1. Start Slow
Everybody wants fast results, which is understandable but not realistic. Health and fitness is a process and depending on how long you have neglected it, will depend on how fast or slow it will take to get it back. Too many people jump into a gym membership trying to go as hard as they did in high school. However, more than likely, if you are reading this, you are not 17 anymore. The older we get, the longer it takes our bodies to recover from a strenuous workout. But that doesn't matter; you want that beach body right now so you go hard. We all know what happens... you wake up the next day, so sore you can hardly move, so what do you do? You tell yourself, "I'll go back when the soreness goes away. You have already failed yourself and fallen off the wagon, all because you went too hard in the paint! If coming up with your own workout program seems overwhelming, get ahold of the gentlemen at BuySupps and they'll make you a customized plan. Start slow!
2. Be Consistent
It's hard to make working out and eating healthier a routine if you have been sedentary for years. But if you start slow and stay consistent, it will soon become a daily routine. Hitting the gym after a long day at work will become second nature. Some workouts are going to be horrible and that's fine; they can't all be the best workouts of your life. Fake the funk, and eventually you will get the hang of it. Heck, you might even start to enjoy it. Be consistent!
3. Make Small Changes to Your Nutrition
Hardcore diets never work! Now, before you bite my head off, telling me how you ate a ketogenic diet for a month and lost sooo much weight, let me expand on my theory. Most diets have a start date and an end date. If you stick to the diet for the prescribed period, will you lose weight? Of course you will, you have been eating healthier. However, when that end date arrives you are going to act like a starving teen; eating all the junk food you can get your hands on! Then, just like starting too fast in the gym, the weight and fat will continue to accumulate until you make the next New Year's resolution! So what's my solution to this? Make minor changes to your current diet. If you can only eat vegetables with loads of ranch, start taking small portions of ranch away until eventually you get to where you like vegetables with no dressing or a better alternative like vinegar. If you don't drink enough water, bribe yourself. Tell yourself you have to drink a 20oz glass of water before you can have that soda. Following this approach will lead to a lifestyle change. This technique obviously takes longer to get the results you are after, but it's more sustainable. Make small changes!
4. Find an Accountability Partner, if Possible One With Similar Goals, or hire a Personal Trainer
Find a friend or family member that would like to join you on this quest. These three options have good qualities and bad qualities. First, find a friend or family member that already eats healthy and works out. The good thing about someone like this is they already make it a routine to crush the gym. They will keep you accountable and hopefully not be afraid to call you out when you have been slacking. This person already know how to exercise so you can learn from them. The bad thing about a person like this is they are already fit, so you are starting out behind the power curve. This can be discouraging to some people because you can't keep up with this well conditioned individual. The other bad thing is if this person is not used to "training" other people they may expect you to go harder than you should (you know better).
The second option is finding a person with the same goals as you. The good thing with this is you are both starting out on a more even playing field. Most exercises and weights will be similar, and you can progress together. The bad thing about this option is you're both clueless and have no idea what you're doing. It can easily turn into the blind leading the blind.
The last option (probably the best option) is to hire a personal trainer. A personal trainer will be able to make a customized workout program geared around your goals. The trainer will keep YOU accountable, and the money spent for the sessions will hopefully provide additional self-motivation. Additionally, qualified trainers know how hard to push you, and will teach you proper form and techniques. The only bad thing about hiring a trainer is the financial constraint; it's a small investment in your life. Once you have an understanding of what you're doing in the gym, nix the trainer. Have accountability!
5. Set an Attainable Goal
We have all seen those TV shows with people losing 100lbs. in 3 months. This should not be your goal! The majority of those people end up putting the weight back on, because it's not sustainable for them to continue that kind of lifestyle. Remember this: they are completely submerged into that TV show. They aren't working their normal jobs and taking care of the kids at home. I'm not a fan of losing weight fast because your skin doesn't have time to shrink to with your body. If you lose an excessive amount of weight too quickly you'll have an abundance of extra skin that used to cover up the fat. Now you have all of this muscle, which takes up less space. In the end, you still don't want to take your shirt off when swimming because you have this loose skin hiding the results you earned in the gym. Ok, since we covered why I don't like losing weight fast, lets get into setting attainable goals. I am all about shooting for the stars. I'm not saying not to have a long term goal to lose 100lbs. I AM saying set a reasonable timetable to accomplish this task. Be honest with yourself. Set a short-term goal that you realistically see yourself accomplishing, and set a long-term goal of what you want the end result to be. If you don't complete your body transformation in your expected timeline don't get discouraged. Re-evaluate what you have been doing and see where the shortcomings are. It's good practice to log all of your workouts, food intake, and even taking before pictures. This way you tracked the steps and you can go back and see the progress you have made. Set an attainable goal!
It comes down to how much you want it. Living as a fit individual makes everyday life much easier and enjoyable. You can do everyday "chores" at ease. Playing with the kids is fun, and you can keep up with them (for 20min). Now, if you aren't into that sort of thing don't even set a New Year's resolution involving health and fitness because you will fail just like every other year. It's not going to be easy but you will succeed. Good luck this year, stay patient, and consistent!