3 Simple Tips to Conquer Your New Years Resolutions

 

New Years 2015

It’s that time of year again, when we all start looking back on our lives and reflecting on all our accomplishments, hopes, dreams, failures, lessons learned, victories, defeats, and what you plan to achieve this upcoming new year. I always love this time of the year. Today, I looked back on all my previous goals from last January, and while I was extremely happy to see I had achieved many of them for 2014, I am looking forward to setting and accomplishing even more goals in 2015.

Since becoming a certified personal trainer almost seven years ago, I have learned so much about setting and attaining many things that at first glance would have seemed impossible. I have had the pleasure of helping hundreds of clients lose thousands of pounds from all ages and athletic abilities. I wake up most mornings around 5 a.m. to meet with my clients. While most people find this to be crazy, I absolutely love it. I wake up every morning with a purpose to help others feel better about themselves both physically and emotionally. I believe that anyone can achieve whatever goals they set. While most great things in life don’t come easy, they won’t come at all if you don’t visualize yourself attaining it.  Below are 3 simple yet life changing tips to help you start your New Year of right.

1. Write down your goals. Too many people set goals, but don’t record them. Your likelihood of succeeding increases dramatically just by writing them down. In 1979, a Harvard MBA program asked graduate students, “have you set clear, written goals for your future and made plans to accomplish them?” The result -only 3% had written down their goals and plans, 13% had goals, but they weren’t in writing and 84% had no goals at all. Ten years later, the same group was interviewed again and the result was absolutely mind-blowing.

The 13% of the class who had goals, but did not write them down, was earning twice the amount of the 84% who didn’t have any goals. The 3% who had written their goals were earning an average of ten times more than the combined total of the other 97%!

Whenever I meet a client for the first time I start by asking them several simple questions to help identify what they hope to accomplish. First, I ask them, “what are your goals?” For example, let’s say a client says they want to “lose weight and reduce my body fat.”

Example: My goals are to lose weight and reduce my body fat. 

2. Create a Clear Vision. The first step to creating a goal is to figure out what you want. Be specific. The more detailed you are with your vision, the more easily you can set a course of action.

The next question I ask, “do you have a set goal weight or body fat you would like to see yourself at?” This enables them to set a quantifiable or measurable goal.

While the first two questions answer the core objective which is to identify a specific goal, I ask one more question to sum this up: “Why do you want to achieve x, y, and z?” By asking my clients to identify their why, they are reminded about what their ideal body composition. This comes handy when many obstacles arise (birthdays. holiday parties, vacations, etc.), which may slow them down along their journey to accomplishing their goals. It is a good reminder to remember why when you hit a plateau.

Example: My goal is to lose 20 lbs. and reduce my body fat by at least 5% by my birthday trip to Cabo. 

3. Set Specific Deadlines/Benchmarks. Start setting an attainable long term goal. Then, break big steps into smaller steps until goals seem less daunting and achievable. Benchmarks are a great way to keep you on track. You may find you are moving more quickly or slowly than you expected. That’s not a problem – you can adjust! Alter your expectations and timeline as you gather more information while achieving your benchmarks.

My clients and I set daily and weekly goals for their caloric intake and their exercise. If you break up these goals into smaller, measurable steps, and assign realistic time frames to each, you are more likely to stay on track and hold yourself accountable along the way!

Example: My daily goal is to consume 1500 calories daily, burn 600 calories every day from exercise, and have a caloric deficit of at least 500 calories each day.

Cheat Sheet

1. Ask yourself what goals you would like to accomplish for 2015? 

First, start by setting some board goals. Ex. I want to lose weight, travel more, make a career change

2. How much weight would you like to lose? How many would you like to take this year? What other careers would you like to pursue? What do I need to enter into those careers/industries?

Break down your broad goals into more specific goals with set numbers or metrics to help you give you set benchmarks to measure and track your progress. Try and set somewhat realistic goals, but don’t be afraid to still be somewhat aggressive and take some long shots. Michael Jordan missed many more shots then he made when the game was on the line. The only ones most of us remember are the times he succeeded. Ex. I need to lose 20 pounds. I will take 4 trips this year. I’m going to become a personal trainer. I need to become certified with the National Academy of Sports Medicine.

3. When do you need to lose 20 lbs. by? How much do I need to lose each week? Each month? When would you like to go on each specific trip? What are the dates of each trip? When do you need to have them booked by?

Once you have identified you specific goals, you need to map out what you need to do in order to accomplish these goals. Set micro or smaller goals that help build up to you achieving or accomplishing goal or goals. State your goals as definitives such as “I will” not “I hope to”. Be confident in your decision and any obstacles you may come across will melt away with your persistance. Ex. I will weigh 20 pounds. less by my birthday trip to Cabo, Mexico by May 27th, 2015. I will be in Cabo by May 27th. I would like to go to Peru by June 28th. I will be in Greece by September 21st. I will be in Australia by December 15th, 2015. I will study until March and take my NASM certification by March 28th. I will start interviewing for personal training jobs by May 1st and be employees by June 1st.

