It's the New Year and you want to get your fitness plan into motion. You have already visited the gym a few times already and started eating a bit cleaner but it seems like you're slowly losing your momentum and it hasn't even been a month yet! Yikes! What gives? Why can't you do this? Well, don't beat yourself up over it. This happens to lots of us. Mostly because we don't understand that we have to eat the elephant one bite at a time.
Let me give you a scenario. Stephanie, a really really awesome girl with no clue about fitness, decided that she wanted to tone up and lose some body fat. So she decides to run when she gets the urge to or when she "has time for it". She also decides to eat a salad at lunch a few times a week instead of her usual fast food options. After two weeks Stephanie looks in the mirror and doesn't see any dramatic changes. So she slowly loses faith and gets back to her regular routine of eating whats available to her. You see Stephanie never weighed herself or took photos of herself at the beginning of her endeavor. She never researched anything about caloric intake vs caloric output (how many calories you consume vs how much you burn), or knew anything about the gym or strength training. She really was clueless about how to go about any of this, until she saw an unfavorable photo of herself that did it for her. The next day she signed up at the local gym and picked up a few weights, but still didn't really know what to do. That's when she googled "exercise routines" and "women and workouts". All sorts of information about getting into shape pulled up and the fog was lifted.
The internet is a great resource for learning all sorts of things. I found my starting points on bodybuilding.com (www.bodybuilding.com/fun/womans_lean_sexy_bible.htm) and on instagram by following the workouts on @iamfitmiss. Bodybuilding.com is a great resource for all things fitness. You can find a workout and diet plan specifically tailored for what it is you are looking to do (i.e. build muscle, lose fat, tone up, etc.). One of the main pieces of information I learned about weight loss is that you have to burn more calories that you consume in order to lose weight. Which means you have to calorie count and write down what you eat. The old Stephanie did not do this. She also didn't realize that in order to keep the muscle she was building at the gym she had to be eating a certain amount of protein each day. I also want to say, not to worry about getting big and bulky by lifting weights if that's not what you want. The only way you get that way is if you are consuming a high amount of calories. You have to eat big to get big. This information is only a small part of what you will learn as you start to research the diet plan that is right for you.
So whats the best way stay on track and pushing forward? It's writing your goals down and breaking them up into weeks. Below is an example for you to use.
GOAL PLANNING QUESTIONS and EXAMPLE ANSWERS
What is this weeks Goal? Know how many calories I have to eat in order to maintain my weight and eat about 200-300 less than that per day. I will track this by writing down in a journal everything I eat and by counting my calories. (You can find your Target Caloric intake at http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/what-does-2500-calories-look-like.html).
How will I tone up: I will strength train 3x a week on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday and cardio 2 x's a week for 25 minutes. I will follow the workout plan I found on bodybuilding.com and bring it with me to the gym.
How will I stray away from fast foods? I will prepare all my meals on Sunday Night and Thursday night for the week.
How will you track your progress? I will take a photo (front, back, side) every two weeks and weigh myself every week and write it down.
When will you celebrate and how? I will celebrate when I lose my first 6lbs and I will celebrate by having that one cheat meal. The In and Out Burger but not the fries or soda. Then its back to it. Every 6lbs I will celebrate by doing something small that doesn't destroy all my progress.
Hope this helps! and good Luck, you can do it!! Just Plan!