What’s the best way to achieve personal health goals?
You want to be healthy and live your best life.
To feel strong and to love your body, as well as the food you put in it.
But here’s the thing. You set a New Year’s Resolution to lose weight, get fit, and finally start eating healthy, but you haven’t reached it.
Waking up excited to exercise has been harder than you thought it would be. It is easy however to make healthy lifestyle excuses.
“It’s too hard”, “I’m too tired”, “It’s too expensive” and “I’m just not motivated enough” to list a few.
Setting goals and resolutions for your health, food, and fitness is one thing, but getting started, staying consistent, and reaching your goals isn’t easy. So don’t feel too bad about it! We all fall off the health and fitness goal train at one time or another.
Especially, when you feel so much societal pressure to be perfect. Telling you that you should look great, eat this not that, exercise every day, make self-care a priority, all while meeting your professional and personal responsibilities. As IF (in Cher’s voice from Clueless please), it’s that easy! No wonder so many of us give up before we even get started.
So, how do we reach our health goals? What do we do to get motivated about fitness and food?
I asked this exact question to 28 health and fitness experts, and here’s what they had to say. No matter where you are on your health journey, you’ll find actionable advice below.
Starting with understanding our motivations for being healthy, creating healthy habits, all the way to drinking more water and moving your body, here’s how to achieve your health and fitness goals this year. To your health!
28 Ways to Reach Your Health and Fitness Goals
#1. Figure Out Your Why
Amy Whoa! Disco Wellness
Certified Personal Trainer, Certified Yoga Instructor and Group Exercise Instructor
When thinking about where you want to be, in your body and mind, I encourage you to think about the “WHY?” behind your goals. What will “building more muscle” bring to your life? How will “committing to 3 yoga classes per week” make you a better partner, friend, or parent? Think beyond the goal and actually FEEL what it will be like to get it!
Get specific. For example, “By committing to 3 yoga classes per week, I will reduce my stress, be more emotionally available to my friends, and will feel AMAZING in my jeans by April 1st!” That type of specificity creates a vivid picture of how the goal of going to 3 yoga classes/week will manifest other “goals” (less stress, fitting into jeans, etc) and it gives a date as to when the effect of that commitment will be felt.
The more detailed you can get with your “WHY”, the more successful you will be with reaching your goal. Also, the most important thing is to HAVE FUN! Pick things that you will love, or can at least learn to love, to get you to your goal.
👉🏽 Amy’s passion for fitness and nutrition brought her out of a wheelchair at age 12, and – as an adult – helped her thrive after 3 life-threatening bicycle accidents (featuring hit-and-runs with an 18-wheeler and 17-year-old drunk driver). Now, she shares this passion with the world as a personal trainer, fitness instructor and yoga teacher. She can help you get motivated and stay motivated with fun workouts, playlists, and social media inspiration. Connect with her at Disco Wellness.
#2. Heal Your Relationship With Food and Your Body
Certified Intuitive Eating Counselor + Holistic Health Coach
Because of our pervasive, insidious diet culture, making peace with food and your body can be challenging. It’s tremendously helpful to receive support from a non-diet, weight-neutral practitioner who can help you release your diet mentality, neutralize all foods, eat intuitively, and accept your here-and-now body.
Unlike fad diets that promise quick results, healing your relationship with food and your body takes time. In addition to getting support, focus on taking small steps.
For example, a first step you can take toward body acceptance is acknowledging and honoring how difficult it is to make the leap from body loathing to body loving—and that you’re not a failure if you don’t wake up every day bursting with body positivity.
Instead of trying to make the leap, focus on small acts of body kindness, respect, and appreciation, such as moving your body in a joyful way; resting your body when it’s tired; speaking to your body with tenderness, and journaling about the aspects of your body you’re grateful for.
If working with a practitioner isn’t possible or you’d like additional resources, there are some excellent books, blogs, and podcasts on Intuitive Eating, Health at Every Size and body acceptance that can support you on your journey.
👉🏽 Renee offers a holistic, weight-neutral, non-diet approach focused on helping individuals make peace with food and their body—and develop pleasurable, sustainable self-care practices. Clients become more attuned to their innate body wisdom; stop yo-yo dieting; release food rules, guilt, and shame; reduce cravings, emotional eating, and overeating; experience greater satisfaction from eating and movement; discover how to best nourish their unique body; improve body image; and more. Renee answers, What is Intuitive Eating?
#3. Start with Solid Goal Setting
Speaker, writer, Certified Health Coach, marathoner, and fathlete
In order to achieve health and fitness goals, you have to start with solid goal setting. That means setting goals that you can control.
