We are at the beginning of another new year. No doubt most people will make some new year’s resolutions, and no doubt one of those resolutions will be to lose weight. Sound familiar? But isn’t that the same one you made last new year?
When it comes to weight loss, there can be an all or nothing approach, from doing absolutely no exercise, and eating without too much caution, to exercising every day of the week and following a ‘perfect’ diet. This is only setting yourself up for failure.
First you need to set some goals for yourself. Recognise what you want to achieve and be specific, whether it’s to lose 10kgs, be a size 10 dress, or run a 10km fun run, you should use the SMARTIE principal.
- Stick to your goals – plan something you can stick to simply for the rest of your life.
- Moderation – ensure your plans keep everything in moderation.
- Achievable – ensure it is achievable for you in the long term.
- Realistic – make it realistic for you to stick with in the long-term.
- Time-efficient – is it time-efficient for your lifestyle?
- Interesting – keep it interesting so you don’t get bored.
- Enjoyable – enjoy yourself so you will want to keep doing it.
Exercise is sometimes viewed as a form of punishment – which is far from true! When it comes to exercising the best exercise to do is the one you most enjoy doing!! It is supposed to be fun so that you keep doing it. If you don’t like a particular exercise, you are less likely to actually do it. If you cannot stand riding a bike, go for a walk or a jog instead. And remember to build up slowly, don’t kill yourself on your first few efforts, or you’ll never want to do it again!
The same goes with food. Don’t cut out absolutely everything you love. Cut back on the amount eaten. There are no good foods and there are no bad foods, it’s the amount in which you eat them. Moderation is the key, but you must listen to your body and know when to stop.
Have a support crew behind you, get your family involved in active events on the weekends. Try exercising with a friend, or see a personal trainer weekly as this gives you someone to be accountable to. Exercising with someone else is always more enjoyable than doing it alone.
Remember, a New Year’s Resolution is something that goes in one year and out the other. Your new healthy habits aren’t just for a week, or a few months or only until you reach your goal. Regular exercise and a nutritious, healthy diet needs to be part of your lifestyle – for life!
(© Selina Wright 2008)
As published in City Life Magazine