10 Tips to Make Your New Fitness Lifestyle Stick
By Flavia Del Monte
A lot of questions I see really come down to making fitness and diet work in your lifestyle.
Make it a habit! Make it a routine! Make it work in your life! If it doesn’t fit in your life you are less likely to stick with a new workout routine or diet plan.
A few strategically placed tips will help you go a long way in making fitness and diet work for you.
Here are some things to think about and incorporate into your lifestyle.
1. Commit 20 minutes to HIIT training – anything else is BONUS!
Don’t set unrealistic goals for yourself regarding cardio. Goals that are too big rarely get started!
2. Listen to high temp music.
This many seem silly but it actually helps to keep your body moving faster through your workouts. The beats at a higher tempo naturally makes your body go faster and harder!
3. Make sure each meal includes protein.
Protein helps you to burn more post-meal fat then if you eat lower protein meals.
4. Think before you drink.
Think about the calories you are drinking. A lot of people forget to count calories in what they juice whether its juices, lattes, milk, pop, alcohol and so on. Try to stick to water as much as possible. This will ensure you are getting your calories from food sources and not liquid sugar that won’t do anything for you! Add lemon, lime, cucumbers, mint leaves, berries, or oranges to your water to change it up a bit. Aim for 8-10 glasses of water a day. If you are a big drinker of pop, juices, milk and sweetened coffee drinks and switch to water you will notice a difference in your waistline just by making this change. Also in your pocket book as these drinks are not cheap!
5. Get more sleep!
Most people do not sleep enough. This affects so many aspects of your life like mental ability, physical function, mood, energy level, performance and eating habits. A well rested person is better in the gym, makes better eating decisions and is in general a happier person!
6. Look at where your diet fails and find alternatives.
An example is you eat great all day long but for dinner your husband wants big calorie filled meals and you end up taking seconds and thirds too! An alternative would be to make smaller portions only he can eat while you make another meal for yourself or take a small portion and fill the rest of your plate with salad and veggies. His way of eating is only an excuse for you. You can easier fix that situation so everyone wins. Ideally you both change your eating habits and like the new healthy approach but we all know sometimes that just doesn’t work. Another example is stress. If you are the type of person that reaches for ice cream and candy when stressed out you need to find something to replace that. A workout, an apple, a tea, reading, anything but blowing 1000 calories on junk! Analyze then find a solution!
7. Prepare ahead of time in the kitchen.
Cook and cut up chicken for the week to throw in salads, pasta, sandwiches, stir fry. Cook quinoa and brown rice and store in containers to add to meats for a quick meal. Have fruits and veggies cut up and ready to go for lunches. A small amount of time on grocery day will save you so much time and energy during the week for meals.
8. Find a friend.
Having a workout partner and set workout dates is motivating. If you cancel on yourself it’s no big deal but if you cancel on your friend you are putting their workout at risk. Not to mention the social aspect of working out with a friend. Whether it’s a run or a class or just meeting someone at the gym it is motivating and you can keep each other pumped up about progressing and staying in shape.
9. Write it down.
It always helps to start tracking your workouts, cardio and daily diet. There’s no way you would want to write down 10 Oreo cookies and that would be motivation enough to stop you from eating them! Tracking your calories and fats will motivate you as well. You would be surprised how estimating versus real numbers vary. It’s good to have this information for days you don’t feel well or have less energy so you can look back and make changes to your routine to see better results!
10. Workout when it works in your schedule.
Sure working out in the morning is ideal for many reasons but if you are not a morning person or just can’t then chances are you will miss more workouts then you do! Fit it in when you can. Lunch break? Right after work? Before bed? It has to work in your routine – remember it’s your fitness routine not someone else’s!
Can’t fit it all in? Break it up into two sessions then. It also helps to actually schedule it into your daily planner. When you see it, it becomes an appointment rather than something you intend to do.
Forming a new habit and routine can be quite difficult. Many times it means replacing something in your life that has been there a long time. Studies show that it can take 30 to 60 days to change a habit, but it can be done. Always eat sweets at 3pm with a coffee at work to get energy to finish your work day? Replace that with an apple and a tea. Small steps like that ultimately get you to you goal and your ideal body.