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3 Simple Tips to Help Keep Your New Year Goals On Track

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The New Year is here which means many of you will be looking to hit your local gyms and start working towards your fitness goal(s), which may be to lose weight, six pack abs, or fit into an old pair of jeans. Most people tend to fall off the wagon by the end of February, but it doesn’t have to be that way! I encourage you to take a few minutes and truly visualize what changes you want to make and write them down. Writing down both short term and long term goals will help you visualize each goal. Are you ready to begin conquering those goals? Here are 3 simple tips to help you accomplish your New Year fitness goals.

1. Large changes don’t happen overnight. Small daily changes add up to larger changes. Start by writing down both your short term and long term goals on a checklist, if you haven’t already, and post it somewhere you can’t ignore them. Next, define what you will need to do each day/week to accomplish those goals:

• Schedule out your workouts and time to prep your food each week.
• Start tracking your food and exercise daily in a journal or on your smart phone with one of thousands of applications available to do just that. One of my favorite apps is MyFitnessPal.
• Start removing obstacles that may trip you up by cleaning out junk in your kitchen.

2. NEVER EVER, EVER give up on yourself! Good things take time. Be patient and if you hit a plateau. Identify what the problem or obstacle is. Not enough time to hit the gym every day? No problem. Split up your workouts or cardio throughout the day. Get up 15 minutes earlier and go for a walk then do another 15 minutes whenever you get home from work or after dinner. Do you work at a desk all day? Get up and walk 5 minutes every hour or every other hour. Boom! You just added another 20-40 minutes of cardio and gave yourself a mental break as well. Don’t have enough time to go grab lunch and get in a walk or workout? Bring your lunch and save time you lose commuting back and forth getting fast food or waiting at a restaurant. For every problem you encounter, I promise you there is a solution!

3. How To Get Started. Hire a professional. I’ve been training for over 6 years and have helped 100’s of my clients reach their fitness goals by helping them identify blind spots. I’ve write customized meal/workout plans, keep my clients accountable for workouts, cardio, and nutrition. I also constantly challenge them with personalized workout programs catered to their fitness levels and goals.

You can find certified professionals by looking online or at your local gyms. Next, do your research. Do your research! Make sure your fitness professionals are certified, offer a consultation in the gym, and cover a posture assessment and teaches SMFR/corrective stretching. If they don’t offer these basic need-to-knows up front, you should keep looking!

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How to keep sodium from ruining your weight loss goal

One of the largest obstacles in the majority of people not hitting their weight loss goals is due to sodium, not just calories. Sodium does not add fat or calories. However, sodium does cause your body to retain water. Most people are very conscious of calories and the accompanying affect these days on weight gain, though few understand how much the sodium hidden in their food and beverages is weighing them down. Literally! Here are a few tips to help you overcome this unnecessary road block on your way to your weight loss goal and a healthier body.

1. Read EVERY Label

Most manufacturers add sodium to most processed and prepared foods and beverages not only for taste, but to preserve them. Sodium is an essential electrolyte the body needs, but in small doses. The Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommend limiting sodium to less than 2,300 mg a day — or 1,500 mg if you’re age 51 or older, or if you have high blood pressure, diabetes or chronic kidney disease. One tablespoon (15 milliliters) of soy sauce, for example, has approximately 1,000 mg of sodium. Click HERE to view the Center for Disease’s Dietary Guidelines for Sodium.

2. Prep Your Own Food

The best way to ensure you don’t fall victim to sodium, prepare your own meals everyday and week. Even though a lot of restaurants post their calories on the menu, few have sodium added on their menu. According to the CDC, 75% of sodium Americans consume is in processed foods and restaurant meals. Also, most processed foods typically have salt or other additives containing salt. Processed foods include bread, prepared dinners like pasta, meat and egg dishes, pizza, cold cuts, bacon, cheese, soups, and fast foods. If you are looking to start making major cuts at home, I would recommend starting with cutting or reducing some of these foods from your diet first.

3. Don’t Add More Salt

While some recipes call for adding salt, many foods already have sodium in the naturally.  Some foods naturally containing sodium include all vegetables and dairy products, meat, and shellfish to name a few. Condiments also contain salt, so be sure to read the labels and add in moderation.

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4 Reasons To Eat More Protein


Complete Proteins

Are you consuming enough protein? For the majority of you the answer is no and I’ll explain the 4 reasons why you need more protein in your diet. There are so many different types of food, protein shakes, bars, powders these day. It’s hard to know which actually provide an adequate amount or quality of protein and which supplements are just sugar and fairy dust these days with the amount of health misinformation out numbering the actual health facts.

1. What Is Protein, and Why is It Important?

First, lets start with what protein is, and why it’s so important to get sufficient amounts of it in even if you are not a frequent visitor to the gym. The building blocks of muscle are protein and the building blocks of muscles are amino acids. They are used for many functions such as building/repairing body tissue/structures, synthesis of your hormones, and enzymes. There are two main classes of protein: essential and non-essential amino acids. Essential amino acids cannot be manufactured by the body or can but in insufficient amounts. Non-essential amino acids are called non, due to the fact the body is able to manufacture them from dietary nitrogen as well as from fragments of carbohydrates and fats.

