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Try This Simple Strategy to Kick-start Diet and Exercise Success

Try This Simple Strategy to Kick-start Diet and Exercise Success

Here we are at the beginning of another New Year.  Our resolutions are in place and we’re ready to get started.  We may briefly think about how we threw caution to the wind over the last several weeks of the year.  We may wonder how we’re going to transition from eating whatever we like and enjoying the life of a couch potato to becoming a lean mean fighting machine.  Fear not dear friends!  The two extremes are not nearly as far apart as they may seem.  Today I want to share a simple strategy that you can use to start the year off on the right foot.  This strategy will kick-start your diet and exercise success!

successJennifer Burk/ Unsplash.com

A Simple but Profound Approach

It’s far too easy to get sucked into elaborate plans.  I know I’ve made quite a few in my lifetime, perhaps you have too.  The problem with elaborate plans is that they can be very difficult to follow.  It’s much easier to follow 3 simple steps than 23.  It’s much easier to take a walk on an established trail than to design your own.

While there are certainly many benefits that come with creativity and sometimes things like building huge Lego designs, have to be elaborate.  If you can keep is simple, you increase your chances of success.  As the saying goes:

  • Keep
  • It
  • Simple
  • Sweetheart

Here is a simple three-step strategy to help you get started and then stay on course this year.

1.  Refuse to Give Up

There are things in life that are so important; we don’t need reminders to do them.  In fact, except for getting distracted by work or play, we probably never needed to be told to these some of these things.  Ever need to be reminded that you are hungry and should eat?  Or how about needing to be being reminded to go to the bathroom?  Do you need to be told that you should lie or sit down to rest?

Regular exercise and healthy eating may not come quite so naturally though.  We are all victims of our culture and the way we were raised to some degree.  Some of us may have been told never to waste and to always clean up the plate.  Others may have been taught to eat cheap, so pasta is a daily part of diet.  Many some of you celebrate with food or socialize with it.

Regardless of what you have done in the past, today is a new day!  You don’t have to do what you were taught.  There is no obligation to be what your culture says you should be.  You get to choose how best to nourish your body and how best to take care of it.  So, the first step is to commit to never giving up.  The negative nillies in your life will point out how you’ve failed before.

Giving up guarantees failure, whereas trying lets you dance with success!

Giving up guarantees failure, whereas trying lets you dance with success! Click To Tweet

2.  Focus on the Next Meal & the Next Workout

If you start thinking about how long you have to do the right thing, or how hard it will be, it can derail you before you even get started.  The key is to focus on just the next thing.  Focus on your next meal and your next workout.  Having a weekly routine is fine, but don’t get bogged down by it.

Anyone that needs to lose weight should focus on losing one pound.  You may have to do that many times, but for today just look at losing one pound.  Losing one pound means burning 3500 calories more than you eat.  With 7 days in a week, that’s a 500-calorie deficit for 7 days.  Anyone can put his or her mind to a 500-calorie deficit a day.  That means you can either exercise more or eat less.  Of course, a combination of the two will work also.  Eat 250 calories less and exercise enough to burn 250 calories and you’re golden!

Perspective makes a world of difference.  Imagine building a house of bricks.  If I told you that, you needed to lay 15,000 bricks you might feel overwhelmed.  If I told you to lay 100, it would seem much more doable.  So lay 100 bricks, eat 250 calories less, exercise and burn 250 calories more and sooner or later, you will accomplish the goal.

3.  Shoot for Progress Not Perfection

I know we’d all like to be able to wave a magic wand and have the success we desire.  But, that’s not realistic.  We’re human being and we have limitations.  If it took you 20 or more years to get as out of shape as you are, you’re not going to fix it overnight.

You increase your chances of success if you focus on the positive, look at all that you did achieve.  Did you lose 1/2 a pound?  In the midst of a holiday or special celebration, maintaining your weight is a big accomplishment compared to gaining.  Did you exercise and burn 125 calories, that’s better than sitting home and not burning any.

Cut yourself a break, but not too much a break.  Lately, I’ve heard several people comment that they deserve to indulge and they want to treat themselves.  Certainly, there are times when a special reward is well deserved and enjoying a special treat can be a blessing.  But, if you’re not careful, you’re going to treat yourself to a nice heart attack or stroke.  Or indulge yourself to needing a new set of larger clothes.  When you look at it that way, non-food rewards might be the better way to go!

Reflection Questions

  1.  Are you willing to commit to NOT giving up on one or more of your goals this year?
  2.  Does focusing too far into the future cause you to get off course?
  3.  Have you felt that only perfection is acceptable?  If so, I encourage you to start looking for the progress you are making instead.

References

If you’re looking for great food choices to get you started, check out this helpful post by Bembu.com.

24 Healthiest Foods on Earth.

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