January is the perfect month for making resolutions and aiming for a better you. Often a better you means a healthier, fitter version of yourself. Frequently, in January, people decide to clean up their diet and get more active; gyms, weighing and fitness classes all see an increase in attendance in January.
You may have packed on a few extra pounds over the Christmas holidays, through over eating, over drinking and being more sedentary than usual, however, by the end of the month, you can have shifted that excess holiday weight, and some. You just need willpower and commitment, and also direction and focus.
Often, when people set their new years resolutions, they vow to 'lose weight', or similar. As a resolution, this is too vague. You need to set specific goals: how much weight do you want to lose, by which date. You could perhaps break this down into smaller chunks if you have lots to lose over the year. You also need to make a decision as to how you are going to achieve this weight loss; perhaps you need to cut down on refined sugar snacks and alcohol and work out 4 times per week. The more realistic and specific you can be with your goals, the more likely you are to stick to the plan and reach your target.
Write down your goal, your plan and the reason why you want to lose weight. Perhaps you want to look better in your bikini, improve your overall health or be able to run around the park with your children. Whatever your personal reason, writing it down and acknowledging the reason you want to stick to your plan may be the extra push you need to keep you on track when you contemplate giving up.
Choose the days and times you will work out to avoid always putting that workout off until the end of the week. Try to keep it varied to keep it interesting for you. Exercise can be fun, you just need to find what you enjoy, so try lots of different activities to find what suits you.
Also, keeping your fridge stocked with healthy, easy snacks will make you more likely to stick to the healthy eating plan. You want to change your lifestyle, not feel like you're on a permanent diet. Stocking your fridge and cupboards with fresh soups, fruit, seeds, wholemeal bread and such like, will mean that you don't have to cook a gourmet meal every time you feel peckish. Having something easy to nibble on will help you to resist reaching for that packet of family sized crisps.
Finally, although you need to be strict with yourself to ensure you are sticking to your plans, also be kind to yourself. Understand that you are not going to be able to run a half marathon if you're overweight and haven't run for years, but a jog or power walk may be feasible. You can then build up and enjoy the benefits.
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