub)
 
When we get to this point, we usually forget the basics and complicate our lives. So, I’m going to remind you some things that people usually overlook.

1 – Stay focused.

This may not seem a tip because we use to think we only need the motivation at the beginning but, we need motivation all the time, and at this point, motivation is key.
You have been training and dieting and now you´re so close to your goal. It´s not time to drop the ball. Stay focused!
The finish line is ahead, few weeks ahead, few workouts ahead, few meals ahead. Don´t skip your workouts, no more cheat meals these last weeks… You didn´t come this far just to stay 5 pounds away from your goal.
5 tips to drop your last 5 pounds
5 tips to drop your last 5 pounds

2 – Drink plenty of water.

Drinking enough water is crucial to your overall health, but it’s also an important tool in successful fat loss. Many studies support this statement, showing a positive correlation between increased water consumption and fat loss. 
Without water, the body cannot properly metabolize stored fat or carbohydrates.
The process of metabolizing fat is called lipolysis. The first step of this process is hydrolysis, which occurs when water molecules interact with triglycerides (fats) to create glycerol and fatty acids.
Drinking enough water is essential for burning off fat from food and drink, as well as stored fat.
When you aren’t taking in enough water, your body cannot do its job efficiently. If the only liquids you consume are coffee, tea, sodas, artificial fruit juices and the like, you will become mildly dehydrated, forcing your body to slow down its metabolism to compensate. A slow, water-starved metabolism may not burn fat efficiently.
In a 2014 study ( https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4121911/ ), 50 overweight females drank 500 milliliters (ml) of water 30 minutes before breakfast, lunch, and dinner, in addition to their regular water consumption, for 8 consecutive weeks. The participants experienced a reduction in body weight, body fat, and body mass index. They also reported appetite suppression.
A mini-review from 2016 ( https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4901052/) found that increased water intake led to increased lipolysis and a loss of fat in animal studies.

3 – Outdoor activities.

At this point, more hours in the gym may bring you more stress than benefits. You already train hard enough and you deserve to explore life beyond the gym.
Outdoor activities help you lose fat because you burn many calories in just a short time.
(Read: https://chape.fitness/calories-burned-by-activity/ and pick your favorite outdoor activity).
In addition, outdoor exercise provides a mental health boost beyond that of indoor gyms. Moving outdoors has been shown to reduce anger and depression and improve mood. Exposure to sunlight enhances vitamin D production, which may be partially responsible for this mood-enhancing effect.
(Associations between vitamin D levels and depressive symptoms in healthy young adult women:  https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25791903)
You don’t have to run a marathon or crush an outdoor boot camp to reap the benefit. Even low-intensity activities, like walking or gardening, will do. Personally, I love these two activities:
5 tips to drop your last 5 pounds
5 tips to drop your last 5 pounds
Interestingly, low- to moderate-intensity physical activity shows greater improvements in self-esteem than high-intensity outdoor exercise. Activities shown to improve self-esteem include walking, cycling, horseback riding, fishing and gardening. A regular dose of outdoor activity can help boost the already powerful esteem-enhancing effect of exercise.
If you prefer high-intensity outdoor activities, these are my suggestions:
  1. Hiking is an activity that requires little or no equipment and gets you into the great outdoors. The big advantage to hiking is it naturally spikes the intensity level of your workout which helps you to burn three times the body fat of a flat walk. A combination of cardio, endurance, and strength-building exercise, hiking requires minimal equipment, and you can adjust the workout pace based on trail difficulty, fitness level, and personal preference. Hiking targets glutes, abs, and leg muscles. For maximum effects, choose a hilly terrain and keep up a brisk pace.
  2. Cycling is a wonderful way to burn a handsome amount of calories and get the body back into shape. It helps increase heart rate which in turn burns fat. The best part about cycling is that it involves all major muscles, builds lung capacity and endurance. Depending on skill and fitness level, you can bike in the park or out in the street, or even try conquering rocky slopes.
  3. Swimming is quite an effective outdoor activity to lose weight. It’s a top cardio workout and helps improve muscle tone at the same time. Since swimming involves a lot of efforts and negotiation against water, it leads to muscle building and fat burning. Swimming also can help reduce blood pressure and alleviate joint pains.

Time for a true (recent) story!

My old friend Tito still competes in kayak events. We know each other since we were kids and we love to go out and have a few beers when we get together.

Last summer he participated in Guinness records, paddling for 24 hours. This summer will participate in the World Championship, senior category.

