It’s Eight Weeks with Jeni and Chelsey. Welcome to Week #1 of Fitness and Nutrition Bloggers Jeni Tackett and Chelsey Bowermaster’s 2-month journey to a better you. Good intentions don’t last without a plan. You can avoid diet and fitness pitfalls. Now through February, both Jeni and Chelsey will inspire you weekly during these critical 2 months that often make or break the best diet intentions.
1. Choose an attainable goal.
Chelsey: Be SMART (specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and time-bound). Don’t let yourself say, “I want to lose 20 pounds in 2 months!” But make a promise to yourself to include daily physical activity in your life.
Remember, losing 1-2 pounds a week is realistic. Any more than that is just crash dieting and that sets you up for the yo-yo weight loss and weight gain cycle that’s unhealthy, frustrating path in the long run.
Jeni: You have to cut out 3500 calories to lose one pound. Do not expect to lose weight rapidly. The slower the weight loss the more likely you will keep it off.
A good goal is a weight loss of 1-2 pounds per week. If you live a healthy lifestyle the weight will come off.
2.Create a game plan.
Chelsey: At the beginning of January, write a personal wellness plan. For example, all successful businesses start with a plan that describes their mission and specifics on how they will achieve it. Writing your own personal plan and you’ll be more likely to succeed.
Begin by looking at your calendar. Do you want to lose X pounds by a class reunion this summer or run the Bix in July? Set the date, and the plan to get there becomes more real every day.
Jeni: Tailor a nutrition plan that works for you. Include healthy food that you like.
If you eat out most days during the week then set a realistic goal that you can achieve such as packing your lunch 3 out of 5 days each week. Buy fruits and vegetables that you like and have them easy to grab from your refrigerator.
3.Break it Down and Make it Less Intimidating.
Chelsey: Rather than one big end goal, divide it into smaller pieces. Set several smaller goals to achieve throughout the year that will help you to reach your ultimate goal.
For example, if your goal is to run a 10K by May, start with a smaller goal of running a 5K by March. Use free smartphone apps and a buddy or certified personal trainer to help support your process.
Jeni: Do not have an all or nothing attitude when it comes to eating healthy. Everyone indulges in unhealthy foods occasionally. The key is getting back to healthy eating at the next meal.
Don’t keep unhealthy, tempting foods in your house, but allow yourself to indulge when eating out or at a party. Just make sure you indulge in moderation: rather than a large special shake from Whitey’s, order a scoop of ice cream in a cup.
4.Give it Time.
Chelsey: Making a change in your life can be exciting, but sticking with it is where it can be challenging. So give it time and before you know it will become a part of your daily life.
I see people at the gym every day in January and by the end of February they’re gone. Expectations are too high and the routine is more work and no fun.
It can take many months to see the kind of results you want. Even though your body is changing by adding more muscle and losing fat, you may not see any visible change on the scale for typically 6-8 weeks.
Jeni: You must be patient for weight loss to be successful. You need to eat healthy and exercise regularly for the rest of your life.
Do not think short term but rather envision yourself healthy for a lifetime.
Just think, if you lost one pound per month then you would weigh 12 pounds less next year. Losing one pound per month involves cutting 100 calories per day which is much more doable than fad diets that promote rapid weight loss.
5.Keep a Journal.
Chelsey: Get a small notebook or try many of the physical activity tracker apps for your smart phone. A journal also helps you recognize your positive steps and makes it harder to go back to the same old habits.
Begin to pay attention and write about how you feel after your walks or on the days you miss. Most people who stick it out find that their emotional well being improves with activity.
You’ll have more great days and sleep better and your journal will remind you of how far you’ve come (a huge bonus to the days that seem too tough or when the scale isn’t moving).
Jeni: I’m a big fan of food journals and have used them myself. A food journal gives you accountability. Write down everything you eat for a few days to help pinpoint vulnerable times.
Do you find you eat well all day, just to get hungry and binge after dinner? Many people overeat in the evenings.
Spreading your food out evenly throughout the day every 4-5 hours can help stave off evening binging. Keeping a journal can help you make the changes you need for a healthy lifestyle.