It’s that time of year again when we start over with a clean slate. If you are like most people you have given up on your fitness resolutions, at least, a few times. The only way we learn is from our mistakes. Most important is to have goals and a plan of action. A sound nutritional and fitness program is crucial.

There are many things that may drive people to finally succeed. The doctor may have told you that you are pre- diabetic or have high blood pressure. Whatever your situation, It’s your journey, so why not enjoy the travel to your destination?

Here are four sure-fire ways to lose the weight and keep it off.

  1. The best exercise is the one you will do!

Of course, there are exercises that have more of a metabolic demand but even something as simple as a brisk walk will bring about weight loss. It’s a great place to start if you are new to fitness or returning from an injury. A walk will bring about physiological changes that prepare the mind and body for future bouts of more strenuous exercise.

  1. Have a clear goal in mind.

Make sure you know exactly what you want to achieve this year. Decide the where, what, why and how you are going to accomplish your goals.  An example is where will you work out? What type of workout? What will I eat? And how long will it take?

As with any other endeavor, if you fail to plan you plan to fail. With an already hectic schedule, like juggling kids, work, and home, you must be organized.

  1. Nutrition

It’s okay if you mess up and have that chocolate cake because each moment is a new beginning. Many people will have that desert and then give up. Even worse they may skip their regular meals because they cheated, don’t do it. It will only cause a vicious cycle of more cravings. Remember it’s not all or nothing. Sometimes it takes years for people to finally achieve their goals.

Diet accounts for at least 85 percent of weight loss. You will actually lose weight without exercise if you give your diet a complete makeover. With most people if they make dietary changes the weight will start coming off.

Remember a number of calories you take in is as important as your food choices. A great tool is an online calorie calculator, which you can find on Google. There you can enter in age, weight, gender, activity level.

Make a grocery list and buy all your food and storage containers for lunches and meals on the go.  Pick two days a week to prep meals in advance for easy freezing and refrigeration. For example, you may do your food prep on Mondays and Wednesdays. It will keep you from making bad food choices when in a pinch.  Grill and bake meats, steam rice and roast vegies etc.

The use of whey protein for snacks is very convenient. Do you ever feel cranky or hungry around 11:00 AM and 2:00 PM? This is when blood sugar and Glutamine levels drop and the use of a snack at strategic times during the day can ward off cravings. This can not only curb cravings but ease you off of sugary foods.

Keep it simple. So many times people try to give nutritional advice only to make things more confusing for the individual trying to accomplish weight loss. There are many fad diets. How do you choose the right meal plan? One thing doctors, physique athletes, researchers, and nutritionists worldwide agree on is the use of a low carb diet.

Taking out the guesswork, a 2012 study in the Journal of the American medical association finds greater weight loss occurs with a low-carb, low-glycemic, and high-fat diet. The body uses calories less efficiently on a low carb diet than calories from a low-fat diet, resulting in greater weight loss.

Don’t make things difficult. Many people advocate all organic, of course, it’s better but don’t put off changing your diet because you can’t afford all organic. Make the changes you can today.

The quality of the food you eat totally determines the outcome of your health and appearance. So don’t choose hot dogs over fresh lean meats like chicken, fish and beef etc. Don’t choose bread over fresh veggies, sweet potatoes, and whole grains. Choose more nutrient dense foods that the body can utilize, rather than calorie dense foods devoid of nutrients.

  1. The workout
  • Start with a full body resistance workout
  • Use exercises that are more metabolically demanding. Instead, of sit-ups use bodyweight squats. You will burn more calories this way.
  • Perform workout 3 times per week.
  • Do 2 sets of each move to start and gradually build to 4 sets.
  • Keep rest periods at a minimum. Only rest 30 seconds and decrease to 10 seconds as your conditioning improves
  • Choose a challenging weight, but not so heavy you cannot finish.

Short rest periods in the above-mentioned workout it is a great combination of cardiovascular and resistance training, therefore, persons new to exercise may opt out of cardio.

You may train this way for six months before changing  to a 4-6 day a week split, with no workout ever longer than 30 minutes! Always keep the body guessing by changing movements every third workout. This also keeps your workouts from going stale. There are many good books on resistance training.

Summary

You are unique and your workout should be tailored to your lifestyle. Do what you are capable of. People make the mistake of trying to keep up with others. Set reasonable goals for yourself and then stick to the plan.

Before beginning a fitness program you should consult your physician.  And always remember you can’t out-exercise a bad diet.