How’s your 2021 health and fitness resolutions working out so far? You’ve probably figured out right about now that all the motivation in the world isn’t going to take the place of proper planning and execution.
You went into this month like gangbusters and then WHOA…this stuff is hard! Planning your gym time, shopping for clean food, preparing it and following through with your meal plan is challenging, but it doesn’t have to be so overwhelming that you throw in the towel. Start small habits now that will lead to a lifestyle that lasts forever.
My best advice is to take each week at a time. Each week poses different challenges so assuming that the same approach every week will work will not only set you up for setbacks, but it may derail you all together.
Here are my tips for a successful week:
1) Review the calendar for the week and sync with other family members. Plan your workouts and put them on the calendar. Sync with your family AND KEEP THE APPOINTMENT. If you leave working out to a “how I feel when you I wake up” mentality, it will not happen. There will always be something to get in your way. Pack a bag with your clothes, IPOD, gloves and get to work. Don’t plan your workouts for 5am if you’re not a morning person. You couldn’t pay me (well maybe) to workout before 7am. I know my body and I don’t function well before that time.
2) Plan your workouts. If you’re not following a designated program or working with a trainer, map out a plan for each week. Know what you are going to do each time you go to the gym ….and be prepared to have a back up plan. If you planned to work legs but every machine is being used, have an alternative plan to work another body part.
3) All crap food gets thrown away on Sundays. Crap food manages to make it’s way in the house with entertainment leftovers, cheat day splurge meals, etc. We don’t always plan for crap food to make it’s way in the house but it does….throw it away and make a fresh start.
4) Plan your dinners first. Say what Kathy?? You want me to plan my dinners for the week? What about the other meals?
This has always been my “trick” when working with my clients from a nutrition aspect. And this is why….so many times we go along in our day and eat great, right? Healthy breakfast followed by your healthy snack followed by your healthy lunch followed by……UH OH – WHAT AM I GOING TO EAT FOR DINNER? Welcome to your Diet Disaster Hell.
This is the time of day most people are starting to feel their blood sugar crash, they are pissed at the world for eating all this healthy food and not getting to eat their 3:00pm M&M’s and Coke . Maybe they are hungry & experiencing cravings because they’ve started to cut out the crap and the instant gratification isn’t what it used to be (for now) ? They say “middle finger to this” and eat poorly- which leads to choosing the wrong foods for dinner.
Try this instead:
*Sync calendars so everyone is on the same page re: the commitments for the week.
* Plan for the number of meals to be eaten in the home & how many family members will be in attendance. Get every one’s input for meals and plan ahead for possible leftovers to be used for lunch the next day.
*If cooking isn’t your bag and you’re used to eating out or take out, invest the same money into healthy takeout meals made fresh each day. Many companies have order forms online. You place your order and have the food delivered to you or you pick it up once/week. PLEASE don’t buy Lean Cuisine, Healthy Choice or Weight Watchers frozen meals – it’s sodium laced processed junk. Invest in yourself and buy fresh meals.
5) Pick a designated day to shop and cook food: For me, I prefer to shop on Sundays. I spend about 1-2 hours chopping up vegetables, making 2 days worth of rice and preparing up 2 days of protein ( chicken, fish & turkey). You can also make your meals and freeze for the week. I prefer to cook fresh every few days.
6) Organize your refrigerator and pantry. Have your food readily available and in plain sight. The easier you can reach for food after a workout or first thing in the morning, the better your results will be.
7) Keep a food/exercise journal each week.
This is always my “go to” solution for organization. You may think you remember what you ate or how long you did cardio, but by the end of the week your brain is fried. Keep a journal for each day. This is a great way to track progress and poke holes at your routine and make it better each week.
8) Make a check list for each day/night. I have a list I follow every night before I go to bed: pack gym bag with clothes, pack supplements and food, charge IPOD, etc. I even remind myself to set the coffee pot-THAT would not be a good thing to forget.
9) Plan your Zzzzzz’s. Try to stick with a designated bed time and wake up time each day. Sleep is usually one of the most ignored components of fitness. Your body needs it. Deprive it and it will set you up for all sorts of chaos, not to mention slow down your progress.
10) Plan for obstacles. That’s right. Plan to have the best laid plans come to a screeching halt for one reason or another. If you have to miss a workout or your healthy dinner just turned into a night with your colleagues or family, tell yourself that it’s not the end of your journey but another chance to learn how to work through the obstacles.
I know it’s hard. I’ve been there and still work every day on my lists and keeping everything in check. But, everyday you put the wheels in motion is one more day closer to the finish line.
Thanks for reading and cheers to your health and fitness!