By Martin Brown
At the start of each year, I witness this tidal wave of new determined members who come into the gym, ready to shed extra pounds and get into shape. However, by mid-February, that wave has flattened out. And by early March you’re back to the members who have cultivated a lifelong habit of staying fit along with a small handful of lasting converts.
Don’t let yourself fall into this cycle of 'temporary fitness.'
It’s far better to do a few things right all fifty-two weeks of the year, than to knock yourself out for six to eight weeks, then forget all about diet and exercise for the balance of the year.
Here are five ways to get a jump on a diet and exercise plan before New Year’s Day:
1. Each Day Move A Little More
It can be as simple as parking in the last space in the shopping mall lot, as opposed to looking for the one closest to the front door. Or if your office is on the third floor, walk up two flights of stairs, two or three times a day, instead of jumping in the elevator. We all fall into the trap of thinking that getting fit means starting a vigorous exercise regimen. Not necessarily so! Do a few small things everyday of the year, and you’ll not only be pleased with the results, you are far more likely to keep with your program.
2. And Eat A Little Less
Just about everyone who goes off their regular diet and commits instead to a low calorie diet looses weight quickly, but then regains even more weight than their total loss over a period of six to nine months. Avoid that trap! Instead, focus on eating a little less each day. In waging war against excess weight, the turtle, going slow and steady, wins the race ninety-five percent of the time.
3. Make Smart Food Decisions
Know what you’re eating. A Labrador retriever invited to your office Christmas party will eat anything and everything in sight. When it comes to holiday party grazing, most of us can be like those lovable labs. Resist this temptation. Instead, be picky at holiday gatherings. Remember: talk more, eat less!
4. Put Aside Excess Fat And Sugar
Over the last ten years, recent studies have documented the alarming, and dramatic, weight gains of American population. Sadly, that conversation never turns to the culprit.
Actually there are three: fat, sugar and salt.
The top two, sugar and fat, are responsible for most of the damage. That yummy Starbucks holiday drink contains 10 or more teaspoons of sugar. And that yummy slice of cheesecake packs over 425 calories, most of which is fat. Food purveyors know what they’re doing, they are loading us up with the basic ingredients we find hard to resist.
Get wise to their ways! Avoid excessive amounts of sugar and fat, and odds are your weight on January 1st will be the same as it was before the holiday season began.
5. Become A Label Reader
For many of usm label reading while shopping at the grocery store is one of our least favorite things to do. Good news! You won’t have to read those product labels forever. Nearly all of us have certain products we buy repeatedly at the grocery store. You just have to take the time to learn what you’re eating.
Often you’ll find out they were so yummy because they were loaded with fat, sugar, and salt. And when you reach the “calorie per serving,” line ,you’ll probably been in for a shock.
Whenever this happens, begin trying other products. An informed shopper is a weight conscious shopper.
All of the above are wise methods to help you get thin, stay thin, and avoid the annual rush for redemption at your local gym.
Others will bask in your joy, and reflect their toward you, too.
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