Eighty percent of Americans choose losing weight or getting in shape as their New Year’s resolution, but according to Statistics Brain Institute, only eight percent actually achieve their goals by the end of the year. Part of it is because many people set goals that are difficult to manage in the long term, leading them to give up after a couple of weeks.
In order to achieve long-term success when it comes to shifting your habits, it is important to adopt an “everything in moderation” approach. Instead of deciding that you are going to workout every day–which will get overwhelming as life’s other obligations arise–set aside three days a week to add exercise into your life. Make a plan and stick to it! You can also apply subtle changes to your diet and still achieve results. Rather than cutting out every food that makes you feel warm and happy inside, start by adding healthier options like vegetables, fruits, healthy fats and lean proteins to your regimen. These foods keep you feeling full and you will be less likely to overindulge in things that aren’t as good for you.
Get rid of your scale and focus on changing your body composition instead of lowering that number. Health is better indicated by how your clothes fit, how you feel and what your body looks like. Remember that muscle weighs more than fat, is more compact and increases metabolism, so don’t get discouraged when weeks of activity aren’t changing the numbers on the scale. The increase of lean muscle tissue maintains strong bones and makes us healthier overall.
Adopt a fitness plan that not only fits in with your schedule, but starts with small, attainable goals. Many people start by overdoing their exercise and end up getting injured before desired results have a chance to show. Injury is one of the main reasons people drop out of their fitness programs. Working with a trained professional for a session or two provides a valuable opportunity to learn the best exercises for you. There is no one-size-fits all program.
The best way to achieve health success is to make a plan and log your food. Many people find that writing down what they eat or using an app like MyFitnessPal is extremely helpful in creating healthier eating habits.