Every year about this time, most Americans make a New Year Resolution and most of the time it has something to do with losing weight and getting in shape. “I’m going to stop eating bread and hit the gym every single day,” says one friend. “Well I’m going to enroll in a cardio class and never skip a single session,” says another. Yet around 75% of the time if not more, these resolutions get broken. Why? Because they are too hard to keep and people who are resistant to working out or dieting, are the ones most likely to set unreachable goals.
Getting fit or losing weight is more than something you do for a few weeks. It requires a total lifestyle change and we all know that isn’t easy. There are people who are born to run marathons or camp out at the gym or Pilates studio, and then there is everyone else.
Dieting is equally challenging. There are all sorts of diets out there that include eating meat, not eating meat, fasting, not fasting, and then my favorite, not eating anything at all. As I tell my clients, don’t start a diet unless you feel it is something you could do while traveling or during the holidays. My personal favorite (and I mean this seriously) is the moderation diet. You avoid certain foods that are simply empty calories and then eat small quantities of the things you like. Small is the key word here.
Getting in shape may sound daunting and time consuming, but if you are doing something you really enjoy or doing with a friend or spouse, it can be a lot of fun. If going to the gym and pumping iron isn’t your thing, try Pilates or yoga. If you hate to sweat, there are things you can do that are not as vigorous. Walking is a great exercise too. Find a 10 to 15-minute program that you can do from home before or after work and do a little more on the weekends. The important thing is you have to really enjoy what you are doing and are able to be consistent. Also remember that some movement is better than none at all.
I am always amazed at how many people flood the gyms in January only to disappear a few months later. They start a program with good intentions, but they did not enjoy it enough to commit.
If getting fit and losing weight are your New Year Resolutions, try something new and see what you think. Cut back on high calorie foods and try to stop drinking soft drinks or eating candy. Join a group Pilates class at a time that works with your schedule. Small changes like these can make a difference.
Whatever you choose, good luck to you and have a happy and healthy 2020!