1. Water–an essential weight loss tool. Make it a habit, bring it with you. Hydrates, filling, ice cold burns more calories.
2. A little goes a long way. Take the stairs, park farther away, eat a bit less each meal, skip that final drink. It adds up.
3. I once knew someone who lost 60 lbs. and kept it off by eating just 50 percent of her meals, without fail. Smaller portions work.
4. You will have to deny yourself something at some point. Stay focused on what you want to accomplish. Discomfort will pass.
5. Set and focus on a specific goal. “I want to lose weight” is not as effective as “I want to fit into that pair of jeans.”
6. Walking is a great all-around calorie burning activity. We should all do more of it! (Walk hills for a greater challenge.)
7. If you only do push-ups, squats and crunches you’ll be way ahead of the person who does no strength training. No gym needed!
8. Busy day? Quick walk around block, 100 bodyweight squats, pushups–just do something. You’ll feel so much better!
9. Nike is totally right. Ultimately, you really have to just do it.
10. If you are serious about changing your body composition you must change what/how you eat. Exercise alone won’t get it done.
11. Don’t beat yourself up about your body, what you eat, if you miss a workout, or for any reason. You don’t deserve that!
12. You don’t have to give up anything you don’t want to. But you’ll have much easier time losing weight if you don’t drink alcohol.
13. Sleep is so important! Please try for at least seven hours every night. You can never make it up once you lose it.
14. So many types of vegetables. So many ways to prepare. So low in calories. So high in nutrients. So eat more!
15. Don’t think of it as “going on a diet” or “cutting back.” Make it a lifestyle change! Or your results won’t last.
16. There’s nothing wrong with eating out. Just remember the job of a restaurant is to make food taste good. Order accordingly.
17. Anyone at anytime can get fit and maintain it. Making exercise and nutrition a priority is a gift to yourself. Please do it!
18. Take one day off a week. Rest and recovery is just as important as training, especially if you do intense/extended workouts.
19. Lifting heavier weights is not always better. You’re more likely to get hurt, which may prevent you from working out at all.
20. It’s never too late to start exercising. If you don’t know what to do, get a trainer, book, DVD, go online. And start slow!
21. Consistency in exercise better than intensity. Walking 30 minutes a day is more beneficial than a four-hour hike on a weekend.
22. Working out can be a very social thing. Pair up with someone for walks, classes, gym time. Keep each other in the game.
23. Working out is like long-term investing in stock market. You’ll have ups and downs, but most important thing is stay in it!
24. Music is a powerful motivational tool for cardio and strength workouts. Utilize it to get in the exercise mood and work harder.
25. Keep a food diary, noting portion sizes. Weigh/measure out your food occasionally–most of us seriously underestimate!
26. Always start a fitness program doing less than what you think you should do in order to integrate it into your life vs. drudgery.
27. A lifestyle change can last years or forever. A diet never does.
28. Sometimes you have to go hungry to reach your weight loss goals. Not starving. Hungry. Big difference!
29. Willpower is like a muscle. If flexed in smaller ways more often, it will be stronger for the bigger challenges.
30. If you exercise earlier in the day, you’re much less likely to run out of time and/or energy!
31. For most of us, fitness condition at age 50 dictates fitness condition for rest of life. Approach age 50 accordingly!
— By Pritam Potts
Pritam Potts, owner of Advanced Athlete LLC, is a NSCA-certified trainer and strength coach with 12+ years of experience working with athletes and clients of all ages. Her specialty is in functional strength applications, developing core and overall strength and coordination specifically for the purpose of enhancing the body’s ability to function optimally and safely in athletic movement. You can contact her online at www.facebook.com/mrsathlete and www.twitter.com/mrsathlete.