Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Simple Guidelines for Health and Weight Loss

As part of this fitness journey I've been taking, I've recently been uncovering several very simple truths about healthy, weight loss, and fitness. It's almost frightening how simple they are and what a difficult challenge they pose for many of us! I'm going to outline them below, and let's see what you think.

Simple Guidelines for Health and Weight Loss
  • Know how many calories Your Body needs
This one is simple- I'm pretty short, 5' 0" to be exact. I don't need to eat the same portion sizes and amounts as my 5' 10" husband! If you're looking to calculate how many calories your body needs each day, I recommend MyFitnessPal as a great starting point.
  • Eating a Healthy Meal does not = Unlimited Dessert Pass
I have to remind myself of this ALL the TIME! No matter if I just ate McDonalds, or if I've just finished a meal full of fresh, locally sourced fruits and vegetables, that does not give me an unlimited number of calories to spend on dessert! It's easy to get into this pattern of healthy behaviors and the thought that we need to be rewarded for each little step! Yes, pat yourself on the back. But using food as a reward just puts us right back on that cycle of "why yes I just burned 300 calories- now I can eat that 300 calorie doughnut!"
  • Working out is necessary (and fun!)
Eating fresh, healthy fruits & veggies, again, does not give me a "Get out of exercise forever" Free card. I see there being two main reason why working out should be an essential to a weight loss/healthy plan

  1.  Losing weight is SO much easier when you incorporate exercise than "dieting" or changing eating behaviors alone.
  2. Strength and fitness are the goals you're striving for (hopefully), not skinny and thin. To build muscles, you need to exercise those muscles!

  • Make a Routine and Stick to it. Excuses don't make it happen!
To accomplish anything that takes skill, commitment and dedication to that goal is necessary. There is almost ALWAYS a way to accomplish something if you want it enough. Similarly, if you want to make time for something, it's very likely that you will make that possible no matter what. If you're able to stay up until 2am browsing the internet, catching up on your favorite shows, or hanging out with friends, it's likely that you can find some time in your schedule to fit in a work out. Honestly, if you can pin down and stick to a Work Out routine, you've built some key building blocks to future health and weight loss. Even if the lbs don't come off right away, you're putting in the time and the effort to get there- it will happen!

Those Guidelines are what are keeping me on my fitness path, and realizing their truth has helped me stick to my plan. I know that everyone is different, and has different motivators. I think if you can come to terms with the four truths above, your path to fitness and health (however you define that) will be a lot easier and a lot more clear.

What do you think? What Work Out Rules or Guidelines have worked for you?

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