Half of the people who start a new fitness plan stop within the first six months. Whether you’ve started a new diet or workout routine, here’s how to stay motivated.
Weigh yourself daily: According to the National Weight Control Registry, a study of thousands of people who had lost an average of sixty-six pounds and kept it off for five years found that dieters who are most likely to maintain their weight step on the scale daily. Weigh yourself at least five times per week, if not daily. If you’re tempted not to weigh yourself on any given morning, examine that excuse. If I had a nickel for every client who pleaded, “Please don’t weigh me this week,” I would have a few bagfuls of nickels. It’s on the days that you most don’t want to weigh yourself that you probably most need to step on the scale. Your reluctance stems from your premonition that the number will be high. Just get on the scale. If it’s more than two pounds above your idea, deal with it.
Go shopping: There’s nothing like a credit card bill to keep you on track. Buy your new stronger, tighter body lots of clothes. I’m talking Neiman Marcus clothes. I’m talking Ann Taylor. I’m talking J. Jill clothes. I’m talking “the-clothes-I-really-want-but-are-too-expensive” clothes. Once you buy them, you better make sure your body stays in shape while you pay off those credit cards. How? Simple. Stay on the plan.
Work out first, do everything else second: It’s easy to think: “I’m busy, I’ll do my work out later.” Instead, I want you to think: “I’m busy, I’ll do my work out now.” If possible, do a workout on Monday mornings. I’ve noticed that most of my clients are more emotionally and physically rested on Mondays than they are on any other day of the week. They also have a lot of adrenaline in reserve, physical energy that they can pour into their workout. As the week progresses, however, problems at work or complications at home tend to burn people out, and their workouts become less effective and less enjoyable. When they switch to a Monday workout routine, they feel strong and confident all week long, which translates into more effectiveness at work and home.
Challenge someone: Be boastful. Tell your teenage son or nephew, your spouse, your brother, or a friend that you’re stronger than he or she is. Choose someone half your age or male. Choose someone who is going to say “Yeah right” when you make that “I’m stronger” statement. Put money on it. Create a huge wager. The loser has to clean the house, rub your feet, cook dinner, whatever. Make a wager that you’ll really enjoy. Then challenge him to a Wall Sit or a Plank. Get on the wall or the floor and see who can hold the longest. I’m willing to bet that you’re going to blow this poor guy’s doors off. Of course he could do more reps than you. He can probably hoist more weight than you, but he probably doesn’t have the endurance to last longer on the wall or in the plank. I know this because I’ve seen it time and time again. I’ve seen sixty-year old women outlast thirty-year-old men. I’ve seen forty-five-year-old moms outlast their sixteen-year-old sons. There’s nothing like the realization that you are stronger than a man or someone half your age to keep you motivated for more.
Do it with your spouse, a friend, or your kids: An exercise partner not only makes the workout seem more fun but he or she also can guilt you into doing it on those days when you’d like to tell yourself that you are too busy.
Keep a supplement reserve on hand: Want to know why most people stop taking their supplements? They run out. As I’ve mentioned, this used to happen to my coauthor all of the time. Then she came up with this ingenious solution. She now buys two of everything. When she kicks the main bottle and starts on the spare, she writes “get multivitamin” on her to-do list.
Keep simple staples on hand: Simple staples are those foods you turn to at the end of the week when you’ve run out of groceries. They are the foods you eat when you are too tired to cook, and they are the foods I want you to turn to whenever you are craving fake food. Avocado, salsa, baby carrots, and cucumber, for example, all last a long time in the fridge and they all can be used for a quick real-food meal. Just smash up the avocado, mix it with the salsa, and dip the carrots and sliced cucumber in it. Voilà. You’ve got a real food meal in minutes, and it took less time than driving to the closest fast food restaurant. Here are some staples to keep on hand at all times:
Whey protein for shakes (Milk Shakes).
Cans of water-packed tuna and wild salmon.
Nuts and seeds.
Olives, especially the more flavorful varieties such as kalamata.
Bell pepper, cucumber, baby carrots, and any other vegetables that you like to eat raw.
Create easy weeks: We all get busy from time to time. We all celebrate holidays, travel, and otherwise find ourselves with weeks from hell. When that happens, I want you to use home workout Level 1. Don’t feel guilty about this. If you can’t get to the gym, you can’t get to the gym, but you can do something, and home workout Level 1 is it.
Keep the faith: The longer you follow the plan and the more often you recommit, the better your long-term success. It’s just like any habit. It’s hardest in the beginning. The more you get yourself back on track, the less often you will fall off the wagon in the future, and the more easily you’ll climb back on once you fall off.
Food | Milk | Vegetables