As the year begins to wind down, it’s time to start thinking about a New Year’s Resolution. A lot of people will focus on health and fitness. This is a great goal to have, but not everyone follows through with it. Why? Because they lack conviction to see it through. And yes, I am grouping myself into that collection of people. So, how do we plan for a better year for weight loss?
Developing a Plan for a Weight Loss Resolution
I can’t say that I was completely bad this past year. After all, I did lose more than 20 pounds. However, I could have lost a great deal more if I would have stuck to my workout plan. But, this past year gave me a great deal of insight into how to lose weight and reach my goals.
After having one of the roughest years of my life, it’s time to start working on me. This is both in a physical as well as a mental sense. I am sure that a lot of you agree with that assessment for yourself. So, what do we do to get our bodies and lives back on track?
1. Determination to Succeed
This is the hardest part of setting a New Year’s Resolution is keeping yourself determined to complete it. A lot of people, including myself, become lax over time. Sure, we’ll come out strong with high hopes and ambitions. But by June, health and fitness take a back seat to everything else.
If you want to meet your goals for any resolution, you need to have determination to succeed. It can’t just be a strong motivator for a month or two. It needs to be a constant idea planted into your head.
And that’s where a lot of us will fail this coming up year. It’s not that we can’t lose weight, it’s that we become too lazy to meet our goals. Every day, you need to remind yourself why you are doing this and focus on the good that will come from being healthy and fit.
Most weight loss will be a mental issue. You can’t talk yourself out of routines, diets or being more active. It’s how you approach health and fitness that is going to take the greatest toll. If you want to succeed at losing weight, you need to succeed in your mind first.
2. Understanding Health and Fitness Is Constant Work
Before any of the following plans can be of help to you, it’s important to understand that health and fitness isn’t a one-off. You’ll need to put in constant effort to maintain a healthy balance for yourself. However, it doesn’t have to be a grueling process.
Once you hit your ideal weight or size, everything will become much easier. Just remember not to become lax in your efforts. You will still need to maintain your body through physical activity and proper eating. The upside is that you may not have to be so restrictive.
It doesn’t take very long for the body to break down muscle mass, especially if you’re not using it. If you want to keep that ripped body you’re working on, you’ll need to put effort into exercise and working out.
A New Year’s Resolution shouldn’t be purely about losing a certain amount of weight. You should focus more on living a healthy lifestyle. Not only will this help you look good physically, but it can make a mental impact on you as well.
3. Using Tools that Will Help You Succeed
I use a variety of tools to help me succeed in losing weight. Although I haven’t been using them to their fullest capacity of as late, it is my intention to do so throughout the new year. Finding the right tools for you may take a bit of time, but it’s worth it in the long run if they can help keep you motivated.
If you haven’t spent time exploring health and fitness technology, now is the time to do so. Everything from watches to apps can be of great benefit when trying to build a better you. At any rate, a lot of them can be used to at least gauge your current activities. For instance, I had no idea the amount of damage I was causing to my body until I started recording my snacks in MyFitnessPal.
Here are some of the tools I use on a semi-regular basis:
Records all of my eating habits and gets data from the others for calories burnt.
Great place to get information on different exercises, break personal records and fun to see how I stack up against the rest of the site.
Excellent for tracking distances for virtually any kind of physical transportation such as walking, running, jogging or swimming.
Excellent for monitoring my physical activity throughout the day by keeping an eye on my heart rate.
- Taylor Smart Scale
Used throughout the week to keep MyFitnessPal accurate regarding my weight. Also monitors BMI and many other attributes.
- Resistance Cables
The poor man’s weight bench. Great for getting some muscle work in no matter where you are – a portable gym.
4. Setting Realistic Goals and Following Through
One reason why a lot of people fail when it comes to a New Year’s Resolution for health and fitness is because of unrealistic goals. Setting something that is too extravagant can be setting yourself up for failure. Be honest with yourself and select a goal that is realistic based on your own physiology and needs.
