Keys to weight loss & fitness maintenance!
1. Consistency. Remaining diligent week after week. Even when you don't feel like going to the gym, going and walking on the treadmill is something. It keeps you in the habit of going and boosts your mood. Maybe after that walk you'll feel energized enough to do some strength training...but if not, don't beat yourself up over it. You went...you're remaining consistent.
2. Slow and steady wins the race. This isn't the Biggest Loser and honestly Biggest Loser style weight loss is unrealistic and not sustainable, Period! But slow steady progress over time is! I'm always preaching baby steps! Add one thing at a time, change your diet one item at a time. Rather than 2 diet pops a day cut down to one and replace the other with water. Later, cut out the second one and replace it with water. Add a fruit or vegetable to every meal. Small things like this over time yield progress and sustainability over time...not to mention the fact that it's realistic :)
3. Too much too soon. We've either been there or we know people who have (or are there right now). Typical restrictive "dieting" and loads of exercise! It starts with good intentions, to lose weight and get in shape but for some reason (Biggest Loser mentality? Ugh!) we think we need to beat ourselves up and deprive ourselves of certain "evil" foods while eating tasteless "rabbit food" and exercising for hours on end every week. One of two things will happen. The first may be that burn out quickly sets in. Fatigue, mood swings and time are a few factors that play into and before you know it...you're back to old ways of eating, sitting around, watching too much t.v. working long hours and feeling guilty because once again...you didn't follow through. The second thing that may happen is awesome weight loss. Once the weight starts coming off and you begin to feel good about fitting into a smaller jean size, or you take your rewards from the number on the scale you start to slip a little. The gym isn't as important as it was and frankly you were getting tired of all the time it was taking anyway. You may reward yourself with food or "cheat days." Point being that slowly over time you slip back into old habits and the weight begins to creep back on. Before you know it, the scale has become your enemy once again and your closet becomes storage for clothes you will fit in again someday. Go back to point number two...this is where long term, sustained success is found!
4. Do what you enjoy so you can stick with it. Some people hate to run or swim or ride bikes or roller blade etc...find something that works for YOU! I personally get bored doing the same things. I always switch things up because that's what keeps me going so I can enjoy my fitness journey. Some people don't like broccoli...don't eat it! Find good whole foods that you can enjoy because when you find foods you enjoy eating and activities you enjoy doing you will stick with it long term! Activities include but aren't limited to dancing, paintball, playing tag with your kids, volleyball, soccer...any sport, yoga, hiking. It's winter so think snow shoeing, cross country skiing, snowboarding, sledding (walk those hills and enjoy the ride down), ice skating, hokey! Get friends and family involved! Think outside of the gym box and engage in activities you enjoy!
5. Drink more water! Your body is made up mostly of water and so it needs water everyday to cleanse, filter, and replace whats being used and running through you on a daily basis.