You look in the mirror and love your muscular shoulders, well defined pecs, and absolutely ripped abs. Perhaps you see your tight stomach and your well defined curves. Or, maybe not.
The good news is that if you want all of that it’s only a few changes in your lifestyle. The hardest challenge that you will face while time does its thing is sticking to the new changes that you’ve made.
A few helpful tips to make your path to a slimmer, healthier you:
• Throw out the fridge. Not literally, of course, but since you’re committed to making the changes necessary to completely reinvent your body you might as well make the same changes to your refrigerator.
Throw out anything processed, ready-made, or deep-fried. Remember that you are trying to get rid of the useless calories and instead replace them with hearty and healthy nutrition. The 200 calorie per serving chip dip? Toss it, and while you’re at it, toss those deep-fried artery-clogging chips too. Consider taking Acai Berry.
• Look in the mirror. While men are definitely more visual than women, both men and women appreciate looking at a healthy body. Instead of looking at yourself and wishing you could get rid of those love handles or tighten up those abs, actually go out and do it.
Maintaining your focus when you first change your routine is critical to your success. Never lose sight of your goal, be it to lose ten pounds or to finally get that six pack you’ve been after (and I don’t mean the kind that sits in your fridge, either).
• Only commit to what you can actually do. Be realistic: if you can’t make it to the gym 6 days a week, set your routine around what you can do. Setting yourself up for failure is worse than actually failing; at the same time, setting your goals too low will never allow you to reach your full potential.
It’s important to balance all aspects of your life, and that means other elements outside of your diet and workout routine. Since the ultimate goal of all of these changes is better health and increased happiness there’s no point to making it a stressful event.
• Don’t record the numbers. When you first decide to change your diet or go to the gym, record your weight and your important measurements. Place what you recorded in a safe place, and never look at it again.
Most people obsess over their waist size or what the scale says they weigh. Remove that element from your routine and your results will come much more naturally and with much less stress. A lot of your health is about how you feel, and obsessing because you haven’t lost that pound yet definitely won’t help.
• Lastly, make sure you’re enjoying yourself. If you force yourself to go to the gym every week you probably will eventually cave and just stop going. Finding ways to eat well and exercise can be a challenge when you first decide to commit to those activities. There is a learning curve to maintaining a healthy lifestyle, but like all things in life, it just takes some practice.
One piece of advice that a friend of mine (who also happens to be a personal trainer) told me was to “give yourself just one season to start”. He said to start the beginning of January, for example, and then see how I’m doing in the middle of March. So, while I was working out I never worried about how much I weighed, I just focused on my lifestyle. When spring came around I finally hit the scales and saw the difference in weight.
In my case it was 17 pounds of fat burned and a full three points off of my body fat index. Since then I’ve never looked back, and trust me, once it you’ve experienced that you’ll never look back either.