We don’t know who our bodies will respond to exercise, for example, so making weight loss your goal can set you up for failure. Instead, create a goal that you can have more control over achieving.
If you’re trying to move more, a good goal might be completing a 10k. Then create smaller goals, like completing the workouts on a 10k training program. Finally, celebrate finishing each workout, celebrate each milestone (in this case, it might be each time you’ve walked, run, or rolled your wheelchair farther than the last workout.) Knowing that there is a celebration at the end of the workout will give you a psychological edge when it comes time to do the next workout.
👉🏽 Ragen Chastain is a Speaker, writer, ACE Certified Health Coach, and Functional Fitness Specialist. She’s also a Two-Time Marathoner (Guinness World Record Holder for Heaviest Woman to Complete a Marathon) and Three-Time Dance Champion. As a thought leader in body image, she advocates for Health at Every Size as well as corporate wellness. Ragen shares How to complete a marathon regardless of your size or speed.
#4. Set Tangible and Realistic Goals
Director of Fitness at Trilogy Fitness and Wellbeing
Ok, it’s the New Year and it’s time to commit to your fitness resolutions. Here is my suggestion to make your fitness goals a little more tangible. Set Realistic Goals!
Time and time again, I see people setting goals that are not realistic or even achievable. They bite off way more than they can chew and inevitably set themselves up for failure. If you want to eat better, change one or two things about your current diet and commit to those changes. Once they become habitual, make another small change or two.
An example would be if you are eating out too often, commit to making healthy dinners throughout the week. You can even meal prep ahead of time to make this goal more achievable. If you want to start working out and you have previously been sedentary, commit to 3-4 days of activity. Go to the gym, get out and go on a walk, find an accountability partner to exercise with, or better yet work with a trainer.
Keep in mind that your fitness goals should ultimately result in an overall lifestyle change. Make short-term reasonable goals that you can incorporate into your busy life so that you can achieve long-term fitness success!
👉🏽 Ben Trapp is a Certified Functional Strength Coach: CSFC, USAW, CFL1, FMS, ZUU.
#5. Journal Daily About Your Journey
Movement and Mindset Strategist
One of the best ways to make sure you successfully achieve a health and fitness goal is to add a journaling component. The idea goes beyond simply entering your workout into a fitness tracker.
I’m talking about taking the time to do the mindset work. People who write and reflect each day are more likely to develop habits that stick. Their goal is visible, so it’s top of mind. I have my clients write a few sentences about how they are feeling after a workout. If they focused on solving life’s big problems while they exercised, I ask them to jot a few notes about that. Most importantly, I want them to start making the connection between exercise and how the workout makes them feel.
Are they seeing any of the other benefits of exercise such as elevated mood, increased energy, better concentration, and focus? Is there another positive they associate with the work they are doing? If they can learn to associate exercise with benefits that go beyond physical appearance, they are more likely to become lifelong exercisers.
And, on the flip side, if they are able to use their journal to identify negative thought patterns that are hindering their success, they can begin to address the issues that are holding them back. Journaling can be a powerful tool for developing new habits or for taking performance up a notch.
👉🏽 Kim Peek is a USA Track and Field Level I Coach, USA Triathlon Level 1 Coach, Lydiard Level II, Healthy Running and RRCA (Road Runners Club of America) and ACE Certified Group Fitness Instructor. She’s also a Functional Aging Specialist and a Breast Cancer Exercise Specialist. Her certifications include TRX, Pop Pilates, kettle bells, foam rolling and multiple forms of resistance training. She shares the Benefits of Journaling.
#6. Find the Source of Your Power
Co-Founder & CEO, NutriCoachDiet
For me, the most important part of any goal is knowing why you want it. I call it ‘knowing your Why’. Understanding why you’re doing something is a vital part of the process because it provides you with the emotional fuel needed to get where you’re going. It’s not always going to be easy, and motivation comes and goes, but if you understand your deepest driving force, then you’ll always find a way to push through.
Usually, your Why is hidden beneath a series of surface reasons – these are the ones you’re happy to share with the world; the ones that make you seem less vulnerable and more ‘normal’. The real Why is the deep emotional reason behind why you want something, yet it can often be the one we struggle most to identify.
There’s a simple technique you can use to help uncover this. It’s called the 5 Why’s and was an exercise originally developed by the Toyota Motoring company as a problem-solving component within the manufacturing process.
We use it to uncover purpose and ignite a motivational fire.
Start by stating what it is you want to achieve. Then ask yourself why you want to achieve that. Then ask why you want whatever it is you just answered. Continue this process for a total of 5 why’s, and by the end of it, you’ll have established a clear reason behind why you want to achieve your goal.
