Often with the New Year, come popular resolutions of wanting to get in the best shape of their life; wanting to lose weight; or wanting to get back to the gym. With over 10 years of experience in the fitness world, I have seen many groups of “New Year Resolutioners” at the gym that quickly stop coming or working towards their goals because results are not immediate.

We live in an immediate gratification society and if we don’t see reward instantly, often people stop. Weight loss is hard, very hard, and it can be very frustrating.  Here are some of the tips that I coach to my clients.

1) Focus on going from A-B, and not, A-Z. If you have 50lbs to lose, don’t expect to lose it in the first week.  Instead of setting the tone for wanting to lose 50lbs, and being discouraged that you only lost 3lbs, set small goals and build to the big bigger.  I would suggest setting weekly goals, e.g. 2lbs a week and before you know it, you would’ve hit 10lbs, 15lbs, etc.

2) Set SMART goals:  Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Timely.  These types of goals are effective as they are easy to be held accountable too and keep you from setting grandiose goals.

3) Find your support team.  This journey can be tough and it is quintessential to find workout buddies; individuals that will eat healthy with you; and people that will not let you steer off your path.  I would also recommend hiring a professional.  Find a trainer to help you with a workout plan. Join group exercise classes where the experts can lead you to success.  Schedule time with a nutritionist to help you create your individual meal plan.

4) Create a plan!  In order to be successful, you have to map it out.  Take pictures, meal prep, journal, schedule workouts, and do whatever it takes to get your goals in action. Without a plan, you are unlikely to succeed.

5) If you fall down, get back up! Many people have a “cheat day” or “skip a workout”.  Well, that doesn’t mean you throw everything away.  For instance, if you dropped your cell phone, would you pick it up, dust it off, and keep going or would you smash it into the wall into it crumbled into pieces?  No one is perfect.  If you deviate, just get back up and back on track, as opposed to quitting.

Lastly, do not let the scale determine your worth or progress.  Keep not scale measures on the forefront, such as loser clothes; improved energy; increased strength and endurance; and better recovery.  After competing in fitness competitions; I can tell you that I have personally experience body transformations with very little, if any, “weight” changes.

2014 is here … set your goals … build your support team … and make it healthy and happy!

Happy New Year!
Lauren Simms, MA, MNT
Clinical Nutritionist and Personal Trainer