Holidays Are Over!
Finally, the holidays are over. Time to get back to reality. This post features 10 easy tips to reach your weight and fitness goals this year.
While it’s awesome to have time off, see family and friends, and have lots of time together, it’s also challenging to our health and fitness plans. Your gym might be closed, have different hours, and classes are canceled. There seem to be luscious treats everywhere! The office potluck, food gifts at home, parties at friends, and even fudge at the dry cleaner’s. Fattening goodies are at every turn. Plus, the food seems to be calling you from the kitchen especially when you are lounging around at home unexpectedly.
Let’s Get Started…Again! And, That’s Okay!
Now, the good news is that the holidays are over. Now is the best time of year to recommit to your healthy lifestyle. We are going to showcase 10 easy tips to reach your weight and fitness goals this year. Did you set any health-related goals? Any fitness ones? Weight loss goals?
To launch a successful year in reaching your weight and fitness goals, we have compiled a checklist to get you recalibrated and remotivated to eat healthy, get back on track, and rev up your fitness in the new year. So, let’s put the holidays behind us and look forward to a great year ahead of us.
Here’s how you can get back on track quickly and reach your weight and fitness goals! Follow the checklist for an inspiring and actionable to the new year!
Start Your Clean Slate Here!
#1 Set your SMART goals
Get the new year started off right! Setting goals, actually writing each one down, is empowering. Take a look at a business approach to setting goals, called SMART goals. While SMART goal setting is a strategy used by businesses, you can accomplish your goals in fitness, weight loss, and even personal finance by following the same strategy.SMART stands for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Timely (or similar acronyms like Realistic rather than Relevant).
Whether you are trying to lose extra weight from the holidays or find your fitness groove again, you are more likely to have success when you write your goals down. Write down specific goals, make them measurable (i.e, weight, exercise minutes). Are your goals achievable? Relevant? Attach a deadline for each goal.
Here is an example from our friend who gained three pounds in a couple weeks over the holidays from eating too many Christmas cookies, missing a couple of days at the gym, and having too many indulgent dinners. To get back on track with her weight and fitness goals, she is following the SMART system.
An Example of SMART Goal Setting
- Specific: Lose 5 pounds (she decided to lose a few extra ones just in case).
- Measurable: Weigh-in once a week
- Achievable and Relevant: Yes to both
- Timely: 6 weeks from today (February 9, 2019)
As you can see, her goal follows the SMART system and is achievable, meaning she can actually reach this goal if she creates and follows an action plan.
You can develop 2-3 goals and break them into manageable parts. Start accomplishing each one. Now that you have set your SMART goals, you will need to develop action steps, the strategies on how to accomplish your goal. Set reasonable deadlines to achieve each of those steps – daily action items, weekly ones, etc.
Read through the next nine tips that can help you accomplish your weight and fitness goals.
#2 Get a journal and track, track, track
We love our food and fitness journals at FitFortyForever! Again, when you are accountable and working to reach a SMART goal, you need to track your food and exercise. This is similar to tracking your money and spending. It’s the same principle – you can’t spend what you don’t have in your bank account or you’ll be in the red.
To help you track and accomplish your goals, here are some popular journals from Amazon to start the new year with a fresh outlook.
Breaking Bad Habits? Try Better Than Before
From Amazon: Habits are the key to all our successes and challenges in life, and there is no better way to change your habits than to track them. Better Than Before: A Day-by-Day Journal provides you with a year’s worth of prompts that help you identify habits you’d like to change and strengthen habits you wish to adopt, as well as helpful quizzes and eye-opening tips on habit formation. Each weekly entry also features “habit-tracker” to mark down specific goals both big and small. As the pages fill, you’ll discover your own unique path—a practical, concrete framework that helps you to understand your habits and to change them for good.
New Food Journal for New Year? Try 12 Week Food Journal and Fitness Tracker
From Amazon: When your goal is to lose weight, every day counts. Starting at day one, the 12-Week Food Journal and Fitness Tracker will help you set
your weight loss goal and meet your goal with an action-oriented plan based on your needs and routine.
Over a 12-week period, you will plan meals, keep track of nutritional information, and record your exercise habits. An easy-to-use layout with a large format provides the space and structure you need to balance your daily calorie intake and activity.
Be grateful and plan ahead: Try Food Journal & Fitness Diary with Daily Gratitude and Meal Planner for Healthy Living and Weight Loss Diet
From Amazon: This is a guided journal to help you achieve your diet and fitness goals, develop positive habits, eat healthier and be happier. Also, this diary is a wellness planner with daily gratitude, food journal, personal meal planner, workout schedule, habit tracker and goal progress review. The Food Journal & Fitness Diary is 5.5 x 8-inch hardcover notebook, 240 pages of thick paper, covering 90 days. Made of vegan eco-friendly materials and comes with an elastic pen holder, closure band, 2 bookmarks and a pocket for notes.