This is your purpose; the emotional fuel that will keep you going through the ups and downs. This is your source of power.
Write it down by hand and stick it up somewhere where you can see it every day.
👉🏽 With over 8 years as a golf teaching professional, a shaw method swimming instructor and now a black belt kickboxing coach, Celeste Currie can proudly say that she understands the finer points of coaching and what it takes to get results. 12 years + of training her own body gives her a unique perspective on female fitness and nutrition, and this is something she’d like to pass on to other women to help them get the body they deserve.
#7. Speak Positive Affirmations
The absolute best way to achieve ANY health or fitness goal is to repeat to yourself, several times daily, that you are already where you aspire to be.
So, for instance, you want to complete a half marathon – You tell yourself that you’re a great runner and have easily completed the half marathon already. It might sound strange, but your brain doesn’t know the difference between the truth, and a lie.
So, simply start by telling yourself, every day, that you’re an athlete, a runner who has completed many half marathons already. It doesn’t matter that it’s not true right now. Eventually, it will be. But only if you keep telling yourself it is.
Eventually, your brain will motivate you to follow through on your words. And you WILL become the exact thing you told yourself you were! That’s how it works! Remember, everything you tell yourself – EVERY SINGLE THING – will come true.
👉🏽 For 10 years, Sunita has been helping smart, successful, busy professional moms, stay at home moms, and solo professionals, make lifestyle changes with clean eating, and accountability.
#8. Transform Goals Into Habits
Amanda L. Dale, M.Ed., M.A.
Personal Trainer, Nutritionist & Wellness Coach
I am a big believer in developing habits rather than setting goals when it comes to making fitness and nutrition changes. Goals are intangible, far-off things that can sometimes feel impossible – whereas habits are bite-size pieces you can take care of TODAY. Habits are manageable, measurable and immediate – something you can check off a to-do list.
I often suggest my clients reframe their goals (for example, lose 10 pounds by March) into doable, measurable daily habits (for example, work out at least 20 out of 28 days in February). This way, the focus shifts from the outcome onto the process, which is much more satisfying and rewarding.
The measure of success then becomes not the pounds lost, per se, but whether or not you formed the consistent habits of a healthy person – and more often than not, the original goal also falls into place because of it.
👉🏽 Amanda trains 30 clients per week in the gym and in their homes, another 100 online and offers nutrition counseling and wellness coaching by appointment. She shares Hatching Healthy Habits.
#9. Build New Behavior Goals
Personal Trainer, Ultimate Performance
When you set a fitness goal, it’s important to build new behavior goals and healthy habits into your lifestyle that will get you to your goal.
People set goals like ‘I want to lose weight’ but then fail to introduce regular daily habits to get them there – things like completing 10,000 steps a day, eating healthy meals with high protein and green vegetables every 3-4 hours, or scheduling workouts into their diary-like important business meetings.
These daily habits are critical stepping stones en route to your overall goals.
How do you make these habits stick? The secret to success is accountability.
Making yourself accountable to someone like a personal trainer will dramatically increase your chances of success.
Accountability is invaluable for staying on track, not missing sessions and achieving your goals, especially when motivation starts to wane.
If you don’t have a trainer, you can create this accountability with a
training partner or friend.
Commit to sending each other a short message at the end of each day with these four things:
- Your morning bodyweight e.g. 60kg
- Your daily step count e.g. 12,000 steps
- Your training summary e.g. full body workout
- Your itemized food diary e.g. Screenshots from MyFitnessPal.
👉🏽 Chris Beavers is a senior personal trainer and body transformation expert at Ultimate Performance, the world’s leading personal training company. Find out What Happened When I Tracked My Food for 365 Days.
#10. Buddy Up with a Supportive Partner
Personal Trainer and Health & Wellness Expert
It makes it easier to work out and get healthy if you have someone on your team, in full support of your goals. Not every partner is created equally and therefore you should be picky when choosing this partner. Having someone who you can check in with will help motivate you to continue.
Knowing that this person is also depending on you to succeed will also help you stick to the plan. Having someone go to the gym with you will help make your workouts more fun. If every time you go to the gym is serious, you’ll never want to go back. Laugh with your workout partner, it will only help you continue on the path to success.
You may think you’re not competitive, but everyone has a little competitiveness within them. When you’re trying to get healthy is the perfect time to let your competitive nature come out and play. If you’re trying to “beat” your partner in how much weight you lost or how many reps you did, you’re more likely to push yourself harder. A healthy level of competition is good for both of you. After all is said and done, having someone who knows how far you’ve come and how much you’ve accomplished will make celebrating that much better!
