Happy fall! January is just around the corner, and with it comes the usual desire to reset bad habits and adopt new, more healthy ones. For many years, the number 1 and number 2 News Year's resolutions have been to get fit and lose weight, but most people fall back into their old habits before the second month has even dawned. Let's face it falling into unhealthy habits doesn't happen overnight, and reversing them won't either. Consider that an extra pound of fat is 3500 excess calories. You can easily down that 3500 in one sitting with some fast food meals, a plate of laden nachos, or a deep dish pizza. However, it's generally easier to gain weight than to lose it. Here are a few helpful tips you can follow NOW to get back on track instead of waiting for the new year.
1. Don't wait till January 1. Even embracing a few of your goal habits now will help avoid the weight gain usually associated with the holidays. Start embracing a fitness routine, and count your calories using a program like myfitnesspal.com to understand where you may need to make changes.
2. Make your goal time-based and short in duration. Creating a goal that lasts a few weeks is easier to achieve and will provide you positive reinforcement for good behavior. The should be as specific as possible so you can track your success. Don't make a goal for the whole year. Start with a two-week goal and focus on achieving it. Then set/achieve a new goal.
3. Make the goal measurable. As an example, rather than saying you want to lose weight, make a goal of losing a pound a week for the next 4 weeks.
4. Make the goal realistic and very specific. Its admirable to want to eat "healthier" but what does that mean? Cut out sugar and reduce fat? Stick to a caloric goal each day? Ea three servings of fruits and vegetables every day for two weeks? By being specific, you have an easy benchmark.
5. Don't punish yourself if you slip, and don't quit. New habits take time, but your health is so worth it! If you slip up or don't reach your goals, start over immediately.