There are many competing diet and fitness trends out there. With so much information to choose from, how can you possibly choose something that works for you? No diet or workout program is one size fits all. That is why it is necessary to customize a fitness and diet routine that works for you. Doing so will help you achieve your wellness goals.
1. Begin with Your Goals
In order to meet your wellness goals, you need to identify them. What do you want to achieve by creating your own fitness and diet routine? Do you want to lose weight? Develop strong, lean muscle mass? Run a marathon? Lower your blood pressure and cholesterol? Knowing your end goal—the results you want—will help you to create a realistic plan for yourself. Creating SMART goals will help you identify your goals and put them into action.
What are SMART goals? They are:
What do you want to accomplish? Be as precise as possible. For example, saying “I want to lose 5 pounds in a month” is better than “I want to lose weight.” People who get specific with their goals are more likely to achieve them.
How will you know you achieved your goal? In the weight loss example, you will know you reached your goal if you lost the specific quantity in the given time frame.
Is your goal reasonable to complete or is it too big? Trying to lose 50 pounds in six months may be so out of reach that you give up. Instead, focus on a smaller goal of losing five pounds each month. This is more realistic, so you are more likely to stick with it and not get discouraged.
How does this goal fit in with your current lifestyle? Will you have enough time to do an hour-long workout each day and make all your food from scratch? If not, you will need to be realistic with how you can make a diet and exercise regimen that accommodates your current lifestyle, not one that works against it.
We need to set an end date to our goals. This gives us accountability and motivation to reach them. Holistic wellness may be a lifelong goal. Still, you need to set dates to smaller goals along the way. A good way to stay on track is to reassess your diet and workout plan at the start of every month.
2. Determine Your Workouts
Beginning a new exercise program can be intimidating. Trying to do too much too fast can be overwhelming and cause you to not take any action at all. We don’t want that! Instead, begin by choosing one new workout that suits you, and add on as you feel comfortable. Most workouts fall into one of these three categories (and some fall into more than one):
These are exercises that work all the major muscles of your body, including arms, legs, core, and back. By incorporating strength training into an exercise program, you build muscle mass. This increases your metabolism, helping you lose weight and tone your entire body.
Exercises that stretch and lengthen your body are important as they help improve your posture and balance. They also help you prevent or recover from injuries. Being flexible helps you enjoy activities with greater ease and less pain.
Examples: Classes such as yoga, Pilates, Tai Chi, and dance all help increase your flexibility. If you are not interested in any of those, then you can find stretching exercises online.
Whether you love it or hate it, cardio is fundamental to your health. By raising your heart rate during a workout, you help to lower your risk of heart disease.
Choose activities that you enjoy and have access (and time) to do on a regular basis. That way, you will be likely to stick with your plan.
3. Create a Schedule
Creating a schedule helps us complete our workouts, even when we would rather not. It’s helpful to write down what exercises you will do each day and when. Write it on your calendar or planner or set a reminder on your phone. Doing so helps to form a positive exercise habit that can stick with you for life.
4. Determine Your Diet
A healthy diet complements your workout program. There are many diet plans to choose from, from a plant based diet to Clean Eating to the Mediterranean diet. Whatever diet you choose, make sure plant-based foods receive special attention. Fresh and frozen fruits and vegetables, along with whole grains, give your body the nutrients it needs. Make sure the diet you choose includes adequate protein, healthy fats, and carbohydrates.
5. Create a Meal Plan
Meal planning is a fundamental principle of eating healthy. Preparing healthy food in advance makes you less likely to rely on processed or fast food. Begin by searching for recipes that align with the diet you chose. Write out the meals you will eat for the week, make a grocery list, and then go shopping. When you get home from the store, take the time to prep your meals. Washing and cutting fruits and vegetables and cooking your grains and beans will save you time later in the week.
6. Reevaluate Your Goals
After following your new diet and workout for a month, decide if it is effective. Did you follow the diet and exercise plan you created? Why or why not? Was it because you didn’t enjoy the workouts and food? Or was it because you were short on time? If you found following a new diet or workout was too difficult, then make some modifications. Lighten up your workouts and change up the food you eat.
If your diet and exercise program worked well for the first month, consider sticking with it. If you get bored with the food or workouts, you can always change them up. By continually reassessing our health and wellness goals, we can create a diet and exercise program that works for us.
For more tips on achieving your fitness goals, we recommend these articles: Resolutions Got You Down?, Get Fit in the Gym, Lose Weight in the Kitchen, 5 Tips to Stop Treadmill Static, How to Set Your New Year Fitness Goals, It's Not About Getting Skinny.
If you’re ready to take the next steps in your fitness journey, contact the experts at G&G Fitness Equipment today, use the chat feature on the bottom right of this window to connect live with a G&G expert, or stop into a G&G Fitness Equipment showroom and let us show you why we are the best specialty fitness equipment retailer in the northeast.
About the Author
Dr. Michael Donaldson is a chemical engineering graduate of Cornell University and now Research Director of the Hallelujah Diet. He has spent the last 18 years studying people who have experienced health benefits through diet and published scientific research on its benefits for fighting fibromyalgia, cancer, diabetes, and other ailments. His work consists of designing and coordinating epidemiologic and clinical intervention studies based on specific symptoms or diseases and focuses on the results of the Hallelujah Diet.