He trains in a high performance center with Olympic medalists, and the center’s trainers and nutritionists prepare them detailed and very demanding training and diets.

However, my good friend always asks me for an opinion when he is in trouble. Two weeks ago, he broke his foot and sent me a message, because he needs to lose weight for this summer’s competition. Because of this injury, he can not run, bike, elliptical … So I told him, “swimming is your only option, dude.”

Last weekend I sent him a message to ask how he was doing. He was really happy because he was losing weight. “My foot hurts a bit when I get in the pool but, in a few minutes everything is fine. I do not use my legs, as you told me and I swim for an hour. I’m losing weight and I do not hurt my foot.”

This is how your hands look like after 24 hours of paddling.

But my point is, even if you´re injured, there´s an activity that you can do without affecting your injury. As John Wooden said: “Do not let what you cannot do interfere with what you can do.” 

You do not have the pressure of a championship this summer, you just want to look better. If you face an injury, lack of time, or whatever, look at your situation with perspective, evaluate your options and do what you can right now. Life is not perfect and we all have to deal with difficulties. How we deal with them is what will make the difference.

4 – Sleep.

What you eat and how you exercise are two significant contributors to the overall success rate you see. But after that, it’s important to not overlook some of the other contributing factors that can sway the type of progress you experience.
One specific component that very often gets overlooked is that of sleep. No one ever thinks of sleep being a factor in success since, after all, you are barely conscious while you sleep. How much damage could you really do to your progress while you are sleeping?
Cutting back on sleep reduces the benefits of dieting, according to a new study. When dieters got a full night’s sleep, more than half of the weight they lost was fat. When they cut back on their sleep, only one-fourth of their weight loss came from fat. Sleep-deprived dieters also felt hungrier, producing higher levels of ghrelin, a hormone that triggers hunger and reduces energy expenditure.  https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/10/101004211637.htm
5 tips to drop your last 5 pounds
You must not overlook the connection between the amount of sleep you get and your overall exercise performance. When you are short on sleep, it’s quite typical to find yourself struggling to maintain the usual level of exercise that you normally would tolerate quite well.
In addition to this, since sleep is the primary time the body recovers from exercise, it’s also when you will be rebuilding your torn muscle tissues. Without this recovery time, you’re going to go into your next exercise session at a disadvantage.

Try these tips to drop your last 5 pounds, I´m sure everything will be ok but, if you feel like you need more help, get in touch!

Posted on 15 Comments

Top fitness tips to succeed this year.

Top fitness tips to succeed this year

It’s the second week of the new year and I think it’s time to offer some of the best fitness tips to succeed this year. According to statistics some have already abandoned. Do not throw in the towel so soon because this is a long distance race.

Set your goals

Many people skip this part and unfortunately, it is key. First of all, reflect on what you want to accomplish and why you want to do it. Paint a clear picture of your objectives and of what drives you. Write out three or four sentences with what your goals are for the year. Keep the language simple and avoid words like “hope,” “maybe,” and “try.” Instead, use words like “will” and “must.”
Read out loud these two sentences and feel the difference:
A: “I hope to lose 30 pounds and maybe workout 4 times per week.”
B: “I will lose 30 pounds and I must train 4 times per week.”
The second statement is much more assertive and is a more powerful message. 
Your goals should be realistic but it doesn´t mean you shouldn´t be ambitious. W. Clement Stone wisely said:
Top fitness tips to succeed this year

And Bruce Lee reminds us:

Best fitness tips
Consider shifting your mindset from goal orientation to path orientation. You are on a journey to get fit. You set your goals but you still have to walk the path. Enjoy your journey and refer to your objectives often to remind why you started in the first place.

Log your workouts

There are a number of reasons why logging your workouts could be beneficial.
Progression. This is the number one reason to keep a training log. Two huge and common mistakes I see in the gym are those who increase their training volume in huge jumps, likely resulting in injury or burnout, and those who stay stagnant at the exact same weights/sets/repetitions for months and months, and wonder why they aren’t seeing any progress. The principle of progression, one of the seven main principles of exercise, states that overload of exercise should occur in gradual progression rather than in major bursts. Keeping track of your workouts will allow you to analyze your progression, as well as ensure that consistent, yet gradual gains are being made.

Motivation. Similar to keeping a food journal, logging your workouts will help motivate you to continue with your training plan. Knowing that must put in a workout before you can record reps or instead leave the page blank, can be enough incentive. Further, physically seeing the weight add up on paper is motivation to continue making progress with your training.

