So, you've decided you want to get in shape. What now? Where do you start? Here's a step by step guide:
1. Why? Ask yourself why you have decided to get in shape. Do you have an upcoming event that has inspired you? Have you realized that your not as young as you once were and maybe you should start taking better care of yourself? Are you tired all the time and think that it is possibly because of your current eating habits and lack of working out? Whatever your reason for embarking on this journey, grab a pen and paper and write it down. It is important to understand for yourself why you have chosen to make a change. There will be days when you want to give up. On those days, knowing why you started down this road in the first place will help you stay on track.
2. Decide on a meal plan. There are thousands of "diets" out there to choose from. There's Weight Watchers, Jenny Craig, Eat Clean, Adkins, Paleo, low carb, high protein, and the list goes on. It doesn't matter which one you choose or if you don't choose one at all. The point is to make a plan and stick to it. I personally have tried them all. What works best for me is to try to stick to a plan consisting mostly of veggies, fruit, lots of low fat protein, very few carbs, and very few processed foods.
2. Decide on a workout. Just as there are literally thousands of "diets" to choose from, there are thousands of workouts to choose from. You can do P90X, Nike Kinect, Insanity, Jillian Michaels, Fitness Model Workout, BodyRock, or a gazillion other fitness programs or you can create your own. I don't stick to one. I've tried them all but in the end there is no one magic workout for me. I get bored way too easily. Each week I do 5 - 6 days of 45 minutes of cardio and 5 days of sculpt. Each week I look at the calendar and decide when I will do my workouts. I create an entry in my calendar for my workouts just as I would for an important meeting.
2. Write down your plan. Write down your meal plan and your workout plan. This is the planning template I use.
3. Journal EVERYTHING. Write down every single morsel that enters your mouth. Do not skip anything. Keep track of water, food, and your workouts. A person is more likely to stick to a meal plan and workout plan if they have to write down everything they eat and each workout they do. This is the tracking template I use.
4. Do your best. Know without a doubt that you will not be 100% perfect 100% all the time. You will have moments of weakness where you splurge and overeat. There will be days when you just don't want to workout. Try to limit these days (like once every month or two). When it happens just pick yourself up and start over. No biggie.
5. Enlist a friend. Find someone to get in shape with you. Having someone to plan meals and workouts with, someone to talk to in moments of weakness, and someone to cheer you on will help you stay on track.
Now get out there and do it!
Please post comments and questions. I'd be happy to answer any questions on the pro's/con's I experienced with each "diet" and workout I have tried. Let me know that you are making the commitment to get in shape. I'd love to be your cheerleader!