Striking Weight loss in 2009

A New Year's resolution is a great way to get motivated to start losing weight, but the key is finding a sensible program that will greatly increase your chances of reaching that challenging goal. Key weight loss strategies include eating much less fat, keeping a food journal, taking 10,000 steps per day, and finding a support system that will help you stay focused.


Now is the time to evaluate your 2008 season. Look at your training and determine what worked and what didn't. Having a training log will help you see your fitness progression throughout the year. Do you need to improve your speed, endurance, strength, mental focus, recovery, weight loss, upper body and core strengthnutrition, hydration, flexibility, and race preparation?  It is helpful to evaluate areas of your personal and professional life, because problems there will be a detriment to your training and racing.  Evaluate your past years and make 2009 your best ever.


While "Health and Fitness" resolutions are expected to decline in 2009, it is still the most popular category. The number one resolution, "To Lose Weight," remains unchanged in popularity year after year. Most people who indicate that they would like to lose weight are only seeking to lose about 10 pounds.


Instead of dwelling on what you may not have done, put in some extra effort this month to find ways to make SURE that you are making the time and resources available to yourself that you need to stay in shape.

Schedule Your Exercising, Keeping it Simple and Easy- Get out your planner and really take a hard look at your schedule. If nothing else, you will need to find 3 to 5 days in a week that you can set aside at least 30 minutes for some cardio. Of course you will get better results with 5 days, but it is more important that you are doing something than doing a lot. Try to plan activities that are easily accessible and even fun if you can. A cardio funk class at a gym that's near by. Jogging while you walk the dog around the neighborhood. Sticking your favorite cardio DVD into the player and "working it out". Do whatever is easy, simple, and hopefully fun. You want to set yourself up for success, so don't try and complicate the issue.

Take Advantage of Weekend Time- The weekend is the only time when YOU have complete control over what you want to do during the day. Take advantage of this time to make sure you get in a little jog or some aerobics or even biking in the morning or afternoon when you are having some down time. Look at it this way: you'll be knocking out 2 days of workouts before the week even begins. Then, based on your personal program, you will only have to worry about doing it again 1,2, or 3 days. This will go a long way to take some pressure off of you so that you won't feel like you failed just because you got busy for a day or two and truly just could not get around to doing anything for your body. Using this tactics will go along way in making sure that you are able to stick with your program and not quit---even during times when your schedule is hectic and keeping up is rough.



Plan Your Grocery Shopping for Weight Loss- Create a "master list" of all of the healthy foods that you'll need to get through the week eating healthy. Go and get them all at once and them stock them at home. This way, you will always have healthy food options that will help you in your weight loss goals. You also won't be caught off guard with the "munchies" and nothing to snack on in the house but your children's (or significant other's!) junk food. You can also plan to take certain snacks to work with you that can help you stay away from the temptations of doughnut-and-pizza-peddling co-workers.

One Day at a Time- Having the discipline to stay in shape---is something that usually is gradual and takes some time. You don't have to start a totally new calorie-plan overnight. You can start by eating (say) 2000 calories, then lower this by 100 calories a week until you reach (say) 1400 calories. Keeping a food journal, in which you record foods/drink consumed, is a great way to monitor (and be inspired by) progress. Similarly, counting steps is a great way to improve your fitness level, especially if you are very overweight. Aim to walk a certain number of steps per day, (eg. 8-10,000 steps) then increase this number gradually. If you are fitter, you might aim to use a treadmill for 30 minutes at (say) a speed of 5 mph, on an incline of 1 percent. Then increase the speed and incline gradually. Keeping an exercise journal is a great way to monitor (and be inspired by) progress.


The Best Rewards - Give yourself regular small rewards for achieving your diet, exercise and weight loss goals. Earning several small rewards is typically more motivating than earning one big reward which might require more effort.



Think Thin! - This may sound like psycho-babble, but it's not! Our beliefs really do affect how we behave. If you believe "I can never lose my final 10 pounds", chances are you won't. This is because we behave in a way that makes our belief a reality. However, if you think "Seven weeks from now my last 10 pounds are gonna be history" you will work to make that belief a reality.


I know this all sounds pretty simplistic. That's because it really is simple. What makes it so challenging is that ugly four-syllable word called C-O-N-S-I-S-T-E-N-C-Y. Its what separate people who achieve from those who don't in virtually any endeavor. But the bottom line of it all is that if the days that you do the right things far out way the days you do the wrong things, you will be truly successful in the end. It takes focus, determination and above all, work, to achieve your goals. And yes, it really is that simple.


In 2009, take a different approach to your goals. Don't just set them. Ingrain them in who you are. Make a commitment to yourself that you are going to achieve more than you ever thought possible this year.


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