This is an updated article I wrote a few years ago that had some great advice for weight loss in the New Year. If you are striving to accomplish a new year’s goal. It is a great read full of simple, practical advice.
Here’s Your Katy Weight Loss Pep-Talk
Let me start by putting your mind at ease right from the beginning. Let’s imagine for a moment that you do everything you know you are supposed to do to get in shape. Let’s say you do it absolutely perfect, never messing up and never deviating from your plan. You won’t lose all of your weight by next week. And depending on your goals, you probably won’t lose all of your weight by next month either. Please take the time to understand this. If you try to do everything perfect and you expect extraordinary results, it is only going to set you up for disappointment. Now that I have told you the bad news, let me tell you the good news. If you will relax and just take this process once step at a time, you will eventually lose the weight you hope to shed. You will drive yourself crazy trying to accomplish everything at once by setting unrealistic goals and expectations. So how are you going to accomplish your New Year’s Resolution?
You have several things that are going to come into play to accomplish your weight loss goals. Yeah, yeah, eat better and exercise more. We all get that. But I’m talking about something else that determines how well you can actually apply all of that and if the weight stays off or not. Take a moment to take a quick inventory of your life situation.
Who is Supporting you in Your Weight Loss Goals?
Support – How much support do you have around you? It’s been proven time and time again that those who have friends and family members who are also taking care of their health tend to be healthier. I would rate your support level in the following categories.
- Friends or family members who are trying to be healthy and professional guidance will have the easiest time and are more likely to succeed.
- Friends or family members who are trying to lose weight too, but do not have a good track record of sticking with their goals will have a great start, but probably not last more than a couple of months unless you have some professional guidance.
- No friends or family members trying to lose weight and no professional support will likely lead sabotaged within days or weeks.
Your biggest influence is going to be who you live with, and it will circle out from there based on what type of lifestyle your friends have and if you do or do not have professional support.
Edit: Since we started our small group training program, I’ve been amazed at how much group members support and encourage one another. If you don’t have a good support system already, these groups provide support, as well as, education and encouragement.
How Hard Should You Exercise?
Intensity – What type of workout intensity are you accustomed to? If you aren’t used to working out, walking may be a bit of a challenge. Or you may have some history of working out, and you can handle higher intensity exercises. Maybe you can take classes that push you to a high intensity. Realize that you should work at a higher level than what you are accustomed to, but never so much that it pushes you to the point of injury or extreme soreness. Pushing too hard will lower your motivation to do it again, and not pushing hard enough will result in very little progress (often frustrating most people). Your workout routines should be progressively harder each week and each month. The majority of the people you see at the gym right now don’t know this.
Edit: Be careful following blind advice from others who are new to exercise, or even fitness professionals that are new to the field and working with clients. This is not about you doing some bodybuilder’s workout. You should exercise in a way that is right for you. It’s about you and your results, not keeping up with someone who has been working out for the last 5 years and is half your age.
What do You Know About Long-Term Weight Loss?
Knowledge – How much do you know about getting in shape and losing weight? How much do you know about keeping the weight off after you lose it? Most of us know the basics. We know we should eat better and exercise more. Many of us have read books on the subject. But you also need to know how to progress your program over time, as well as how to overcome obstacles as they begin to happen. For instance, the most common thing I hear this time of year is, “My shins/knees/back are starting to hurt when I exercise/run.” The knowledge of how to overcome the pain (or avoid it altogether) will have a direct impact on your workout. How do I eat healthy if I have to go to a restaurant? All of these things are important. If you have friends around you who are in shape, they can help you; if you don’t, seeking help is advised. If you know what to do and how to overcome the inevitable obstacles (or have a personal trainer who can help you with it), you will be at least twice as effective.
Edit: Many people that try on their own, fail on their own. Without proper knowledge of how to achieve and maintain results, you more than likely, will barely reach half of your long term potential.
Are you motivated?
