I’d like to start by saying that I don’t actually use Tinder. This title started as a joke but I fell in love with it because it’s hilarious and relatable to many.
Anyway, Happy New Year! If you’re one of the 99% who’ve said, “This is my year to focus on health and happiness!” you are in the right place. The following are tips & tricks to keep you motivated for longer than 5 minutes in 2015.
1. Start with a baseline. You will never know how much progress you have made without a baseline! Yes, your jeans may be looser, people will ask if you’ve lost weight and it will feel wonderful. But do you want to know what feels even more wonderful? Cold, hard proof. Take measurements, weigh yourself, take a before photo. Do whatever it is you feel comfortable with, just do it. This is beneficial for multiple reasons: if you feel like you’re not making progress the numbers will prove you wrong. “I feel bloated and gross today even though I worked out and ate healthy all week! What’s wrong with me?” [Step on scale] “Oh! I lost 3 pounds this week, I’m fabulous.” It will also hold you accountable because if your progress is slowed, you have only yourself to blame. ☺ Lastly, seeing big, numerical changes is extremely motivating! Cumulative inches lost, dress sizes down, pounds lost, etc. ALL of that will continue to light a fire, you know where.
2. Set short-term goals. Then celebrate when you reach them! Some examples: I’d like to lose 2 pounds this week, give up dairy this week, do strict paleo this week, workout 4 times this week, try a new type of exercise, the list is endless. Setting little goals will not only hold you accountable, it will make your long-term goals look a lot less daunting.
3. Set long-term goals. Contrary to number two, it is important to look ahead. If you want to lose 50 pounds that’s awesome! Set mini goals each week to lose a set amount of weight that will ultimately get you to your long-term goal. (See what I did there?) My 2015 example is: I’m going to Vegas in April. That is a whopping 4 months away but you can bet your bottom it’s on my mind already! I am determined to feel great in a bikini, even after a long and cold winter. My mini goal leading to April starts with doing the Whole Life Challenge for the month of January.
4. Don’t go balls deep the first week. “I’m never eating a carb AGAIN. I am going to work out every single day for 2 hours. I am done drinking alcohol. I am going to do strict paleo for the next 3 months!” No you aren’t. You’re going to hurt yourself, burn out or get bored immediately. Take it slow. Start by using a calorie-monitoring app such as My Fitness Pal or LiveStrong and working out 2 days a week. Once your body gets used to that, add another day of exercise and eliminate a naughty food group (wheat, dairy, sugar.) Build on your progress.
5. Meal Plan, Meal Plan, Meal Plan! Listen to me: you cannot outrun a bad diet. Hop on Pinterest, search, “clean eating meals,” and Pin away! Spend a couple of hours every Sunday looking for new recipes, grocery shopping and prepping in your kitchen. Hate cooking? Get a crockpot and add, “simple recipes,” to your Pinterest search. On a budget? Me too! Costco rocks and Mariano’s always has deals, you don’t need to go to Whole Foods to be healthy. ☺ I’m going to share a little secret with you… it’s more expensive to eat out than it is to cook at home. My friend Jenna and I made a paleo dinner last night that was $10.89 total, it fed both of us and we had leftovers.
6. Join a gym and make friends! “But I like to work out at home. I get embarrassed and I don’t want people to see me all gross and sweaty.” You know what else is at home? Your couch and your TV. Groupon is a fantastic place to find affordable gym packages and deals. In addition, you can experiment with different types of workouts to see what you like. You can also shop around and find a local health club for a great price and they usually have a plethora of group classes! The reason I suggest making a fitness friend is because you will be less likely to skip a class if you have set plans with someone. Canceling on a new friend= bad. Showing up, getting sweaty and gross together= fun. And if you’re single, you may just meet a hottie while you’re at it.
7. Track your progress. Have a weigh in or measurement day each week. Take pictures, write down your pounds lost and keep track of it. In just one month you will see drastic changes and it will feel wonderful.
8. Hold yourself accountable. Easier said than done, I know. But unless you are able to hire a personal trainer, a personal chef and someone to follow you around 24/7 swatting brownies out of your hand, you need to be responsible. You are in charge of your lifestyle! You’re invited to happy hour with the coworkers on Thursday, a housewarming party Friday and a birthday party downtown on Saturday? Can you skip happy hour? Yes. Can you eat a clean dinner at home then swing by the housewarming party? Yes. Can you go to the birthday party on Saturday? Yes. (This leads to my next point…)
9. Indulge a little. Go to the party! Have some wine, dance a little and live your life! I like to follow the 80/20 rule. 80% of the time I eat clean and work out regularly. 20% of the time I indulge because life is fun and you deserve to be happy. If I have plans on Saturday night I make sure to get good workouts in during the week, eat really healthy and go hard at the gym Saturday morning. Balance is key.
10. Have Fun! Zumba, Barre, Yoga, Crossfit, Pilates, Running, HIIT, Kettlebell, TRX, Jazzersize, Core, Reformer, Kickboxing. Research, experiment, try them, love them. You are far more likely to stick with a workout routine if you like (or love) what you’re doing. Hate dancing? Probably steer clear of Zumba. Find something you enjoy & do it.