What Not to Do for Your New Year’s Resolution
How many of you set New Years resolutions? If you said, “Yes,” you are in the company of millions of people! It might be to stop smoking, stop swearing, or just simply become a better person.
Typically, a weight loss/fitness resolution is somewhere in the mix. I do not personally believe in resolutions; however, I do believe that anything that can motivate people to change is good.
This is typically called a goal, and it doesn’t have to be January to begin!
Each year in the fitness industry, we see an influx of eager, seemingly dedicated people who are very sincere about keeping the resolutions they’ve made. Like clockwork, only about 5% of the “Resolution” crowd seems to stick.
The question is: if your goals are set and you have the determination, then why is this number so low?
Failure doesn’t come from lack of visualization; it comes from lack of results. It’s easy for motivation to die and consistency to fade if we don’t see quick results – it’s human nature!
I see a lot of people spending endless hours on the stair stepper, running on treadmills, and putting on layers of clothes to desperately try and sweat off the weight. However, the biggest problem that seems to be overlooked begins with our metabolism.
Weight Loss vs. Metabolism
People mostly focus on weight loss. They get up in the morning and weigh and then again at lunch and again before bedtime. Big mistake!
Why? Weight doesn’t determine your body composition. It doesn’t tell you how much body fat you have. It doesn’t tell you how much lean body mass you have. And it certainly doesn’t determine how you look!
As a society, we have been told that body weight is the determining factor of being fit. So, as we continually focus on the number, we lose sight of how the body really works!
Metabolism is how our bodies turn food into energy. Just like no two people are the same, each person’s metabolism burns food at different rates.
Making classic mistakes such as starvation, fad diets, and following one-dimensional training programs can really cause problems for your metabolism!
The Fitness Tripod: A Lifestyle Change
My philosophy is based on a “Fitness Tripod.” It is very basic and easy to follow.
Let’s start by replacing the word “Diet” with “Nutrition” and changing the mindset to a lifestyle change rather than a quick fix! Sound like a cliché? Keep reading.
The first component of the Fitness Tripod is Nutrition.
We need to set the pattern of our metabolism to avoid our bodies reaching a plateau. How do we change this?
Start with replacing 3 large meals with small amounts of food 5 to 6 times daily. This is an easy way to remember it: eat breakfast, lunch, and dinner then add healthy snacks in between your meals.
Think of your metabolism like a camp fire. Adding wood consistently makes the fire burn longer! If you do not add wood to the fire, it will dwindle and eventually go out.
My point is this: it takes energy (food) to burn energy (fat). By adding small portions of food throughout the day, your body will consistently become more thermogenic (tending to produce heat, which stimulates your metabolism).
The second component of the Fitness Tripod is Strength Training. This is a major component to increasing the metabolism.
The only way that you can physically change the way you look is by training with weights! If you can increase just one pound of Lean Body Mass, it will require more energy than any cardio apparatus, swimming pool, or aerobics class requires!
An added bonus is that it isn’t subjective to when the energy is burned, meaning you will burn fat all day! This is what we refer to as, “Your body working for you!”
Cardiovascular health is the third component of the Fitness Tripod.
People focus on this as the primary exercise in their fitness program. This can be confusing and is typically misunderstood regarding function.
If your goals are to lose body fat and weight, then you need to remember that the only way to control this is by stimulating your metabolism (adding fuel to your “fire” throughout the day and increasing Lean Body Mass).
Expenditure is very important if done according to your goal. For instance, a lot of people do not monitor their heart rate. By allowing your heart rate to become too high, your chances of burning muscle are greater than burning body fat.
What happens when we burn muscle? Our metabolism decreases, creating a plateau again. This means no results!
The most effective way to burn fat with cardio is to do it when the body is at its most depleted point. This is either before you eat breakfast or immediately after strength training all while not letting your heart rate become too high.
Set Goals Not Resolutions
In conclusion: set fitness goals, not fitness resolutions!
- Be specific.
- Use tools such as visualization.
- Stay away from refined foods and saturated fats!
- Avoid skipping meals or eating big portions.
- Make sure your exercise program involves strength training and controlled cardio sessions.
This game is 90% mental. Take control and your body will follow.
Bottom line – If you want to change the way you look, then you have to change the way you think!
Total Body Fitness is Here for You
Whether you’re looking for a local gym or the accountability of a personal trainer, the amazing staff at Total Body Fitness is here for YOU! Contact us today to start your journey.