👉🏽 Caleb Backe is a Personal Trainer and Health & Wellness Expert for Maple Holistics, a company dedicated to cruelty-free, natural, and sustainable personal care products. Backe offers expert coaching and services to those looking to rehabilitate their life, health, relationship or business.
#11. Hold Yourself Accountable
AlgaeCal Fitness Lead and ACE Certified Personal Trainer
If you’re like most people, you’re busy!
However, that’s no reason to neglect your health. If you’re serious about achieving your health and fitness goals in 2019 you simply have to make time for it.
If exercising regularly is one of your goals, try adding your workouts to your Google Calendar. By scheduling specific times to commit during the week you’re holding yourself accountable. Plus, accountability is crucial to achieving your goals.
Pro tip: Want to increase your odds of reaching your goals? Share with a friend. Research shows that when you share your goals, the odds of reaching them increase.
👉🏽 Monica is the Content Manager and Fitness Lead at AlgaeCal. She’s an ACE Certified Personal Trainer and has a B.S. and B.A. from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where she played varsity soccer for four years. She pulls from her experience in athletics and health to contribute to AlgaeCal and has also been featured on myfitnesspal blog, Prevention, and Huffington Post. She shares 4 Resistance Band Exercises You Can Do Anywhere.
#12. Schedule It In Your Calendar
Meghan Stevenson, Your Best Run
Founder and Certified RRCA run coach
The #1 tip I give people is to put workouts on their calendar. Block out the time it takes to get ready, get to where you’re doing the workout, the amount of time you expect to exercise, and how much time you’ll need after (to get to work or home, to change and shower, etc.).
As an example, instead of scheduling my Friday night yoga class from 5pm to 6:15pm (which is the class time) I’ve blocked off 4:30pm to 6:45 pm because I know that I need more time than that to actually go and not be totally stressed about it or forget the class entirely. If you don’t know how long it will take, just add thirty minutes before and after to see if that works. (Or time it the first time you go.) Putting a workout in the calendar adds a layer of accountability and prevents you from accidentally (or accidentally on purpose) scheduling something else at the same time.
👉🏽 Meghan Stevenson is a certified run coach with the Road Runners of America and is studying to be an ACSM certified personal trainer. She wants to help runners like her become better athletes while enjoying their lives. She shares How to Get Back Into Exercising After a Break.
#13. Make a Habit to Stay Consistent
Emma Green, Fun, Food and Fitness
Online Fitness Coach
My number one tip for reaching your fitness goals is to make it a habit. Although they take some initial effort to set up, once they’re in place we don’t have to think it, making it much easier to stay consistent.
Since you are trying to change the way your brain works, it’s important that you don’t overcomplicate things. Your new habit should consist of only one or two steps, nothing more. Keep it simple for now, and then work on other things once you have reached your current goal.
It takes an average of 66 days to form a habit (around 10 weeks) so don’t expect results overnight. This means you have to be patient with your progress and don’t lose confidence in yourself. Take it day by day and it will add up over time.
If you start to doubt yourself during the transitional period, remind yourself why you wanted to make this change in the first place. Don’t forget about the reward that comes with your new habit, and let that be the fuel that keeps you going.
👉🏽 Emma Green (PhD (c), MSc, BSc is an online fitness coach who helps people navigate BS and develop a healthy relationship with food, exercise and their bodies. With a background in Psychology and a Personal Training Certification, she is passionate about taking an evidence-based yet fun approach to fitness.
#14. Build Consistency Into Your Schedule
B.S. Nutrition and Food Studies
The #1 tip I to help someone achieve their health + fitness goals in 2019 is to ensure they are setting a goal which is:
- Realistic, and
- Building consistency into their schedule when it comes to following the goal.
For instance, instead of 2 hours/day for 15 days and a break for 7 weeks because it was too hard and you pulled a muscle injuring yourself – a realistic and
consistent exercise schedule will lead to sustainable, long-term weight-loss. Committing 2 days/week for a year is better than committing 2 hours a day for 2 weeks.
👉🏽 Tehzeeb Lalani is a Mumbai-based nutritionist. She founded Scale Beyond Scale to help individuals see and experience that our body image and sense of self-worth should be determined by what, when and how we eat, not a number on a scale.
#15. Make One or Two Small Changes
A Simple Gold Life
Stop putting so many expectations on being perfect from day one. If you want to be healthier or reach a fitness goal, start with one or two small changes, instead of making over your life to look like the end goal. I see this all the time (and I’m hella guilty for it, too!).
