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Think Fitness. Not Fatness.

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It’s already mid-January. How are you doing with those resolutions?
 
Among those self-promises, we find the recurring commitment to fitness.  And after two months of holiday gorging, everyone is dead-set on dropping the Festive Fifteen. As tough as it is to lose weight and get fit, it’s only as successful as it is sustainable. If your fitness plans are not realistically long-term sustainable, you’ll find yourself in the same pudgy pickle next year, and every year thereafter.
 
There are some reasonable, realistic things you can to do make this year a little fitter than last:

Small goals. Realistic deadlines.

  • Aim for a few pounds a month. A gradual weight loss becomes more of a lifestyle move.
  • Don’t rush it.  If you push yourself to lose 50 pounds by June, you’ll place undue, unrealistic pressure on yourself.  And if you’re an emotional eater, this pressure will undermine your efforts, as you consume pints of Ben & Jerrys in utter dietary despair.

Think fitness. Not fatness.

  • Your goal should be health.  Slimmer, trimmer figures are a byproduct of change.  Basing your value and success solely on looks is a slippery slope for self-hate.
  • Everyone is built differently.  Bone density and body fat ratios vary from person to person.  Cut yourself some slack.

Smaller, frequent meals.

  • Spread out your calories throughout the day and you’ll never feel hungry.
  • Frequent eating keeps your metabolism working all day.
According to registered dietician and WebMD Contributor, Elaine Magee, MPH, RD,
“every time you eat a meal or snack, your gastrointestinal tract turns on, so to speak, and starts digesting food and absorbing nutrients. It costs calories to fire up the human digestion machine, so it makes sense that the more small meals or snacks you eat through the day, the more calories you'd burn.”

Do not eat your feelings.

Many cultures associate eating with celebration, sadness and boredom. Break the habit.

Good news? Avoid the celebratory meal.
  • Get some friends and go dancing.
  • Take a drive with the music blasting.
  • Savor the moment.‚Äč
Bad news? Ditch the ice cream.
  • Call a friend.
  • Go for a walk.
  • Pray.
Bored? Skip the chips.
  • Read a book.
  • Clean the house.
  • Visit family.

Move. Move. Move.

Although calories are burned simply through breathing, the more you move, the more your body needs to utilize fuel (calories & excess fat) to power the movement.
 
You don’t need to join a gym to move more. Just go analog.
  • Take the stairs instead of elevators/escalator.
  • Shovel instead of using the snowblower.
  • Scrub your floors by hand.
  • Walk instead of drive whenever possible.
  • Rather than watch TV, take an evening stroll with your family.

Be accountable.

  • Have a reliable friend or family member check in on your progress.
  • Make sure to have someone lovingly remind you of your goals. 
  • DO NOT bite their head off when they remind you of your fitness commitments.
  • Download a free fitness app like My Fitness Pal to journal your meals, record your water intake, and track your physical activity.
  • Hold yourself accountable.  All the accountability in the world won’t help unless you’ve made the decision to change.

Be gracious to yourself.

When you mess up, don’t give up. Drop the Doritos. Forgive yourself. Keep moving forward.
 
If you’re really dead-set on living a healthier life, success is within reach. You can do it.
 
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