When Christmas and New Years (and all the parties!) come to an end, many of us are mortified to find our clothes too tight and the scale much higher than we like! Now is the time when so many of us create New Year’s resolutions. What can we do to maximize our success?
As a trained Life Coach, the first thing that comes to mind for me is to be very realistic in our goals. We should be bold in our resolutions, yet realistic. Secondly – and this is key – we need to break our goals down into manageable steps we can do every day, or at least most days. Third, we need some accountability. And lastly, many of us benefit from having a reward or penalty for sticking or not sticking to our plan.
Realistically, if you have never been one to exercise, it may make more sense to aim to do a class at the gym 3-4 days per week, rather than plan on doing 3 hours a day at the gym. Sure, there are people who do go to the gym for 3 hours per day, but is that going to be you 3 weeks into the New Year, once that initial excitement has faded? Probably not. With focused effort, you can likely accomplish your goals in one hour of gym time.
It is great to have a set amount of weight you want to lose – whether that be 10 lbs or 100 lbs. However, remember that the closer you get to your ideal weight, the harder it is to lose those last few pounds. One of the things that I have repeatedly observed in women is that they go on strict diets and work out faithfully for 3-4 weeks. At the end of this time period, they weigh themselves and low and behold, not one pound has been lost. They get frustrated and quickly return to their previous eating patterns.
What can you do to minimize this effect? My strong suggestion is to NOT weigh yourself for at least 6 weeks. Or better yet, until you feel that your clothes are looser. I have many patients who will take advantage of something such as Sculpsure (a non-invasive way to reduce fat but not weight) at the beginning of their diet to increase their likelihood of seeing a noticeable difference in their body sooner even without a decrease in the umber on the scale. It can reduce the fat in a given area by up to 24%. However, as I always stress, this still means that 76% of your fat is left behind. There is no substitute for better dieting and exercising if you want to look your best. But Sculpsure is a great way to jumpstart your success and is also an incredible catalyst for success.
A slow, steady weight loss of 1-2 pounds per week is realistic and sustainable. I am also a great fan of our Paleo Meal Replacement to help you achieve this. However, I will be the first to admit that there are many good diet plans besides the one that I am suggesting, but my staff and I have had great success with it.
It is extremely helpful to have someone you are accountable to. It is best if you can find an exercise and diet partner. If not, you should keep a log and make sure that you share your progress daily. Knowing that someone (besides yourself) is going to be checking is a huge motivator.
Most people will do better if they plan on having certain rewards for sticking to their plan. It can be helpful if they will also include some “penalties.” These are not meant to be hard on your ego and make you feel bad about yourself but rather to motivate you. They can be things like giving a certain amount of charity each time you break your plan or could be extra sit-ups or giving your partner a massage (assuming that feels at least a tad bit like punishment to you, that is!)
For those select patients who want to work more closely with me on the above, I do offer life coaching by phone. If this is an area you could use some help with, please do not hesitate to contact my office at 703-406-2444 to further discuss!