We pick a date that we are going to overhaul our life, so the weekend before we do the shopping, meal prepping, sign up for the classes, decide we’re going to set boundaries at work, clean the house, lay out our clothes, etc. – we are so motivated we can’t even sleep the day before the big change.
Monday rolls around, and it’s still a struggle to get out of bed, but we get through it. We do all the morning things plus squeeze in that pilates class, get a tea instead of a coffee because we’re trying to break that habit too, and by Wednesday/a week later/a month later, we are so exhausted that we end up giving up on our goal. It’s just too much to change in a short amount of time! Instead, start small, one or two changes MAX.
Once those positive changes have become habits, add another something else to your plate until you hit the health or fitness goal you’ve been dreaming of! Bonus tip!! If something isn’t working after a month, feel free to try something new to incorporate that life change. We’re not robots, and we’re not all the same. Keep going until you find YOUR magic pill. because girlfriend you deserve it! 😉
👉🏽 Yazzi is a recovering workaholic and perfectionist who believes happiness is not about the things, it’s all about your desire to accept yourself for who you are – no matter what the world thinks.
#16. Focus on One Thing At a Time
Fitness & Nutrition Coach and Personal Trainer
Focus on one thing at a time. Not 10, not 5, just one. So often when people decide to make health and fitness changes they try to do it all. They massively overhaul their nutrition, layer in fitness all at once. But that rarely ends well (read: it generally ends quickly and leaves you feeling like you’re a failure and you’ll never be successful).
But you can be successful if you start with one habit at a time. Start with something simple you know you can be successful with. I often suggest water. If you’re well hydrated not only will you feel great, you’ll also have more energy and you might even curb that mid-afternoon craving for a sweet treat!
By starting with hydration you can often create a cascade of shifts without even trying. Once you have that one thing under wraps, then (and only then), layer on another. Continue with this process until… ta-da! You’ve got the healthy lifestyle you were dreaming about!
👉🏽 Gillian is a health coach and author of THE ELEPHANT IN THE GYM. Her book came out in Nov 2018 and debuted at #1 in Women’s Health on Amazon. She has designed her work (and her book) around creating a healthy lifestyle that fits YOU, not a media standard. She’s an expert at personalizing fitness to match her client’s needs – whether that be for health or for personality.
#17. Drink Water to Stay Hydrated
Jerry Snider, All In Health and Wellness
Author & Transformation Specialist
The biggest issue most people face today with their health is being dehydrated. Doctors estimate between 50-80% of diseases could be cured or prevented simply by proper hydration. If this is already a big issue, it becomes bigger once someone starts exercising and causing more water loss. When I start clients off on a healthy lifestyle plan, it always starts with increasing water intake. I want people drinking so much water that they are in the bathroom twice as often as usual.
The flip side of hydration is that fluid does not equal water. Drinking anything else isn’t the same as drinking water. Whether it’s coffee, tea, sports drinks, juices, milk products – it doesn’t react the same in the body as simple plain water. I’ve had clients cut back on their smoking simply because they introduced more water to their diet. They stopped drinking sodas which were masking the taste of the cigarettes.
How do you best increase water consumption? Carry a refillable liter-size water bottle with you at all times. Set a reminder on your phone to fill the bottle every two hours. If it’s not empty when the reminder goes off, time to drink it all down.
👉🏽 Jerry Snider is an author and entrepreneur. Earning a degree in Exercise Physiology, coupled with competing at a high level as a distance runner, has given Jerry the knowledge and tools to transform his client’s health and fitness. Read his book, Confidence Through Health: Live the Healthy Lifestyle God Designed.
#18. Consume Healthier Beverages
Brianna Harris, RD, CNSC
VitaCup’s Chief Vitamin Officer
As a registered dietitian, my #1 tip would be to consume healthier beverages. By replacing your sugary beverages with healthier alternatives, you can help with your overall health and fitness goals.
Skip the soda and replace it with sparkling or still water. By skipping one soda a day, you can save on 140 calories per day and 51,100 calories per year. Drink plenty of water throughout your day, so you are hydrated and ready for a good workout.
Staying hydrated can also help out the false hunger cues that make you want to snack even when you’re not hungry. If you don’t like plain water, you can make it delicious by adding lemon slices, orange slices, cucumbers, etc. Also, replace your morning sugary frappuccino with a healthier coffee choice. By switching this out, you can save on over 400 calories per day and over 146,000 calories per year. VitaCup coffee and tea pods have only 5 calories! By drinking at least 1 cup of VitaCup coffee or tea, you can also get a daily dose of vitamins.