Or, try some of our favorite food and fitness journals app versions from LoseIt and MyFitnessPal
#3 Invest in fitness books, healthy recipe, and weight loss books
Check out our recommendations from Amazon of the most popular fitness, healthy recipe, and weight loss books.
Books are a great way to find motivation, learn something new, and get fresh ideas.
#4 Declutter to lose weight
Really? Yes, decluttering and organizing your cooking space – the kitchen – is a great way to simplify your life and reach your goals. Eating Well suggests the following to help you lose weight by decluttering:
- organize the fridge
- keep smaller bowls and plates at eye level in the cabinets
- prep portion-controlled meals and snacks
- keep water in plain sight
Also, just cleaning and organizing your house, in general, clears your head and makes planning and eating healthy easier. According to the study reported on by The American Association of Nurse Anesthetists, people with messy or cluttered homes are 77 percent more likely to be overweight or obese. Your head is abuzz with all the clutter. It’s hard to stay focused on a health plan amid a messy home and kitchen. Organization guru Peter Walsh thinks it’s because people can’t make their best choices—their healthiest choices—in a cluttered, messy, disorganized home.
#5 Incorporate a new exercise into your routine or a class
There is something magical and rejuvenating when you try something new. And, adding a new exercise to your fitness plan is no different. Our friend at FitFortyForever was always switching up her fitness routine. On a weekly basis, she incorporated running, power walking, spinning, weight training, as well as the stairclimber and elliptical machines for her exercise. Recently, her orthopaedist told her that she should no longer do any high impact sports like running, power walking and even stairclimbing.
While she could still spin, weight train, and do the elliptical, she craves the variety with her exercise. So what happened? She took up her childhood sport – swimming. Fortunately, her gym had a lap pool.
To her the idea of swimming was boring. But, her choices were limited with no high impact sports. She found a foundational swim class at her gym which improved her swimming technique and met some new swim-loving friends. She learned to incorporate fun swimming routines by finding swim workouts online. Now, she swims almost every day, does weight training and spins on other days. Maybe best of all, she even dropped a few pounds.
To freshen up your own routine, try our Exercise Shuffle. For instance, at the gym, break your 60-minute routine into segments of 5 to 15
minutes each and do a different cardio machine for each segment. The time flies by as you rotate through a circuit of your own design. Read more here at End Exercise Boredom with an Exercise Shuffle!
Another way to add variety to your program is to consider using the Aaptiv app. It’s the number one, audio- fitness app in the iTunes store. With more than 2,500 workouts on the Aaptiv platform, there’s a workout for everyone. Elliptical, stairclimber, spinning, running, walking, stretching, yoga, and more workouts than you’ll ever need. It’s a fantastic boost to your workout routine!
#6 Cook more at home
Cooking at home is key to maintaining control over your food plan and health. While eating out is convenient and delicious, frequent fast food and restaurant meals come at a price. Usually, that cost is a higher calorie, higher fat, and higher sodium meals. A 2014 study published in the journal Public Health Nutrition found that people who eat more meals at home consumed 200 fewer calories than those who ate at restaurants.
A good compromise between the joy of eating out and the routine of cooking at home is for you might be a meal delivery service, like Sun Basket.
Here at FitFortyForever, we’ve been enjoying Sun Basket for several months. It’s is a very easy way to add excitement to your weeknight dinners. We order two dinners (for four people), twice a week. The “basket” (or box) arrives on Tuesdays via Federal Express. Along with insulated, frozen packaging, each meal is contained in recyclable material and the ingredients are clearly marked. Each box also includes full recipe instructions in a very attractive and comprehensive brochure with more information than you’ll ever need to prepare the meals.
Enjoy a large variety of meals with Sun Basket
With Sun Basket, we can select from a variety of menu options – about 18 each week, including vegan options. This meal delivery service is a great way to commit to eating a meatless meal a night or two each week. Some of our favorite Sun Basket dishes are Honey Harissa Pork Chops with Spiced Chickpeas & Chard and Red Lentil & (vegan) Chickpea Dal with Butternut Squash & Pita. All the vegetables are organic and you can select organic meats as well. Check out our special offer for FitFortyForever readers: Take $45 off your first and second deliveries combined!
#7 Drink more water
Always a great suggestion! Water serves many purposes, including keeping your stomach full. Sometimes you might mistake hunger for thirst, so it’s always a good idea to have a bottle of water close by.
