One reason why many people fail with exercise and diet goals is because they don’t make a realistic plan. A lot of the time, these plans are not sustainable for the long-term. What can you do to create realistic fitness goals for 2019?
In reality, it has more to do with your own physical needs and determination.
Not all diets and exercises will benefit everyone in the same way. What works for one may not work as well for another.
A bit later, I’ll show you how I’ve lost weight and kept it off without mainstream diet plans or sticking with gym memberships. It’s not difficult if you’re willing to make a few minor changes in your lifestyle.
But for now, let’s cover some of the basic to get you started with creating feasible fitness goals in 2019.
Don’t Strive for Unrealistic Weight Loss
Too many people dive into Google trying to find the best way to drop as much weight as possible in a short time frame. One of the more ridiculous searches is “how to lose 20 pounds in 7 days.”
In the real world, this isn’t a realistic goal without causing damage to your body.
The average adult human can lose one to two pounds per week in a healthy way. This isn’t saying that you can’t strive for more. But just realize that 20 pounds in a week is unhealthy and unsustainable. 1
As I try to stay physically active, I am happy when I lose 3.5 pounds inside of seven days.
Take the weight you want to lose and divide by two. This is a good baseline for how many weeks it will take you to lose the weight. But that doesn’t mean you can’t work harder.
In fact, there will be several variables that adjust how much you can lose in any given amount of time.
Just make sure you’re not hurting yourself in the process.
Understand Your Eating Habits
The easiest, and often most effective, way to lose weight quickly is to monitor your portion sizes. Too many people are often overfed and don’t realize it.
As soon as I cut down on the sheer amount of food I was eating, I dropped a lot of weight lightning fast. Well, it was 20 ponds in about a month and a half.
Your fitness goals for 2019 will also modify what you eat. For example, body builders usually eat far more proteins and carbs to power muscle development. If you’re just looking to just lose weight, you’ll center on fewer carbs.
It all depends on what you’re trying to do with your body.
Personally, I’m against most mainstream fad diet plans. This is because many of them are simply unsustainable over the long-term. Some may even cause damage to your body if you’re not paying attention.
The main goal is to eat less junk and find more nutritious alternatives. I’m not saying you need to cut out things like ice cream or chocolate completely. Just make sure your body is getting the nutrients it needs.
It’s not always about what you eat, but more of how much.
Increase Physical Activity
The next part of any fitness goals for 2019 should include increasing physical activity. Notice I didn’t say, “exercise.”
A lot of people’s eyes will glaze over at the mere mention of push-ups or sit-ups.
I am one of them.
Instead, focus on keeping yourself active. This includes anything from house cleaning to playing basketball at the park. The more calories you burn, the better off you’ll be.
Burning fat and creating muscle density is all about keeping your body moving.
Sign up with a city sport team, find an outdoor hobby or see how long it takes you to sweep and mop the kitchen floor. It really doesn’t matter as long as you’re working up a sweat.
Break Personal Records
One of my favorite ways to motivate myself is by breaking personal records. For example, I could only do 8 push-ups before collapsing when I started. When I shattered that record by hitting 22, I felt a great deal of pride.
And that’s the key element to keeping you focused…feeling good about your accomplishments.
Recently, I broke my record for calorie burn playing the Xbox Kinect.
My point is that you can set your own records and strive to improve yourself in just about anything. Whether it’s cutting out eating a certain number of fats in a day or pushing your physical limits, it all benefits the body.
Gym Memberships and How they Work
Gym memberships might sound nice, but too many people really don’t get the most out of the monthly fees. You might go strong for the first month or two, but then it gets dull, mundane or you simply can’t make it to the nearest facility.
Most gym employees will try to make it sound like the three-year contract helps “motivate” you to work out. In reality, it ensures the gym will still make money whether you go or not.
After all, it’s a business that needs to pay its overhead.
If you’re considering a gym membership, I suggest making sure you keep motivated to get the most out of the contract. For instance, use something like Exercise.com to track your progress, set records and earn points to compete with others on the site.
How to Determine Fitness Goals for 2019
Now that we got some of the basics out of the way, it’s time to look at how we can create reasonable fitness goals for 2019.
The trick is to create something that works for you, not everyone else. Each person is unique in both their ideas for fitness as well as physical limitations.
Understand Your Own Needs
The first part of your fitness goals for 2019 need to center around what you are trying to accomplish. Do you want to just lose weight or do you want to add strength.
Perhaps you want a bit of both. Your end game will determine the course of action.
Fitness isn’t about looking like a superhero or having a beach body. It’s a way to keep yourself from dying early…pure and simple.
Plus, fitness makes most aspects of your life easier to manage.
Realize the Scale Can Lie
Next, you need to understand that weight can fluctuate quite easily. Which means the scale can essentially lie to you about how much you actually weigh.