👉🏽 Brianna Harris has been a RD for almost 5 years. Starting her career as a clinical dietitian, she works in the ICU at Harbor UCLA and New York Presbyterian Hospital. She obtained her CNSC certification in less than 1 year after becoming a RD. Brianna now works for a company called VitaCup, helping provide daily vitamins and supplements with a morning cup of coffee. VitaCup shares tips for Finding Your Healthy Weight.
#19. Educate Yourself about Health and Fitness
Educate yourself. While it might seem like drastically cutting calories and hitting the gym harder than ever will help you reach all your health and fitness goals for the year, without sufficient knowledge to back up your actions, it will be easy to lose ground fast.
You don’t have to become an expert but simply learning the basics can go a long way towards transforming your diet and fitness routine for the better. Read up online from trusted sources like the Mayo Clinic, Harvard Medical School, and the National Institutes of Health. Helpful topics include:
- What fuel your muscles need after a workout
- How your metabolism works
- What foods deliver your most critical nutrients
- How sleep plays a role in muscle repair
- Proper fitness injury recovery techniques
- The difference between aerobic and anaerobic exercise
- What is your maximum heart rate and why does that matter
- How to measure the intensity of your workouts
👉🏽 Vive Health is committed to helping you maintain your freedom and independence no matter where life takes you.
#20. Find a Way to Shake Your Booty
Founder, BLOCK21 Fitness
Find a way to shake your booty! Whether in your living room, at a workout class, or out with friends on a Friday night, dancing can elevate any fitness routine. You’ll burn calories, build strength, increase flexibility, improve self-esteem, and, most importantly, you’ll have fun while doing it.
Furthermore, a 2017 study concluded that dancing can reverse the signs of aging in the brain. If you can approach fitness with a playful attitude, you’ll eliminate the guilt and obligation that can make your workout feel like a chore. In addition,
it will help make your routine sustainable throughout the year. The best fitness tip I could give is to stop slogging it out on the treadmill (unless it makes your heart sing), and try getting low on the dance floor instead!
👉🏽 Sally started BLOCK21 Fitness because wanted to give everyone a chance to access that feeling while making exercise actually fun at the same time.
#21. Listen to Your Body
My #1 tip for my students is to REALLY listen to your body. Oftentimes we push ourselves to the point where we experience injury. It’s then that we have to take breaks and step back from our progress.
I always tell my students to recognize when something does not feel good and modify it. It’s ok to change things up and we don’t need to feel invincible all the time. Practice moderation and your practice will last you a long time.
👉🏽Alex AKA Schimiggy and I am committed to embracing my (im)perfections every day. I love yoga, food, travel and activewear. At Schimiggy Reviews, you’ll find activewear reviews, travel guides and tips to help you live your best life! Alex shares 7 Superfoods to Boost Your Family’s Healthy Diet.
#22. Do Away with the Diet Mentality
Rachel Fiske, NC, CPT-NASM
Family Living Today
The number one strategy to truly make your 2019 New Years resolutions become a reality is doing away with the diet mentality. A diet is a plan that is considered short term and is usually highly restrictive, meaning it won’t be sustainable for the long run.
In fact, studies show that almost all diets fail to produce long term weight loss. take a step back and consider small yet effective ways to shift your daily patterns around both diet, exercise and stress management to benefit you for the long haul.
For example, implement HIIT (high-intensity interval training) for an efficient workout shown to burn more body fat. Nutritionally, make it a goal to omit all processed/packaged grains and refined sugar like white flours, cakes, cookies, pastries, candy, etc. Just a few simple switches can make a world of difference and be feasible for not only 2019, but for a lifetime.
👉🏽 Rachel studied Holistic Nutrition at Bauman College of Holistic Nutrition and became a Certified Personal Trainer through NASM. Rachel has worked in private practice providing individual support and focusing on issues of weight management, hormonal imbalances, GI issues and more via a whole foods diet and lifestyle. Family Living Today shares 20 Weight Loss Tips For Women.
#23. Do Yoga and Meditation
author, educator, yogi
I believe that more people, in particular students and business professionals, will be drawn towards yoga and meditation in 2019 to help them relieve stress naturally. Yoga and meditation also helps a body to become more centered and helps to set and maintain goals.
Yoga and meditation are very popular because it can be practiced by anyone, any time, anywhere, all ages, no experience required either. There are many online and in person resources and with different styles to match the students’ personality type.
👉🏽Anita Perry is an author, educator, yogi, and blogger with over 40 years in the health and fitness field. She provides yoga instruction and inspiration in group, individual, corporate, and school settings.
#24. Monitor Your Progress Using an App
Health, Wellness, and Lifestyle Journalist
I’ve always been active but struggled for a long time to maintain a daily morning yoga routine. It was always too tempting to stay in bed and sleep past my workout time, and I found myself going weeks without ever getting on the mat.
