So you’ve skimmed through the entire fitness hashtag on Instagram, browsed dozens of boards on Pinterest and now, every inches of your body are screaming “I’m ready!”. Now that you’re pumped, excited about finally making the change to your lifestyle, you may not know where to start because let’s face it, there’s so many things to consider it’s easy to get lost… so I thought I’d be a great idea to write down a few things I think are very important and helpful to know when you begin your health journey.
Without further a-do, let’s get to it!
1- Create small goals
The biggest mistake anyone can make is decide on an objective that’s way too hard to reach. If you ask too much of yourself or believe you can do way more than what you actually can, you’ll be disappointed and if you are, you put yourself a step closer to giving up, something you don’t want to happen.
Instead of telling yourself “I want six pack abs in two months”, decide on
2- Plan everything ahead
They say preparation is the key to avoid failure, and they’re not wrong. While I personally don’t believe in preparing your meals a week at a time, I do believe in preparing yourself and by that, I mean to always know what you’re going to do.
It might take some time getting used to it. It’s definitely going to feel like a chore at first, but after a while, you’re probably going to do it without even thinking about it. If you do weight training, then always write down what you are going to work out and the exercises you’re going to do – I’ll be talking about that later. I personally chose to use a small little book to write down my workouts and created a 5 day meal plan to accompagny that (it’s not very pretty inside though so I’m going to keep that private for the moment, okay?? :D). That way, I can have a small idea about what works and what doesn’t.
When it comes to food, you don’t want to reach for the bad things, so always have something prepared. It might seem useless at first, but when you’re starving – because yes, that happens – you’re honestly not going to think about taking the time to cook yourself a delicious healthy meal. Nope, you’re probably going to go for that box of cookies laying on the counter or the bag of chips you’ve carefully placed in the pantry, behind the peanut butter jars, to keep the temptations away. To keep yourself from ever being in that situation, you should always have a few vegetables cut out, some left overs from your favorite healthy meals that you can quickly put in the microwave before you go for the bad stuff.
3- Take. Progress. Pictures…
… aaaaaaand ditch the scale. Like, really. You can weight yourself every once in a while just for fun, but don’t rely on those numbers, please.
Progress pictures are everything and I often regret not thinking about taking them when I began my transformation. They are a sure way to tell if you’re progressing or if you’ve hit a plateau because unfortunately, the scale doesn’t discriminate fat or muscles. Unlike it, the pictures will allow you to know if you have to make changes to your workout and dieting regimen. It will allow you to see whether or not you’ve shed some fat or gained a bit of muscles. Yes, the scale can be helpful at first, but there’s a point where it just stops being useful, so you don’t want to get addicted to it!
(Plus you can show off to all your friends with progress pictures, so that’s fun :D)
4- Know that your intake is all that really matters
Three tips in a row about food? What does that mean!?? You guessed it, there’s nothing more important than that. Well, let’s emphasize on that. No amount of exercise could make up for a sloppy diet. Yes, that’s another very popular saying, but if you don’t care about your intake, what results do you expect to see?
Now, there’s not a single way to go about that. Some people swears by IIFYM while others believe in eating healthy foods most of the time with one or two indulgences every week. Unfortunately, there’s no secret formula to success. You are going to have to try different methods according to your goals, to your body’s metabolic speed and to your degree of self-control. I mean, IIFYM’s great, but if you have no control, then it can trigger bad habits as quickly as it is to say “wall” (what a random word that is).
Even though your results depend on the food you eat, your body’s the boss. You need to understand its cues. Sometimes, you’re going to need sugar and when you do, you need to know when you have to grab that chocolate bar. I can’t stress that enough. No, one chocolate bar is not going to destroy all the progress you’ve made. However, not eating it could end up in you feeling not-so-good.
5- Be prepared to drink a butt load of water
No censuring. Water is so important, you have no idea – I’m even going to give it its own post because there’s too much things to say about it. If you’ve never drank much of it before, then be prepared for a real change. Don’t force it in. Instead of aiming for the big numbers, go slowly. Say you want to drink a gallon a day, then begin by drinking 1L. Then, after two weeks, double that amount. A month after that, you can think about upping it to 3L. Aaaand you get the drill.
You don’t want to go too fast. If you do, then your body’s not going to be very happy and you definitely want to avoid that!
Also, you should know that you will incorporate visiting the washroom a lot more often during the day. It’s going to be annoying, but that’s better than keeping it all in! It’s all going to be worth it when you start noticing changes in your energy levels and the changes in and on your body.
6- Don’t listen to the Internet
This is quite contradictory, I know. I mean, you’re reading this tip on a blog, which only exists because and on the Internet, so why am I saying this? While I do believe there are some good websites and blogs about dieting out there, most of them share the “one size fits all” mentality. The problem with that is that you are you and I am me. We have totally different bodies, so how are they supposed to work the same way?
Would you feed a Yaris the same quantity of fuel you’d give a truck? No! They don’t require the same amount of fuel to function plus, you couldn’t fit as much in the first as you could in the latter.
It’s very simple. We all have different metabolic speed and while you can use calories counter on the Internet to define what works for you – and I actually do recommand doing that – but you can’t just use that number without questionning it. Depending on how you feel while working out, how much energy you have, how happy – or unhappy – you are or by your hunger level, you can most definitely tell whether or not you are eating the proper amount of calories, proteins, carbohydrates and fats for your own body. You should always make changes to your diet so it can make you feel as good as possible. It’s better to take some more time to figure out what works for you and what doesn’t and to start with a higher amount of calories and slowly going down even though it might slow the apparition of your well-desired results. You wouldn’t want to get sick.
Oh and, plenty of magazines have that mentality too. Your health is the most important thing you possess so always be careful about who and what you’re trusting it with.
Those are my six tips. In all honesty, I wanted to give you five because it’s not as disturbing of a number as six, but I just couldn’t pick. I mean, six, that’s very odd! I probably could’ve rounded it up to five and gather some more to create a part two to this post, but to be honest, I couldn’t figure out which one was less important than the others because really, they’re all very necessary.
I hope this helps you to begin your health journey. If you have any question, either leave me a comment or tweet me!
Until the next,
P.S.: Please never forget that magic is not a thing and you will have to work your butt off to see the results you’re hoping for. Just don’t give up