Personally, I prefer to break down my ultimate objectives into smaller and more obtainable ones. For instance, I want to lose 70 pounds by Halloween. However, I can break this down and say that I need to lose 1.5 pounds per week. Instead of focusing on the huge number, the weekly loss looks far more easier to accomplish.
It can be difficult to figure out your own weight loss factors. While humans all share certain traits and characteristics when it comes to our bodies, we are still unique to one another. Here is what you can do to figure out your own realistic goals:
- Weigh yourself at the beginning of the month.
- Use MyFitnessPal to record all of your eating habits throughout the month while keeping the calorie record green. This means you’re not overeating.
- Add in a bit of light physical activity. Walks, maybe some aerobics or even some light weight training will do.
- Weigh yourself at the end of the month.
- Take your end weight, subtract the beginning weight, and then divide that number by how many days.
For instance, let’s say that you weighed 260 pounds at the beginning of January. By the end of the month while being good using MyFitnessPal, you weighed 254. You would take 260 – 254 = 6. Then, divide 6 by the number of days in January: 6/31 = 0.19 pounds per day.
This is the amount of weight you can lose without putting much effort into the process. This is how I discovered that I lose an average of 0.3 pounds every day when I am maintaining good eating habits and increasing physical activity. At one time, I was losing 0.6 per day through intensive exercise – which put me into a diabetic shock a couple of times.
The amount of weight you can easily lose in a day can help you set a goal and a strategy for reach them. However, you also need to bear in mind that muscle weighs more than fat. You’re weight will fluctuate greatly if you start weight training.
In any case, you need to focus on a realistic goal for your weight loss plans for your New Year’s Resolution. Just make sure you break it up and take your health and fitness one day at a time.
5. Properly Planning Physical Activity
While you can technically lose weight by watching what you eat, physical activity does more than just burn fat. It gets the heart pumping and gets more oxygen to your brain. This helps maintain focus, improved thought and will impact your emotional state in a positive way.
While you know that exercise is important, a lot of people will over do it. Pushing yourself too hard, especially in the beginning, can have a negative impact on your health. On the other hand, not pushing yourself enough will result in a less than ideal experience. So, how do you find that middle ground?
That really depends on your goals and what you wish to accomplish.
One thing that a lot of people do in the beginning of a new year is buy into fitness memberships at gyms. Now, this will give you access to a wide range of equipment and a great place to work out safely…as long as you’re willing to use it. Too many people come out of the gate strong but then wind up talking themselves out of not going after a while.
Ask yourself, “Am I really going to use this membership throughout the year?” If you don’t you’re essentially wasting the money on a membership that could have been put towards something else that may have been better for health and fitness.
6. Maintaining Your Diet Plan
Another difficult aspect to carry out through the year is maintaining a good diet plan. One of the hardest parts is deciding on which plan is the best. Personally, I stay away from mainstream advertised diet plans that make outlandish claims of working. However, there are others out there who support these claims and have a degree of success.
One of the reasons why I don’t get sucked into the “best diet plans” is because I know everyone is different. What will work for one person won’t necessarily have the same impact on another. What I do is simple, and it works for me…when I consciously stick to it:
- Control portion sizes and eat realistic servings.
- Track all calories that are going into the body.
- Include healthier foods throughout the day.
I am proof that counting calories does work when trying to lose weight. You just need to know how to do it right. I can still have a few sweet snacks here and there throughout the day, as long as I keep it within reason. I also try to include more veggies and fruits.
Make the New Year’s Resolution More About a Healthier You
While it’s not bad to say you want to lose weight in the coming year, make it more about building a healthier you. After all, it’s more than your body size that’s at stake. Health and fitness can impact your general moods, stabilize your mind and help you get far more out of life. The best part is that all of this can be had without spending extra money if you work at it.
Setting a New Year’s Resolution is going to magically cause you to lose weight. There is no mystical process that can force you to live healthier. It’s going to be centered around you and how you approach the plan. Success will be determined by your own mentality regarding health and fitness.