That changed when I downloaded HabitHub on my phone. This ultra-simple app lets you track the days that you complete predetermined goals, and multiple days in a row start to create visually appealing streaks. After a few days with this app I started to get excited about how long I could make my streaks go, so sleeping in and skipping yoga started to have a higher mental and emotional cost than getting up and doing it. As simple as it sounds, this app truly changed my brain’s approach to morning yoga and made me commit.
👉🏽 Lydia Noyes is a Health, Wellness and Lifestyle Journalist, she reviews products for HighYa. Read reviews of My Fitness Pal, another popular fitness app.
#25. Understand Your Behaviors Before Rushing to Change
Wise & Well Academy
In order to make important lifestyle changes, it’s important to first understand why you behave in the ways that you do. Enter behavior chain analysis.
It sounds complicated, but it’s actually a super simple exercise I use to help guide clients toward a heightened state of self-awareness. Behavior chain analysis is an introspective activity designed to help a person understand the why behind a particular behavior they’re hoping to change. During behavior chain analysis of a problem behavior (for example, frequent overeating), a person tries to uncover all the factors that lead up to that behavior.
In other words, a person explores all the links in the chain that ultimately result in a problem behavior. It will help you figure out all the variables that can contribute to a bad habit or harmful behavior, and in doing so, can give you insight into how to change such behavior.
For example, you may identify the situation you were in, the thoughts you were experiencing, or the feelings you were having just prior to engaging in a problem behavior. In doing so, you can increase your awareness of all the factors that push you to behave in ways that knowingly (or unknowingly) hurt your health. This way, you’re better equipped to intervene early on and prevent that behavior in the future.
A mini-behavior chain analysis may look something like this…
- Step 1: Identify the problem behavior (e.g., I overeat at night)
- Step 2: Sleuth out potential triggers
- Does this always happen or does it only happen under certain circumstances (e.g., when alone, when at my parents)?
- What feelings or emotions tend to trigger this behavior (e.g., stress, depression, boredom, or anger)?
- What thoughts do I have just before, during, or after engaging in the problem behavior?
- Step 3: Based on the identified triggers, identify SMALL modifications to slowly change the behavior (e.g., I’ll call my friend when I’m feeling stressed or I’ll take a walk around the block when I’m feeling bored and tempted to overeat).
- Step 4: Check in on your progress, and remember … change doesn’t happen overnight, so be kind to yourself!
👉🏽Kara is co-founder and Chief Wellness Officer at Wise & Well Academy, a digital hub for online wellness courses and psychology-based resources to help others live happier, healthier, more productive lives. As a psychologist, she firmly believes in developing a healthy mindset (and meaningful friendships) are key to achieving overall success and happiness in life.
#26. Be Mindful of Your Thoughts And Emotions
Scientists have recently determined that it takes approximately 400 repetitions to create a new synapse in the brain – unless it is done with play, in which case, it takes between 10 and 20 repetitions! So the quickest way to make positive changes is to make them joyfully.
We all know when we are overeating. Therefore, the next time you find yourself in the midst of overeating, try asking yourself this one simple life-changing question, “Is it my body that is hungry or my soul?”
The mindfulness that instantaneously results from that question, frees you to think of all the things that could bring you lasting pleasure that very moment. It could, for instance, be reaching out to someone lonely by calling or texting them, stepping outside for a bit to breathe in some nature, or just focusing on being grateful for what you have. Whatever fills your hungry soul is effective.
Suddenly you have brought a deep and lasting type of pleasure that you were genuinely craving into your life. The inner emptiness is gone. And that big bag of potato chips has stopped calling your name so loudly.
👉🏽 Bracha Goetz is not your typical Harvard grad, as she’s the author of 37 simply written spiritual picture books. Her books are designed to make life’s deepest concepts clear so each uniquely beautiful soul can shine. She’s the author of “Searching for God in the Garbage”
#27. Start Eating More Mindfully
Health & Fitness Blogger
Step 1. Make a list of your Eating Habits
Note down every single thing you literally eat every day, whether or not they are healthy! This will help you figure out your nutrition habits and will provide you with a chance to improve it.
Read food labels carefully. “Many pre-packaged foods such as sauces, marinades, and spice mixes can all contain elements you don’t wanna ingest, as do ready-made meals and snacks, crisps, pretzels and other savory snack foods are also included.
By paying close attention to the types of food, and the amounts, you’re eating, you’ll begin to have better control over your hunger and the types and amounts of food you eat. This will thus help you improve your nutritional habits.
