The holiday season is now behind us and you can’t believe what the scale is reading. How on Earth did I manage to put that much weight on? We’ve all been there, and now it’s time to put away those holiday sweaters and focus on shedding those extra pounds. Everyone wants to lose weight as quickly as they put it on, but this can be challenging in the post-holiday period. With the right approach there’s no reason why you can’t be successful and beat the holiday bulge. Here are five simple steps for getting back into shape.
1. Get the right mindset. It sounds obvious, but you must want to lose weight in order to shed those pounds. Start with a clear SMART target (specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and time limited) and then work in a consistent manner toward achieving your goal. The best way of making this a reality is to have a clear long-term and short-term vision of the sort of person you want to be. For example, you may decide that shedding a couple pounds is your short term goal, but long term you want to set a higher standard of healthy eating and a better lifestyle. Short term goals are important in providing you with some immediate motivation and allowing you to gauge your progress toward longer term objectives. The key is to set some clearly defined targets and track your progress.
2. Watch what you eat. Eating more calories than you burn with physical activity is the underlying cause of weight gain. Research the calorie values of different foods and set a daily target calorie intake. This might be a bit time consuming when you start the process, but with time it will become second nature. It’s a good idea to work out a set menu for the week when you start a new diet and track the number of calories you’re consuming.
3. Exercise. The more exercise you do, the more calories you’ll burn and the less weight you’ll gain. It’s that simple. Obviously, you’ll need to choose the right exercise program for you and make sure it’s one that you can stick to. The best way is to find several forms of exercise that are fun and fit in with your other commitments. A variety of exercise will ensure that different parts of your body are stimulated and that the effects are more rapid and noticeable. Not sure if ready to commit to membership? Many gym’s offer a free trial pass that allow you to check them out first.
4. Keep a record or journal. It’s vital that you record your progress over each week via a spreadsheet, table or journal. Seeing the progress you’ve made serves as a powerful incentive and maintains your motivation during the difficult times. You’ll also be able to recognize signs that your progress is slipping and rectify the situation more quickly if you have a good set of records to look back on. Keeping a journal is another good idea as you can record your thoughts and feelings and reflect on the more challenging times throughout your weight loss program.
5. Get some support. Don’t try to lose weight alone. Tell your family and friends what your weight loss goals are and ask them for support. They can help by giving encouragement, exercising with you or even joining you on a weight loss program. There are many weight loss support groups, and there will almost certainly be one near where you live. Bite the bullet and go along to one of these classes – chances are that you will make some good friends and enjoy the social aspect of losing weight with like-minded people.
Here are a few great women’s workouts to help get you on the right track.