Our friend has taken to bringing her own bottle of water to family get-togethers and parties to eliminate overindulging in food and alcohol. The bottle serves both as a way to fill her stomach when she isn’t hungry as well as a reminder of her healthy lifestyle goals.
There are numerous benefits to drinking more water. For starters, water supports the balance of fluids in your body. And, drinking more water is a great tool for weight maintenance and weight loss, providing no calories. Water creates a sense of fullness in your stomach from just a glass or two.
Enjoy the many benefits of water
For better athletic performance, water can energize muscles and assist in removing toxins from the body. Plus, drinking water can make your skin look younger. (When you are dehydrated, your skin shows more wrinkles and lines.) Jazz up your water by adding a little lemon juice and drink the lemon water before each meal. You may find your appetite is reduced. In fact, drinking a couple of extra glasses of water a day may assist in weight maintenance.
So, drink a glass or two of water when you feel like eating and see if you are still hungry after a few minutes. Water makes you feel fuller, even temporarily. According to an American Chemical Society clinical study, drinking water before each meal can result in a 75 calorie reduction in the food that you will eat. So, drink up the next time you want to reduce your appetite! Just plain cold water in an attractive bottle may help inspire you to drink more water. For more appetite reducing ideas like drinking more water, read: 10 Best Appetite Suppressant Tips.
#8 Step on the scale and get accountable
Are you trying to get back to reach your weight goal? Then, you need to know where to start. Yes, step on that scale! This has been an ongoing mantra for us at FitFortyForever. Weigh yourself frequently, at least once a week, will help you reach your weight loss goal and is critical to successful weight maintenance.
After eating all those Christmas cookies, our friend reluctantly showed up to her weekly weigh-in at Weight Watchers. She was scared to go weigh-in and thought about skipping her weekly weigh-in. It was painful to see that two-pound weight gain for a total of three pounds gained over the holiday.
But, the weight gain was modest and she set up an action plan, using the SMART goal setting technique to lose those pounds and maybe a few more. If she had skipped her weigh-in like, then she might be looking at more than a three-pound gain. Knowledge is power and control. By knowing her weight and possible gain, she was accountable and took action.
In fact, weighing yourself every day can help you reach your weight loss goals, according to authors from the University of Pittsburgh School of Nursing and University of California, San Francisco School of Medicine. Those participants that weighed themselves daily lost about 1.7% of their weight. Those participants that didn’t weigh-in did not lose any weight. The study’s participants weighed themselves every day for a year. Now, a third of those participants have continued the daily weigh-in habit. Knowledge is power and it’s important to know what you weigh as a launching point to achieving your goals.
#9 Weigh and measure your food and drink, too
Weighing and measuring your food gives you accurate information on the correct portion size and calories (or points). This is vital in keeping yourself accountable and honest. By weighing your food and using measuring cups, you should eliminate unnecessary calories. Just leave your scale on the counter, along with liquid and dry measuring cups as well as tablespoons. Then, you’ll be able to weigh and measure your food easily. Use a digital kitchen scale to weigh foods. This will be more accurate, faster, and easier to use than an old-fashioned spring-loaded scale. With a digital scale, you can easily zero out the weight of a plate and select different units of measure.
#10 Visualize your success
One of our favorite books is Creative Visualization: Use the Power of Your Imagination to Create What You Want in Your Life by Shakti Gawain. This book explains how you can use creative visualization to help you reach your goals and attain your dreams.
From Amazon: Gawain’s clear writing style and vivid examples make Creative Visualization easy to read. Whether you read it for general inspiration or to achieve specific goals, Creative Visualization remains a profoundly powerful resource from a uniquely warm and wise teacher.
It’s important overall to think positively and believe that you can achieve your goals and dreams. However, it’s equally important to develop achievable goals and make detailed plans to accomplish them. What better way to start the new year than the power of positive thinking as you recommit to your goals?
10 Easy Tips to Reach Your Weight and Fitness Goals This Year
These 10 tips and ideas above are designed for you to reach your weight and fitness goals. The most important step in reaching your goals is to follow the SMART approach as detailed in the first tip. The remaining tips are designed for you to have an easier time reaching your goals. You can do this and we are here to inspire you with tips, tricks, and suggestions.
Plus, explore our other blog posts related to this topic for additional ideas and inspiration to reach your weight goals and reach your fitness goals.
- Five Quick Ways to Refresh Your Motivation
- Five More Quick Ways to Refresh Your Motivation
- 8 Tips to Recover from Overeating
- 8 Ways to Stay Fit and Healthy This Year
- Exercise to Reduce Menopausal Symptoms