2. Not All Protein is Created Equal!

While most of you eat protein in almost every meal, not all protein is equal. What does that mean? There are two types of proteins: complete proteins and incomplete proteins. A complete protein is any food or dietary supplement that supplies all of the essential amino acids in the appropriate ratios. An incomplete protein on the other hand lacks in one or more of the essential amino acids the body requires. If one or more essential acids are missing or there is an inadequate amount at the time of digestion your body’s protein will be reduced.

Types of complete protein sources are: Whole egg, meat and poultry, fish, milk and milk products, quinoa, and whey protein. If you are a vegetarian or vegan there are a list food combinations you can eat together to ensure you are consuming all of the essential amino acids. These combinations are rice and beans, peanut butter on whole wheat bread, yogurt and granola, oatmeal with milk.

3. Why does cutting your caloric and carbohydrate intake actual hurt you more then help?

I’ve come to learn that most of us hurt our metabolism and weight loss programs more than help it when drastically reducing our carbohydrate and caloric intake in addition to increasing our activity levels. The reason for this is due to your body’s constant need for energy for our brain and nervous system. When cutting your calorie or carbohydrate intake too low, the body has no choice but to utilize your protein intake for immediate energy needs then using it for building muscle and other essential functions.

4. How much protein should you consume?

This is a component of peoples diet that most struggle with. The Recommended Dietary Allowance for sedentary adults is 0.4 grams per pound. According the Center for Disease Control, it’s recommended that 10–35% of your daily calories come from protein. These percentages vary depending on what your goals are. For instance, a strength athlete requires more muscle and in turn more protein to gain muscle mass while endurance athletes don’t require as much lean body mass, so the required amount of protein needed is less. No matter what the percentage amounts to at the end of the day, your protein numbers should fall within the recommended ranges below depending on the sources/types of protein, weight, and goals according to the National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM).

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A Successful Workout Is When Preparation Meets Opportunity

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I’ve heard almost every excuse in the book as to why people are not able to achieve success with their workout, ideal physique, and/or fitness goals. Here are the 5 most valuable tips I share with all my clients to overcome obstacles that you get for free, so pay attention and take notes!

1. Track Your Food 

You will never be able to create solutions without being accountable and identifying problems. Any time you go to change your body composition it comes down to calories in vs. calories out or energy in vs. energy out. I teach my clients to treat calories like currency to help them better understand the importance. Medical studies show and prove that keeping a food journal doubles your likelihood for weight loss! I recommend tracking your food/beverages by either grabbing an old fashioned notebook, creating a spreadsheet on excel, or by simply downloading one of thousands of free calorie counting applications and websites available. One of my favorites is MyFitnessPal (www.MyFitnessPal.com). I use this program with most of my clients because It’s simple to setup on your mobile device and user friendly. It even has a bar code scanner that has most items in it’s database. In addition, you can create custom recipes and break down specific serving sizes to more accurately track your caloric intake.

2. Prepare Your Food/Snacks In Advance

If you take the time to cook your food and prepare healthy snacks, you will most likely eat healthy throughout the day. I have taken dozens of my clients grocery shopping and seen every one of them succeed by simply taking an hour to cook all their food for the week in advance and storing it for later. Thus, it is cheaper and healthier to make food in bulk and in advance than eating any value meal from your nearest fast food restaurant.

3. Don’t Skip Meals

 Without proper preparation, you may skip meals or you wait too long to eat in between meals, your blood sugar or insulin numbers will drop off causing you to see a drop off in energy, reduce your optimal brain function, and lead to possibly overeating or worse creating deficiencies.

4. Commit Time Everyday to Exercise = No Excuses

Even though I’m a personal trainer, it is difficult for even myself to get workouts in. If you are like myself and feel exhausted by the end of a long work day, then I would recommend scheduling a workout in BEFORE you go to work to reduce the chances of you not getting in at all. Even if you don’t make it to the gym, you can walk even just 15-20 minutes before work, set a timer every hour or two to get up or stop what you are doing to walk for 5-10 minutes, and then commit to walking another 15-20 minutes before dinner. Congratulations! You just did and hour of exercise and didn’t even have to drive to a gym. Mission accomplished!

5. Drink More Water

You might just be thirsty! Feeling hungry or cravings kicking in? Sometime it is your body telling you it is thirsty. No joke! Approximately 60% of the adult human body is composed of water. While deficiencies from lack of macro-nutrients, vitamins, and minerals can take weeks to years to develop, the human body cannot survive without it for several days. So, how much water should one consume? According to the National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM), 13 cups of water for sedentary men and 9 cups for sedentary women. If participating in a fat-loss program, add another 8 ounces of water for every 25 pounds of weight you are above your ideal body weight.

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