Thursday, May 19, 2011

What Fitness Challenge Competitors Want You to Know...

8 strategies that will help you to get to your fitness goals and maintain them…

You will get a huge boost in confidence when you “release weight and inches. Everyone has some dream or fantasy that they have always wanted to achieve. For most, weight is a big issue and has a lot to do with their self confidence. When you “release weight” (if you “lose it” you will look for it, I promise you that) then comes a surge in your self esteem! You will fit into those old jeans (hopefully you threw out anything from the 70’s and 80’s), and you will see a change in your physical appearance. With that…comes the self esteem, new life adventures, and you feeling comfortable in your own skin because you feel good about yourself and how you look. Fitness is a feeling!

“Releasing weight” will never solve every problem. Tackling physical challenges is generally easier than resolving emotional ones, like stepping off the corporate fast track or confronting a straying spouse (shame on you Arnold Schwarzenegger, way to “terminate” your marriage, terminator). You need to ask yourself why being fit is important to you. Is your objective to be healthier, or are you hoping it will lead to something else-say a loving companion, a bigger paycheck, or more attention from your spouse? Better health & fitness (wellness) has to be the main goal or you will be sorely disappointed in the long run-and that can kill your motivation, making it much harder to stick to your fitness program.

3. Never expect everyone to be happy for you.
While many of your friends and acquaintances will support your efforts to get fit (and slim down), other will feel resentful. Some may even try to sabotage you (unintentional). The tension that arises from others is about the disappearance of shared experiences. It takes time for everyone to adjust. If you have a boyfriend or spouse, try to include him/her in the transition. Sign up for a 5K together or ask for help preparing meals. Create community by creating communication. If they are less than enthusiastic about your transformation, explain why reaching this goal is important to you. Explain that you will feel more confident and energetic (and even have a higher sex drive) because of your commitment to fitness. If food has come between you and another, find common ground (mutually beneficial solutions). Rather than sharing a meal, for example, meet her/him for a movie or a spa treatment. Mix it up!

4. You have to change your eating habits.
We all know that one person who can eat almost anything they want and never gain a pound. Of course genes-which help determine (partially) how many calories we burn when we are at rest, partly explain the difference. Studies show that most normal weight people and slim people listen to their bodies, which help them naturally compensate for the extra calories they consume. Releasing weight causes shifts in your appetite regulating hormones, so signals don’t kick in as soon as they normally do. It can take up to 6 months or more for your hormone levels to adapt to the new number on the scale. A general rule of thumb is 15 calories per pound of body weight each day to make the number on the scale stick. So, for example, if you weigh 150 pounds, you will require 2250 calories daily; drop down to 120 and you will need just 1800 calories (get with a trainer for a personal caloric analysis).

5. Veggies will be your “go to food.
At first glance, they seem the very definition of diet food, but raw or steamed vegetables stave off hunger pangs while keeping calories down thanks to a high volume of water and fiber. Typically, people who have a small, low calorie salad before their entrée eat 7% fewer calories during the meal; those who begin with a larger low calorie salad take in 12% fewer calories! If you want to maintain an ideal body weight, pile the veggies on half your plate!

You may need a refresher course. Unfortunately, many people struggle to recover from even the smallest slipups, including gains of as little as 2 to 5 pounds. That’s why it is important to react immediately to lapses using the tools that helped you achieve fitness success in the first place.

The routine is the anti-routine. Studies have shown that being highly motivated to exercise is associated with long term success. Changing things up will also works new muscles and help you burn calories more efficiently. Muscle confusion is the way to go when it comes to burning calories efficiently and effectively. Muscles have memory and they will become accustom to the same workout over and over. That means you will have work harder for the same results. Seek out workout programs that engage in muscle confusion like RHF Studio Boot Camp. Keep your routines fresh.

You may still think you are fat. Each of us has a picture in our head of what we look like, and it takes a while to update your mindset. How can you begin to see yourself as others see you? Start by surrounding yourself with people who encourage you to shine. As others compliment you on your new look, an updated self image will come into focus and that will renew your motivation to stay on track, it will also help you embrace the inevitable ups and downs along the way.

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