Step 2. Replace those unhealthy habits with new, healthy ones
For example, in reflecting upon your eating habits, you may realize that you eat too fast when you eat alone. So, make a commitment to share lunch each week with a colleague, or have a neighbor over for dinner one night a week.
Other strategies might include putting your fork down between bites or minimizing other distractions (i.e. watching the news during dinner) that might keep you from paying attention to how quickly — and how much — you’re eating.
Step 3. Eat Mindfully
Eating mindfully is a phrase that gets thrown around quite often but if you begin to understand what it actually means, you’ll understand why doing so is so important.
Just as many people simply eat food or exercise, eating mindfully is a practice that allows you to control food intake and hunger rather than being controlled by hunger and the temptation to finish your meal.
Of course, this works in conjunction with food tracking, but having a better understanding of how to eat intuitively for your own body will allow you to have real control over what you eat and how much of it you eat.
👉🏽 Rohit Sahu is a Professional Health & Fitness blogger.
#28. Implement a Weight Loss Plan
Certified Fitness Professional, ThinkHealthyFITNESS
A. Do a Carbohydrate Detox
When I am referring to a detox, I am not talking about a juice cleanse or drinking nothing but tea for a week (I don’t recommend this). What I mean is to abstain from carbohydrates for a short period of time.
During this time, you would consume NOTHING but lean protein and green veggies. Follow this for about one week, then begin to SLOWLY incorporate more nutrient-dense foods like more vegetables, complex carbohydrates, and lean protein sources.
This will allow for quick weight loss. I myself lost 8 pounds in one week and one of my challengers’s from my weight loss program lost 7 pounds in her first week! Very Important! During the time of the carb detox, I would not exercise AT ALL other than for 30 minutes of walking every day.
Tip: To help you with food cravings, consume 1 teaspoon of apple cider vinegar diluted in an 8 oz glass of water before a meal twice a day.
B. Apply Intermittent Fasting
Intermittent Fasting has been shown to provide a number of different health benefits including weight loss.
Intermittent fasting is not a diet, it is simply an eating pattern where you cycle between periods of fasting and eating, so you would still need to incorporate a healthy diet along with it.
Some of the most beneficial effects of intermittent fasting are Boost in natural metabolism (1), normalizes leptin, helps retain lean muscle mass (2), and it improves insulin sensitivity (3).
We’ve all been told to eat 5 meals a day, but this is another weight loss myth. Here are two studies to prove that there is no difference in energy expenditure when increasing meal frequency (4,5)
C. Start Incorporating a mix of HIIT, Strength Training, and Cardio
To really see any effect on weight loss, you want to include one of the three a MINIMUM of three times a week. I recommend strength training 3-4 times a week alternating between HIIT and strength training.
In addition to this, I would also recommend including at least 30 minutes of cardio after your workout sessions.
👉🏽 Brian Kiselstein is the co-founder of thinkhealthyfitness.com, where he teaches men and women of all ages how to lose weight and build a better body by incorporating an overall healthier lifestyle. He is a certified fitness professional with over 10 years of experience. Brian shares How to Lose 20 Pounds In A Month.
Achieve Your Health and Fitness Goals
Are you excited to reach your health and fitness goals? To get up, get moving, eat better, love your body and more? To live a truly healthy life?
I know I am! The collected wisdom in this post has done what no one else could do before, it’s got me moving my body! I’m up, I refuse to sit in this chair every day and forget about taking care of my health.
I hope you’ll make the same commitment to making one small change today, that can change your life forever. You don’t have to reset your entire life, you just need to start a new healthy habit. That’s it!
A habit to love your body, to be mindful of your eating, to move your body, to drink water – you decide.
Get Your Printable Habit Tracker Templates
Ready to create a new habit that helps you reach your health and fitness goals? Get your FREE printable habit tracker templates, with spreads for 30 and 31 days. Just pick a habit, print and check off the days as you go.
You can live a healthy and happy life! It all just starts with you making a decision to take action today.
Don’t wait for things to be perfect, for you to have hours to exercise or prep fancy meals, simply make better choices with the time, money, and energy you have every single day. A healthier snack, practice Tai Chi, a walk around the block, perhaps even a dance break during the workday.
What are you waiting for? It’s time to reach your health and fitness goals!
It feels so good to love your body and treat it right.
Want to reach your fitness goals this year? Tired of not exercising or eating healthy? Click here for 28 ways to achieve your health goals. #HealthyLifestyle #FitnessGoals #HealthGoals #FitnessMotivation
How will you reach your health and fitness goals?
Last Updated on December 12, 2021
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