One of the worst things you can do if you’re trying to get fit is go into it blind. Yes, giving up the junk food and couch marathons to start eating nutritious foods and being active is a great idea no matter what, and you will feel and look better almost instantly, but for the best results there’s much more to it than that.
Putting some time into planning is really important, but it’s important because it allows you to do a few things in particular which are going to be detrimental to your success.
Before you can do anything, you should get more educated on the topic you’re dealing with. It’s good to listen to experts you trust, believing in what they say and choosing to let them guide you through the process, but no matter what it is you’re dealing with, it’s always immensely helpful to become more educated yourself, so it’s easier to understand. In this case, the most important issues to familiarize yourself with are food and exercise.
Don’t try to take on everything alone. As a beginner, it’s best to seek the advice of professionals so you can learn the ropes and get started right, so you’re giving yourself the best chances for success. In particular, find a proven beginner’s routine and stick to it, instead of trying to create an over-the-top routine for yourself. You need to learn perfect form for the different exercises before taking on a too advanced plan. Even if you have all the motivation and eagerness in the world, you’re not going to do yourself any favours by trying to take on too much too soon.
Set Your Goals
By taking time to plan, you can set your goals and have a much better chance of actually reaching them. It’s never easy to make progress when everything is cluttered and confusing. So make it simple. Write down what you want, and then work on it. Every single day. Make your goals clear, what it is you want to achieve and how you’re going to get there, and then stick to it. It’s really as easy as that.
Create a Schedule
We all lead busy lives, some busier than others, but no matter who you are you can always find time to do something if you’re willing. By creating a schedule, you not only ensure you can fit in your workouts according to your own timetable, when it’s most convenient for you, but it also makes it easier for you to stick to your plan and not forget about workouts or procrastinate, figuring you’ll just start your workouts next Monday or next month instead. You have your guide, you know when you’re supposed to workout, and it’s pretty simple – either you do or you don’t. Just as with anything else, from your son’s soccer games to your hubby’s band practices, you can organize things around your workouts so you can stay fit and feeling great.
I don’t know about you, but if I’m going to devote this much time and effort into something, I’m going to make damn sure I do it right. Why guess at everything and just hope for the best when you know you can get guaranteed results? It just doesn’t make any sense. Especially when it’s not even all that much time and effort you need to devote anyway.
Stay on Track
On top of all this, a proper fitness plan will also give you something to stick to, so you can stay focused and stay on track. It’s hard to monitor your fitness progress or know how much you’re eating unless you have it all planned out and you’re actually keeping track of it all. That’s why an app like My Fitness Pal (my personal fave, but there are many other similar apps and programs out there to choose from) is so great, because it allows you to write down all of your food intake and exercise through the day, so you’re accountable for everything you’re doing each day and can’t deny when you skip a workout or pig out and double your needed calories for the day.
You don’t need to spend weeks putting planning time in. All it takes is a few minutes a day, or get it all done in one day (I usually use Sunday afternoons to do this, instead of sitting around watching Batman cartoons and chillaxing, I sit around watching Batman cartoons and chillaxing while writing out my meal plans and workouts for the week) if you want so you don’t have to worry about it for the rest of the week. When you keep track and know exactly how much calories you’re burning each day and how many you’re taking in, you are GUARANTEED to lose weight, stay at your current weight, or gain weight, depending on your fitness goals and daily calorie consumption.
Of course, if you do stay on track with calories, you’re eating right and getting your exercise in, and you’re still not seeing the results you want, the only answer is that either you’re not tracking properly and there is something you’re not factoring in (maybe you’re forgetting to add in certain foods through the day like the olive oil you’re using to fry your veggies, or the 5 tablespoons of Frank’s hot sauce you add to your everything) or you’re overestimating your calories burned during exercise, or there may be a health condition at play. Certain health issues such as hypothyroidism can affect weight and stall fitness progress. Although this usually isn’t the case, if you think there may be a condition like this at play, it’s always important to talk with your doctor.
Remember, the most important thing is that you’ve finally decided to get started. You’ve taken that first step, and you should feel great about yourself, even if you’re nowhere near the finish line. The first step is always the hardest and you’ve already accomplished that. Now you just need persistence to reach your goals, and consistence to stay there.