5 top tips to help you succeed with your fitness goals in 2017

Happy New Year All! 🙂

I would like to share with you my 5 top tips to help you start your fitness journey the smart way.

1. Goal setting and planning

Having a clear goal in mind is so important because it gives you focus and motivation. Think of your ultimate goal that you would like to achieve and write it down. Be specific and instead of just saying that you want to lose weight or get fit, think of how much weight you need to lose or set a performance based goal, for example squatting your body weight. This will be your long-term goal. Give yourself a realistic time frame and plan what you need to do daily, weekly and monthly to achieve this goal. These will be your short term goals. You will need to focus on these small steps and do your best each day to achieve them. If you only think about the end goal from the beginning, it can be disappointing at times that you are not there yet. However, when you break it down, the small accomplishments along the way will motivate you to keep going and eventually lead you to your ultimate goal.

2. Take one step at a time

A common mistake people make when the New Year comes is that they become too ambitious and start training every single day and making drastic changes to their diet such as cutting out entire food groups, starting detox diets and all that nonsense.  This is a recipe for failure and it is certainly not something that you can sustain long term. The body doesn’t like extremes. If you haven’t exercised for months or years, all you need is 2-3x sessions a week to start with and it will be enough stimulus for your body to respond positively. Also with your diet, start by making small improvements such as drinking more water, limiting sugar, gradually adding in more vegetables and fruits…etc. Quick fixes don’t work. Focus on making positive lifestyle changes daily and be patient, change does not happen overnight. Consistency is key to forming new, healthy habits that will contribute to long-term results.

3. Lift weights

Resistance training is key to shape your body and improve body composition. Building lean muscle increases your metabolism, which means your body will be able to handle higher calories, thus maintaining a healthy weight will become a lot easier. The more muscle you have the more calories you burn even at rest. It is the best way for long term fat loss results. Traditional cardio only is not going to sculpt and tone your body. Too much of it can actually make you lose muscle which slows your metabolism and you can end up a smaller, skinny fat version of yourself. If you want shapely legs, toned arms, flat tummy and sculpted shoulders, weight training should be the priority in your body transformation program.

4. Eat something you enjoy every day

Eating well doesn’t have to be bland and boring. With a bit of creativity, you can make the healthy version of your favorite meals and sweets, and create new recipes as well. I start most days with protein pancake topped with nut butter and fruits and I love it! It tastes amazing, even better than regular pancakes. I also have 1-2 squares of dark chocolate every day after dinner that I always look forward to. These daily treats satisfy my carvings and enable me to stay on track with my fitness goals. Get creative and experiment with spices, herbs and condiments to make your meals more interesting and tasty. When you enjoy your food, you will most likely stay on track with your healthy eating habits.

5.  Track your progress

It is so important that you log everything you do from the start. Start using a food diary such as My Fitness Pal and track everything you eat. Have a training journal and keep note of your workouts, sets and reps, the weights you use and your cardio. Take progress photos weekly, weigh yourself and do circumference measurements as well.  This way you can monitor your progress, and if you ever reach a plateau in your program, you can look back and see what needs changing in order to keep you progressing. “What gets measured gets managed.”

Sometimes we tend forget where we started so having your photos taken is a great way to see how much you have already changed. It is also very motivating to look back on your training journal and see how much stronger you got since the beginning of your journey.

If you find these tips helpful please share it with your friends and let me know through my social media channels.

Thank you! 🙂