The number one New Year’s Resolution is losing weight and/or getting fit, so I’ll focus on that. We’re into week two! I heard a stat that the average New Year’s Resolution lasts less than a month. Instead of posting at the start of the year, I thought I’d post this at the start of week two….why?…..week two is crucial, maybe the most important week in starting a new habit, especially getting in better shape. You’ve done well in week one, maybe fallen off the wagon a little bit over the weekend (that’s okay). Now, you need to dig deep in week two. If you can get through this week, you will be rolling. In this post, I want to give you a few tips that have helped me.
I think there’s also the holiday 20, if you’re not careful. Fast forward to last year. It was my first real Halloween with my 2 yr old son (at least where he was getting real candy). If sweets are around, I’m in trouble. It’s like they call my name. I even would stay up after my wife went to bed to indulge. Top that with the Holidays and I put on about 20 lbs. I was my biggest last January – 192 lbs. I was a bit disgusted with myself. Fortunately, I found my gym that I still go to. I’ve written about it before – it’s a crossfit gym (Crossfit New Albany outside of Columbus, OH). It was exactly what I needed. Even though I almost didn’t go back after my second workout b/c I could barely drive home (that’s what flipping a 350 lb tire will do to you – especially when you’re out of shape). I talked myself into going and I still love it and look forward to every workout. Couple with the new gym, I started a competition at work. It consisted of weight loss as well as body fat loss. We all put in $100 to make it worthwhile. After the initial weigh in, we had a six-week weigh in and the final (after 12 weeks). We all had to get tested via a Bod Pod, which I will go into more detail on below. I was fortunate to stay disciplined and got down to about 176 lbs….and went from 25% body fat to 17.5%.
1) Plan – First, your workouts – Keep a journal. Plan exactly what you’re going to do for that day and for how long. If you’re going to walk on a treadmill, write down that you will walk for 20 minutes. Envision yourself doing this. Don’t just write “20 minute walk.” Write “I will walk for 20 minutes today.” When you’re done, write how you feel in your journal. Keep it simple. Now, for your eating. Use the same journal. In the morning (or night before), write down what you’re going to eat. Set a goal for how much water you’re going to drink. Most say you should drink at least 60 ounces of water a day . I shoot for 90. Track this or you won’t hit your goal. The same journal is the perfect place. Here’s an example of mine:
2) Start Slowly – Don’t tell yourself you’re going to workout everyday or eat great every meal (workout at least 3 days/week to start). I subscribe to the 80/20 rule (Pareto Principle)…if you eat well 80% of the time, you’re doing well (that’s about 5.5 good days of eating). I try and eat 5 to 6 smaller meals a day….equates to approximately 30 good meals out of 35 for the week. Another way to look at this is to give yourself one day a week to indulge. I’ve had success having one full cheat day. So, I eat well Sunday-Friday, then let myself go on Saturdays. I eat anything I want. This does two things – one, it satisfies all those cravings so you’ll be okay for the following week, and, two, it actually helps with weight loss b/c it shocks your body (this is anecdotal, of course). You may gain a couple pounds that day, but once you eat well the next day and hit the gym, you’ll be amazed that you’ll most likely be under the weight you were (before your cheat day). Again, planning is key here.
Some good resources that may help:
- Crossfit – As I said, this is what I do. I’m so glad I found this. I don’t think there’s a better workout out there, bar none. It’s a mix of functional body weight training, strength training and cardio. You’ll workout with a team, with a trainer, you’ll compete and you’ll have fun the whole time. Is it challenging….Yes! But, isn’t that what we’re all looking for? Everything is modified for your level, so don’t worry about starting from scratch. If you’re interested, just type in Crossfit and where your live into Google. Most metro areas have a few gyms now. Watch this Video to learn more about Crossfit. You can watch me getting crushed in my workout yesterday here. This was me doing what’s called “Man-Makers” (25 of them) after our “official” workout was done. If you live in Columbus, OH, there’s no better place to workout than my gym, Crossfit New Albany. It will change your life and I’m not kidding. Check it out here.
- Body For Life – Bill Phillips, the guy who started EAS, wrote this over ten years ago. A twelve week eating and workout program. Pretty standard workouts. Easy to follow. Great journal that goes a long with it. I’ve done this in the past and you’ll get great results (although anything you can do for twelve weeks consistently will get you results). Big on before and after pictures, which is great motivation. Learn more about Body For Life here.
- P90x – The big craze now. I haven’t done the whole thing, but I’ve done some of the workouts. Very intense and fun. My brother has been following this for over two years and is in the best shape of his life. The initial program is around three months. It’s a little over $100 for the dvd’s and you can do this in the comfort of your home with some minor purchases. Learn more about P90x Here
- Core Performance – The writer, Mark Verstegen, is known as the go to guy for professional athletes looking to perform better in their particular sport. You’ll hear a lot about him during NFL Combine time, as potential draftees go to his gyms to hone their strength, speed, etc as they prepare for the NFL draft. The focus here is on functional training for whatever it is you’re trying to get better at. As the title says, much focus on your core, which is the cornerstone to any strong body. Learn more about Core Peformance here.
- Eat Clean Diet – Focuses on eating natural foods without preservatives. My wife follows this and has been for a couple years. She’s in the best shape of her life….she has great discipline when it comes to eating (I wish I was more like here). At least I get the benefits when she cooks for me : ) Learn more about The Eat Clean Diet here
- Zone Diet – Essentially a mix of protein, carbs and fat that you eat at every meal. Consists of approximately six meals a day. This varies on what your goals are. Learn more about the Zone Diet here
- Eating For Life – The supplement to Body For Life. I followed this religiously when I did this twelve week program. It’s so simple to follow and believe it or not, you can make some really tasty meals. Learn more about Eating for Life here
- 4-Hour Body – Tim Ferriss, the author of 4-Hour Workweek, just released this about a month ago. It’s Number One on the NY Times Bestseller list. Tim is a master at hacking stuff. Anything from productivity, to reading, to travel. And now, the human body. A ton of useful information in this book. Learn more about the 4-Hour Body here