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With the new year right around the corner, it can only mean one thing: it’s resolution time. While people set their sights on all sorts of goals each year, one of the most popular resolutions many folks settle on is to lose weight and get in shape.
While millions of people start off the new year with good intentions when it comes to weight loss, a couple of months roll around, and many end up caving on their resolutions when they don’t see the results they’re after.
To keep your body transformation goals alive and well in the new year, we’re going over what you need to do in order to make your New Year’s resolution for weight loss a reality.
Set Clear Weight Loss Goals For Yourself
The first step towards following through on your weight loss plan lies in developing clear goals for yourself. Don’t just say you want to lose weight, figure out exactly how much weight you want to lose and a timeframe in which you are going to lose it.
Only once you have clear goals in place can you start developing a strategy to make things happen. If you don’t have a comprehensible vision for what you are trying to achieve, it’s only going to be a matter of time before you become deterred from your weight loss goals.
Be Realistic About The Weight Loss Goals You Set
One of the most common reasons people fail to fulfill their weight loss resolutions is simply because their goals are unrealistic. While most people set their sights on rapid weight loss, losing a lot of weight in a short time period can be extremely difficult to do.
On top of that, it can also be pretty unhealthy. In fact, research shows that rapid weight loss can lead to sizable losses in muscle mass. When it comes to losing weight, of course, most of us want to lose fat, not muscle.
Long story short, being realistic about your weight loss goals means accepting that it is a process that takes time. While it would be nice to lose something like 50 pounds in a month, it’s just not all that realistic.
Instead, focus on losing weight gradually. Shooting for something like 1 – 2 pounds per week is far more realistic and it’s something that most people are capable of achieving. Hitting your goals on a regular basis will make sticking to your plan for the long term that much easier.
Adjust your Calorie Intake to Reflect Your Weight Loss Goals
When it comes to weight loss, there is really only one thing that is absolutely essential and that’s a calorie deficit. In order to lose weight, you must be taking in fewer calories than your body burns off in a day.
This is where having clear and realistic goals comes into play. In order to have a weight loss plan that works and that you can stick to, you need to know how many calories you should be consuming each day.
Figuring out your daily calorie goals for weight loss first depends on knowing your Total Daily Energy Expenditure (TDEE), which is an estimate of how many calories your body burns off in a day taking into account your height, weight, age, sex and, activity level. You can easily estimate your own TDEE using an online calculator.
Once you have a good idea of how many calories it takes for you to maintain your current weight, you can begin to restrict your calories to create a deficit. Research shows that a calorie restriction of somewhere between 10 – 35% is the ideal range for inducing healthy, gradual weight loss.
Count Your Macronutrients For A More Flexible Diet
Another reason people fall out of their weight loss routines is that they can’t find a diet that they like and can stick to. One of the main issues many folks have with weight loss diets is that they severely restrict the types of foods you can eat. If you wake up every day loathing the foods in your diet, it’s only going to be a matter of time before you stop following it.
This is why counting macronutrients (AKA the macros diet) has become extremely popular in recent years. Unlike most weight-loss diets, the macros diet does not restrict the types of food you can eat. Instead, you simply set up goals for your daily protein, carbohydrate, and fat intakes, and as long as you hit those goals, you can pretty much eat whatever foods you want.
Be Realistic About Your Goals in The Gym & Plan Ahead
Being realistic about your time in the gym is also another important component of keeping your new year’s weight loss resolution. You don’t need to be going to the gym twice a day, 7 days a week to see results, but you do need to have a clear plan in place.
A smaller number of well-planned training sessions per week is still plenty of time in the gym to see progress in the long term. Shoot for 3-4 weekly weightlifting sessions in your routine to build muscle and strength.
Throw 2-3 weekly cardio sessions into your routine to build up your endurance and burn more calories. Try to do your cardio and weightlifting at different times so that your body can adequately respond to both types of training.
And don’t just get to the gym when you get there, know when you’re working out and what you’ll be doing when you’re there. Put together a schedule so that you know what exercises you will be doing and what days and times you will be doing them. One of the easiest ways to fall out of a gym routine is not planning ahead.
Find Ways to Be Consistent With Your Diet and Training
When it comes to keeping your weight loss resolution, it all comes down to finding ways to be consistent with your diet and training. As we’ve already mentioned, losing weight is a marathon, not a sprint. As such, you need to find ways to stick to your routine day after day, week after week, and month after month.
Use a Tracking App For Consistent Dieting
One incredibly easy way to make sure that you’re consistently hitting your calorie and macro goals is to use a tracking application on your smartphone to record what you eat.
Free tracking apps like MyFitnessPal allow you to access an extensive food database and log all of your meals. Furthermore, you can set up calorie and macro targets to make sure that your meals are aligning with your goals.
Meal Prep For Expert Precision in Your Diet
One of the biggest challenges to being consistent with your diet is finding meals that align with your overall calorie and macro goals every time you want to eat. While it’s not impossible to hit your goals if you’re eating out all the time, it’s certainly way more challenging.
Instead, meal prepping makes getting in the proper amount of calories and macronutrients almost effortless. It might sound time-consuming at first, but putting in the extra time it takes to plan and prepare a week or so’s worth of meals, means that during the week, come time to eat, there’s no struggle finding the right foods.
Find a Workout Routine That is Challenging but Enjoyable
On the training side of things, In order to keep going to the gym day in and day out, you need to find a routine that is challenging but enjoyable. If you dread all of the exercises in your routine, you won’t be able to stick it.
You should be going to the gym because you want to be there not because you have to. Find exercises that you like performing and challenge yourself on them. For each exercise, perform multiple sets and use a weight that you aren’t able to do more than 10 – 12 reps with.
Keep a Workout Log
And don’t stop there, after you find a routine that you like, keep track of it. Record the exercises you are performing and the intensities at which they’re performed every time you workout.
Having a record of your training will give you a clear picture of your progress and help keep you motivated and on track.
Now that you have the tools you need to shed some serious fat, you’re ready to make your New Year’s weight loss resolution a reality in 2020. Just remember that it’s a process that takes time.
It’s all about finding ways to be consistent with your diet and training in the long term. Find foods that you can tolerate eating on a regular basis and make sure you are hitting your calorie and macro goals! Tie that together with an exercise routine that is challenging but enjoyable and you’re well on your way to bringing your vision to fruition.