How many pounds do you want to lose? Five, ten, fifty, two hundred?
You may be able to lose five pounds by starting to eat breakfast everyday, but it is going to take more than that to achieve the hefty goals. Your hefty goals are achievable though! They will take some work and you are going to need a plan, but it is worth it. As the saying goes "failing to plan is planning to fail". If you fail to plan, don't expect to meet your goals, but if you have a solid fitness training plan, your chances of succeeding will be much higher.
Let's look at three parts of a fitness plan that you are going to need to have: the what, how often, and when.
Diet. Yes, the inevitable diet lecture. Nothing will affect your health more than your diet. You can lift weights all day long and not lose a pound if your diet doesn't permit you. I suggest implementing three simple tips, from there you can decide if there is a more specific diet plan that you would like to follow.
1. Drink water before each time you eat. When we feel hungry, many times we are actually just thirsty. Drinking water before each time you eat (one or two glasses) is able to help you discern when you are actually hungry and even if you are hungry, water can sometimes help as an appetite suppressant.
2. Do not eat after 8pm. At night your body is slowing down. It is trying to "take it easy" and get ready for bed. If you keep stuffing it with food, your body is going to have to work more during the night to digest the food that you eating.
3. Radical substitution. If you are trying to meet weight loss goals, junk food is your enemy. Substituting your unhealthy food with healthy food can make a huge difference in your eating habits. Since junk food is your enemy, you need to see it as an enemy and treat it like an enemy. Getting junk food out of your house and replacing it with fruits, veggies, healthy crackers, etc. will go a long way. If you don't have a certain food in your house, there is a much smaller chance of you eating it.
Exercise. Exercising can sometimes seem intimidating, but it doesn't have to be. You don't need to be Arnold Schwarzenegger or bench press a car, start small. Start somewhere. That could mean taking a 5 minute walk around your house every morning before work. That could mean doing 5 push-ups and sit-ups before you go to bed. You don't have to have a gym membership and $200 running shoes to be able to exercise. Chose a starting point, even if it may seem insignificant, and go from there.
Sleep Studies show that those who do not get a significant amount of rest, gain weight compared to those who sleep more. When your body is tired it can be harder to control your appetite. Eating late at night, through the middle of the night, and eating junk food is all capable of ruining your overall weight loss plan.
Some may suggest that if your following a diet you can have a "splurge day". While I see the point, I think it would beneficial to stay away from "splurging" and keep your diet going 24/7/365. Your goal is not just to lose weight, it is to live a healthy lifestyle, so that you can maintain that weight loss and live a healthier life. "Splurging" will keep you familiar with how good that junk food tastes and, if you do have an addiction to sugar, it could keep your addiction alive.
So how often should you stick to your diet? All the time. That doesn't mean your diet has to be super strict or vegan, but try to have a "lifestyle change" mindset, not just a "diet change" mindset. If junk food is the enemy of your goals, it would be wise to stay away from it 24/7.
When deciding how often you should exercise, consider your schedule and base your exercise routine around that. We only have so many hours in a day and keeping your priorities inline is critical. If your weekends are often free, it may be smart to schedule workouts on Saturday, Sunday, and then one day through the week. If your time is very limited and you can only workout once or twice a week, then do that. Just make sure you start somewhere. One of the most common reasons people don't finish their endeavors is because they fail to even start them. Start moving in the right direction and do something.
Deciding what time of the time you will workout is actually more critical than you think. It's safe to say that if you are not able to be consistent with a specific time of day, it will be difficult to be consistent in implementing your overall plan. Your exercise routine could be scheduled for different times on different days, but sticking to what you have planned as much as possible is critical to your long-term discipline and success.
Don't wait, create your fitness training plan today! I hope you were encouraged to start moving towards your health goals.