For instance, it’s possible to burn fat while simultaneously adding muscle mass. The scale will say you haven’t lost anything, but your clothes fit better and you’re able to lift more than before.
Take me, for example. I weigh as much today as I did about 20 years ago. When you look at pictures from back then, you can see that I added far more muscle mass. I looked scrawny compared to what I look like now.
A scale is helpful, but don’t put too much emphasis on what the numbers tell you.
Ignore the BMI Rating
The Body Mass Index, or BMI, is an extremely flawed system. For instance, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson is considered extremely obese according to the BMI.
Too many things can cause a person to weigh more than another. Muscle mass, bone density, water retention and more can result in the BMI saying your overweight or obese when you’re not.
Use your physical abilities, endurance, clothes and pictures to judge fitness instead.
Choose the Right Diet Plan for You
Don’t jump right into a diet plan simply because everyone else is doing it. Some diets may not be conducive to your goals.
You need to find something that fits your lifestyle and plans for fitness. And keep in mind that if you view a diet as too restrictive, you’re less likely to stick with it.
There’s nothing wrong with modifying something you like, though. A lot of diets out there have some form of health value. If something isn’t working, make changes to how you eat.
I still eat everything I did 70 pounds ago…I just include healthier alternatives and greatly reduce the amount I eat.
Find Your Physical Limits and Strive to Improve
I’m all about self-improvement and breaking records. It gives you a positive mindset while reducing the risk of setting yourself up for failure.
As long as your capable of surpassing your personal bests, your on the right track.
Remember when I mentioned breaking my push-up record? It took more than a month to train my body to accomplish the goal. And in the end, I geeked out about it for several months afterward.
Being able to do more today than you did last month gives you a good feeling. It’s not about matching your fitness trainer or competing against Arnold at the gym.
It’s all about surpassing your own limitations.
Measuring Your Progress Against Others
Being competitive in fitness with others is a great motivator. However, it can act as a double-edge blade.
While you might feel motivated to compete with others, it can make you feel like a failure if you lose. And negative feelings will impact your motivation to continue.
If you want to compete with others, do so. But put more emphasis on competing with yourself. So when your friends walk more miles this week than you did, at least you can feel pride that you improved yourself.
As long as you continue to improve, you can’t call the competition an all-out failure.
How I’ve Lost 70 Pounds, and Kept it Off
It’s not overly difficult to lose weight and keep it off. For the most part, it’s all in your head. Just by making a few adjustments in my lifestyle, I’ve made leaps and bounds in fitness.
So, here is exactly what I do to lose weight and keep it off over the long-term.
- Change Mentality About Fitness
Don’t look at exercise and dieting as a chore. The more you hate something, the less likely you’re going to follow through. You need to keep a positive mindset about health and fitness.
- Decide the End Result
For me, it’s all about losing fat and gaining a bit of muscle. I don’t want to hulk out, but I would like to add more definition than I have.
- Use MyFitnessPal to Track Intake
I use MyFitnessPal to track the food I eat. This app will show when I am overeating and what areas I need to improve in terms of nutrition. It’s the most used app on my phone.
- Keep to a Daily Calorie Goal
Set calorie goals in MyFitnessPal, but make sure you’re being realistic. Don’t think by sticking to eating nothing but 2,000 calories of cupcakes a day is healthy. Add nutrition to the mix.
- Create an Account on Exercise.com to Track Records
Next, create an account on Exercise.com. It’s free, full of exercise information and keeps track of your personal bests. This is how I know how many push-ups I can do and when I broke my record.
- Use a Fitbit Charge 3 and Connect it to MyFitnessPal
I use a Fitbit Charge 3 to keep track of my physical activity. I don’t use it for steps usually, but I do like the calorie burn tracking. Then, it sends the data to MyFitnessPal to give me a better idea of how much I can eat today.
- Find Ways to Keep Physically Engaged
Physical activity is vital to lose weight. And I found that playing the Xbox Kinect keeps me engaged and not feeling bored of the activity. So no, I don’t have workout DVDs collecting dust. You need to keep the mind engaged in fitness.
- Always Do Your Research
Never take a stranger’s word when it comes to health and fitness. I always research everything thoroughly before adding it to my diet or routine. If it’s not based in scientific fact, I simply ignore it.
- Drink More Water!
Lastly, drink more water. I find that I lose weight faster, sleep better and feel better overall on days when I get close to 90 ounces.
There’s no secret to my success, no special plans and no weird techniques to lost weight.
For me, it was nothing more than reducing my intake and increasing my activity.
Follow Your Fitness Goals for 2019
Realistic fitness goals keep your mind in the game. And that’s the biggest influence when trying to lose weight or build muscle mass. If you’re not in the right head space, you’re going to fail.
Don’t try to lose all of your weight at once. You can cause a lot of damage by trying to cut corners.
What are your fitness goals for 2019? Do you plan on trying a gym membership, or would you rather work out at home? Leave a comment down below!