Congratulations, you have decided that "today is the day" you will start your new diet and fitness regimen, and your hopes are high it will produce a "new you." Yet be aware, research shows - if your expectations are unrealistic - you'll lose your interest long before you lose the weight.
Starting any new diet and exercise program with unrealistic expectations only to lose weight and gain it back is one of the pitfalls associated with yo-yo dieting - and the cycle that has been referred to as "false hope syndrome." The 6 week time period between New Year's Day and Valentines Day in the fitness world has also been called the "honeymoon period," since, by Valentines Day - many dieters find themselves reverting back to their same old and un-healthy habits. The good news is, it can take as little as 4 - 6 weeks for something to become a habit, with some sources indicating a healthy habit can be formed in as little as 21 days (3 weeks). What this means is, you can make significant changes in your diet and fitness routines IF you just stick with it.
The key to weight loss success is in your decision to keep your expectations real, and to incorporate small, healthy lifestyle changes into your life. Vowing to lose 20 pounds in a month will only set you up for failure and disappointment in the end. Likewise, making drastic and unrealistic lifestyle changes such as enlisting to workout 7 days a week when you haven't stepped foot in a gym for months will only create a let-down when you can't realistically make it happen. Setting a realistic goal is also a good maneuver, for instance, committing to do a 20-minute Beach Body Workout (like the one provided on this page) 3 times a week can be a realistic goal you can work into your life comfortably.
So how do you keep your diet and weight loss expectations in the new year realistic in order to see real results and attain that healthy, trim, "new you" you've been dreaming of? Below are 3 important steps you can take today to make your NEW Year's goals a reality:
- NUTRITION: When it comes to your diet and nutrition avoid "shiny object syndrome" (falling for the latest and greatest new diet that comes out on the market) and stay away from fad and crash diets that only set you up for failure (regaining the weight lost) once you go off them.
- EXPECTATION MANAGEMENT: Keep your expectations realistic by understanding that the extra weight did not appear overnight - and it will take some dedication and willpower on your part to lose weight naturally and in a healthy manner. Starving yourself is not an option. Healthy diet and lifestyle plans such as The Party Girl Diet encourage you to eat a wide variety of delicious foods and lose weight without deprivation.
- WORKOUT: It has been proven, getting regular exercise will enhance both your physical and mental health. Aim to include 30 minutes of exercise 5 days a week, with 1 hour a day producing even greater results. Remember, research shows you can break your workout up into smaller bouts of exercise (10 minutes 3 X a day) and get intrinsically the same health benefits. Short on time? Check out The California Living Beach Body Workout ( located on this page) which offers a total body workout in just 20-Minutes with Circuit Training.
...And remember, it's also important to be kind to yourself by taking time to relax and unwind everyday as part of your new year - new you "self-improvement" plan. If you're not comfortable with the concept of unconditional "self-love," you may be asking yourself if daily "me time" is a bit selfish, yet the real question here is: "If you don't take care of yourself...who will?" Keep the party going, Aprilanne