By: Corbin Williams, NPTI-CPT
Personal Trainer/Nutrition Coach
It is January and the beginning of the New Year once again. It is a tradition to make ourselves New Year resolutions as well. Sometimes (and hopefully most times) these resolutions are something to better ourselves. The most common one is “I will lose weight this year“. The problem is, however, how many times do these resolutions get made and then not get followed through to the end result? Most people will forget or lose interest in them before the end of the month. So, why is it so hard to stick to a plan that will better your life and make you healthy and strong? Let’s investigate three questions and answers to guide you in your quest for a healthy lifestyle.
1) What kind of goal should I set:
While it is great to make an ultimate goal, the number one reason most people fail in their resolution is because their goals are un-realistic. Be true to yourself and set smaller and obtainable goals. There are three kinds of goals, mini goals, benchmark goals, and final goals. Your mini goals are ones you will reach every day or every week. Just getting to the gym is a mini goal. A benchmark would be losing the first 5 pounds then the next 5 until finally we have reached the final goal. To start I want you to focus on setting yourself a mini goal. Make it just to get yourself to the gym every day. Next, Instead of focusing on losing 20 pounds by beach time, try to focus on only 1 pound a week. It is more realistic and easier to obtain. When focusing on 1 pound a week it makes the goal seem so much smaller and easy to obtain results. When we see results each week we will be more motivated to keep going.
2) How do I obtain my goal:
Always remember this, if you remove 3500 calories a week by changing your diet and increasing your activity level you will lose 1 pound of fat a week. Now the question becomes, how do I do this? The first thing we need to figure out is how many calories you are taking in right now on average/week. Once you determine this (be honest) then you can figure out where to cut the calories and how much more you need to exercise to burn the rest. An easy figure is 500 calories a day. 500cals/day X 7 days a week = 3500cals/week. But you don’t have to starve yourself, in fact you don’t want your body to go into starvation mode or else it will start packing on the weight. So only try cutting the diet by 250cals/day and increase your activity level enough to burn the other 250cals/day. For example: a soda has about 140cals/12oz serving and a slice of bread is about 110cals. Right there is 250cals. Cut both of them out and you have changed your intake. Next, it’s time to go for a BRISK walk around the block. Therefore, the easy way to think about this without making it difficult is just eat less and exercise more. Yes, it’s that easy.
3) What do I do when I hit a plateau:
Here is where people get frustrated and quit. “I have been working so hard and have been so strict on myself, but I don’t seem to be losing anymore weight.” This is a common place to be. But do not fear. It is a simple fix. All you have to do is change your program. You currently are only cutting out 500 calories total, 250cals from your diet and burning an extra 250cals through exercise. Now you need to change those numbers. Your body has reached the point where now your current caloric intake is only maintaining your weight. Now you have three options, 1: cut more calories from your diet. 2: increase your exercise intensity or 3: both 1 and 2. As you guessed it choosing the third option is the best route. It doesn’t take much of a change to cut out another 50cals and increase your walk to a jog. Next time cut out 50 more and start running. Then finally you will begin to get into more advanced workouts (such as interval training) and will likely be looking for better and more nutritious options for your meals (such as more vegetables and less sugar). When you notice you are not moving the scale, it is time to make the adjustment. Hitting a plateau only means you have likely reached a benchmark goal and now you can work on reaching the next one.
This New Year, I want you to go ahead and make that resolution to lose weight. Make this a truly happy year by changing your total lifestyle, becoming healthy, and feeling great about yourself. I know you can and will do it and now that you know the basics of how to get there, nothing can stop you. Just remember, you can’t out exercise a bad diet. Simply put, eat right and exercise more. If you still have any doubts or fears then it might be worth working with someone who can motivate you and develop a program that will keep you on track and melting away. Good luck to you all and HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!
Corbin Williams, NPTI-CPT
Certified Strength and Conditioning Coach
Certified Nutrition Coach
Graduated from the National Personal Training Institute
Owner and operator of GetReal Training, LLC