Keep you accountable. Training logs distinguish wishful thinking from reality. It’s easy to fool yourself into thinking you had a great (or horrible) workout, but by writing down what you did, how you feltgoals achieved, etc. this will tell the real story. Training logs keep you accountable for what you’re doing on a daily basis.

Build confidence. Athletes often take a critical view of themselves, always looking for areas that need improvement. Keeping a log of daily success forces you to recognize your progress and success, and this leads to and builds confidence.

Trial and error. After a particularly successful training cycle in the gym where you made gains, or perhaps a training cycle you struggled through. Having access to particular statistics and notes on your training will aid in building future training plans. Keeping a detailed training log enables you to better find the factors in a good or poor performance. For exampleyou may find your performance flattens when you get less than six hours of sleep, or that after a stressful day at work you struggle with your motivation. You can scrutinize what you have done to look for trends or patterns, so you can make any needed changes.

Training diary

The training log is your own personal history of your training and performances. It can, and should, be used to see what works and what doesn’t for you in training to meet specific performance goals. Most athletes and individuals use training logs to keep track of the basics such as the number of repetitions and weight lifted. Limiting your training log to this basic information is only scratching the surface of the potential of what a training log can really provide.
While each athlete should structure a training log to meet their needs, a good training log might include:

  • The facts of the workout such as the number of reps, weight, miles laps, weather, the time of the workout, etc.
  • Goals for the workout and the extent to which each goal was achieved.
  • How you felt, physically.
  • How you felt, mentally.
  • Hours of sleep the night before.
  • The diet the day before, especially the last meal before the workout.
  • What you need to work on in the future based on today’s results.
  • success from the training session, i.e. what you did well or accomplished.
  • These lessons learned or reminders that can be applied to competition.

There is no single training log template that will meet the needs of all athletes. There are e-versions, pre-populated version, the good old notebook. The point, no matter what type of journal/log you useyou need to take the time to develop a training log in a format that you’ll use and will work for you. Your journal should be unique to you. Your thoughts, your workouts, your ideas are going into there. It should fit YOU.

Practice patience and celebrate small successes

Take your workouts week by week or even day by day. Look at Day 1 and focus only on what you have to do that day. Tomorrow you should only be focusing on Day 2. Keep your mind from wandering and letting the overwhelming future lead you astray. So focus on today.
Many people give up on their resolutions within the first seven days because they don’t see the results they want and grow discouraged. 
I think it’s because they don´t notice the small signs of success, the small wins. If you’ve never trained before and followed through for two weeks, that should be recognized. Also, huge results take time. It’s about keeping track of small wins. You may not lose those 10 pounds quickly, but if you lost 2 pounds, then you’re 20 percent closer than you were before, and you are on the right path. That’s great! 
Appreciate the small improvements you’re making, because without them, the big improvements won’t happen. As long as you look forward, figure out how to overcome the obstacles and commit to being the best you can possibly be. Each day you finish, you get one step closer. 
Fitness tips

Get yourself help

What Kris Gethin, The Rock and J-Lo have in common? They all have trainers (actually, Gethin has three.) 
Recently, the Rock posted a photo of himself in “movie-shoot-ready” shape, explaining that it took 18 weeks of extremely disciplined diet and exercise (he travels a lot so will often be found working out at 2:30 AM somewhere).
Also notice in his caption: He has an entire TEAM of people devoted to supporting him.
It’s the Rock’s FULL TIME JOB to be in shape. People pay him money (a lot of money) to be jacked, and then an army of other professionals is along for the ride to make sure he does it.
Regular people often think that:
 
  • this is a realistic outcome for an average person.
  • that they could a pro fit level eating and exercising into a normal life.
  • that they need to do everything themselves, and
  • that there’s something wrong with them if they can’t do everything themselves.
It doesn´t work that way. This is not a normal life or outcome.
No knock on the Rock, but do you think he (or anyone else) would stay on such a strict diet and training schedule if he wasn´t getting paid to be jacked? If he didn’t have a team helping him?
He has kids and a wife. What if he was just a regular dude with a commute and and high-stress job with long hours, and had to mow his own lawn?
 
Don’t know where to start? Just want someone to tell you what to do? There will be plenty of moments with self-doubt, and having the right people in your corner can mean the difference between success and another year of looking back, wishing that you’d achieved your goals. You don´t have to do this alone. Having a trainer will help you stay motivated, hold you accountable, and give your best day in and day out.

Follow these simple tips and make this year your best EVER!