Motivation Level – This is probably not a problem for you right now. You are ready to lose weight! But going back to your “support” and “knowledge” will have an impact on this over time. And if you have ever tried to do this in the past you know that your motivation level can change over time. Why is that? For one, maybe you try to do too much at once. It’s great for a while, but once you realize it’s impossible to do everything for any length of time, you get frustrated and lose motivation. Maybe your goal is only “weight loss”, and the moment you quit seeing the pounds drop, your motivation level decreases. But you are reading this article, so congratulations on trying to change all of that this time. The reality is we tend to choose to do things based on enjoyment. While exercising can make you feel good, so can digging into your favorite dessert after dinner. You must slowly replace unhealthy things that make you feel good, with healthy things that make you feel good. Shocker alert: I don’t enjoy eating pizza and fried foods. It wasn’t always this way, but over time it happened. How did I do this? That’s what this article is all about…keep reading.
Have you been injured in the past?
Physical Limitations – Hopefully you do not have any injuries or physical limitations, but if you do, you can still accomplish your goals. We’ve helped people with major back pain lose weight faster than I’ve seen people with no limitations lose weight. They had to workout completely different than people without back pain, but the result ended up being pretty close to the same. You don’t have any physical limitations, but want to lose weight. You need to do all you can to get in shape now, because when your joints begin to ache, it’s going to be much harder for you to get the body you want. Do an assessment of the aches and pains you have, and learn how to work around them. Do what you can to remove the aches and pains first, and you will have a much easier time getting in shape after that. If you don’t know what to do, contact us. It’s easy for us. We can help you.
How much time should you devote to this?
Time – How busy are you? Do not try to work out 6 hours a week when you are not accustomed to it. This goes back to your motivation level. You aren’t going to go very long without your favorite television show. Sure, you’re willing to skip it right now, but not when you see the advertisement for the new episode that is coming on next week that you “Just have to watch!” All things have to be considered in relation to time. Exercising, yes…but what about the amount of time it takes for you to grocery shop for healthier foods? How much time do you have to cook instead of going through the drive-thru? You have to realize that you are slowly going to replace what you currently do. You can’t do it all at once and stick with it.
So let’s talk about how you are going to do this. You know you need to eat better, do cardiovascular activity, and add strength training. Look back at everything we just went over and tell yourself how many of those 3 categories you feel like you can focus on this week. Now pick one aspect of however many categories you picked. If it’s nutrition, maybe you should cut out the liquid calories (beer, soft drinks, wine, soda), eat more fruits and vegetables, cut out the fried food, cut out processed foods and high fructose corn syrup, eat smaller more frequent meals, etc… Pick one thing in this category, not everything. If you picked cardiovascular activity, maybe you should exercise more frequently, for a longer period of time, or add more intensity. Don’t try to do it all at once. Let’s say you picked strength training, you can try working out on the machines, getting away from the machines and doing more stability based exercises, doing more body weight exercises, or just work on getting rid of that nagging back or shoulder pain.
The point is there are many different things you can work on in each category that will help you make progress. If you will take reasonable steps to improving your health, you will have a better chance of reaching your weight loss goals than you ever have in your life.
What is Your One Word Theme for 2016?
If you were to come up with one word that would describe your 2016 theme for living, what would it be? What is the one word that is the vein that runs through everything you want to focus on in life? Take a moment and think about it. What is the word that will define who you are and what you are about throughout the year? This is the word that you will think about everyday to size up if you are applying yourself like you expected. It could encompass your fitness, your health, your family, your spiritual life, your treatment of others, etc… The key is to decide on a word that is personal to you that will help you focus on your personal game plan.
I think I need help, what do I do?
If you need help accomplishing your goals, contact us. We know how to help you accomplish your goals. We won’t intimidate you or embarrass you. We are only here to help you achieve your goals safely, effectively, and for the long-term. Contact us right now.
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