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Did you know there are different body types and each one requires a slightly different approach to training and nutrition? Take a minute to identify your body type to tackle your fitness goals with a deeper understanding of how your unique body type responds to diet and exercise.
Have you been winging your trips to the grocery store, picking items off the shelf that you think are "healthy"? If so, you could use some guidance. Take a look at this clean eating grocery guide to make sure you are on the right track and in the right aisles!
You've gone grocery shopping, now it's time to meal prep. If you need some best practices, take a look at this guide for advice on prepping meals that taste great and will get you closer to your fitness goals.
You're working out, eating healthy...but what about your supplement routine? Supplements can enhance the effort you are putting into your training and nutrition. If you're just starting a fitness journey, pre-workout supplements can give you the energy and focus you need to get up and get to the gym.
Read more about how pre-workouts can help you achieve your fitness goals here:
When it comes to setting goals based on your "purpose", the biggest mistake you could make is being too vague. Jotting down “get into shape” or “lose weight” isn't enough. You need clear, concise (and realistic) goals.
“Reduce my body fat to "x" percentage"
“Incorporate workouts into my life 3-5 days a week"
“Add an extra 1-2 servings of veggies each day"
“Bring a healthy lunch from home 2-3 days a week instead of eating lunch out each day”
What goals are you going to set for your weight loss journey?
Spend time on this step. It will make all the difference later on.
Step 2: Have a Realistic Plan
I talked about igniting the spark by finding purpose and setting a goal. Now what?
As the popular saying goes, “a goal without a plan is just a wish!"
There are a few key elements for making a weight loss plan stick:
Think about past goals you've set and the challenges you faced. What prevented you from reaching your full potential? Was it making the time for consistent, quality training? What about poor nutritional habits during the workday, at home, or both?
If you can identify obstacles ahead of time, you can be prepared to overcome them.
It may not seem like it if you've failed to reach your goals in the past, but trust me: your problems have solutions!
For example, if you tend to make poor food choices when you're on the go, make it a point to educate yourself on healthy restaurant options, or plan ahead and prepare meals/snacks to carry with you.
If time is an issue, start small. Dedicate 15 minutes to a workout every day but do your research on time-efficient routines. If a busy schedule stands in your way, embrace flexibility and structure your workouts to fit your lifestyle.
There are always solutions to your challenges. All it takes is a little thought and planning.
Have a Realistic Timeframe
Do you have a wedding in 2 weeks? Hitting the beach in a month? Prepping for a show in 6 months? Your plan should have an "achieve by" date so you can take the appropriate steps today to get closer to your goal tomorrow.
Step 3: Maximize Your Fat Burn
You have goals, you have a plan. Now you need to take action and make every second count. Most of us are busy and we don't have hours on end to dedicate to workouts.
You should always aim for a full workout. But sometimes it just isn't realistic with a hectic schedule. That isn't an excuse to skip out on a sweat session!
I’ve squeezed in some seriously challenging workouts in 15 minutes or less. How?
I'll pick 5 exercises and create a circuit, performing as many rounds of that circuit as possible in 15 minutes and only taking a 30-second break (max) between each completed round.
When you're weightlifting...
Weight lifting is an important part of a weight loss program.
To maximize the work you're putting into these sessions, limit your rest periods, go a bit lighter and do more reps during your sets. Add in supersets or mini bursts of cardio in-between sets. Doing so keeps your heart rate up!
When you're taking a breather...
If you are going to be taking some mini rest periods throughout a workout, use a timer to help ensure that you’re truly staying within the predetermined rest period range (say 30-60 seconds between sets). Avoid getting sidetracked. No social media, calls, or texts!
Working out for weight loss is all about being efficient and maximizing the time and effort you put into your sweat sessions. You should feel the burn!
Step 4: Find Your Support System
We talked about goal setting, planning and maximizing the time and effort you put into your weight loss. In the last post of this series, I want to address something that is often overlooked in a weight loss journey: support.
I know you may be thinking, “Jen, don’t worry, I’ve got this!”
But I also know that the process is challenging and it can get a bit lonely when you’re working towards a goal on your own.
When I was training for my fitness competition, I made it a point to see my friends on a regular basis. Even if that meant ordering grilled chicken and vegetables at dinner or trading wine for water during happy hour.
I made a lot of sacrifices to achieve my goal but I didn't want to sacrifice time with friends and family. And having them around helped keep me accountable and focused every step of the way.
Support comes in many different forms. Family, friends, workout partners, a significant other...
It's super important to have a support system in place while you work towards your weight loss goal. You’ll feel far less isolated during your journey, less likely to burn out, and those close to you will feel more included (even if their personal fitness goals aren’t aligned with yours).
Because you’ve taken the time to fill them in on how much they mean to you, it’s likely that they will be even more inclined to keep you accountable while you pursue your New Year, New You goals!