The man who removes a mountain begins by carrying away small stones
– A Chinese Proverb
Whatever may be your fitness goal, it is never easy; and if it is easy you need to change it. You need to have a goal which is challenging. But the real question is: “Is my fitness goal realistic?” That is the real starting problem. If your goal is unrealistic you will give up very soon.
In order to begin, the first step is setting up a realistic long term goal. The second step is to break this long term goal into short term goals. It took me almost 5 years to loose almost 29 kgs. As compared to the various apps / videos available online, this looks very slow, ain’t it? But frankly, who is in a hurry as far as you can achieve the results and be consistent in your efforts? There is a very old saying “Haste makes waste” and it is very true for fitness.
In the last 20-25 years I tried working out numerous times and failed miserably. I gave up too easily. But the real reason why I gave up is that I never enjoyed working out. So the first thing to do would be find an exercise that really gets you going. It can be anything from running, walking, cycling, gym, yoga or sports etc. etc.
In order to sustain there are a 3 important changes that you may need to do in your life:
In my experience, we tend to set the most unrealistic goal especially on the diet part. We end up giving up everything and then starve which forces us to go back. If you your goal is basic weightloss and improvement in fitness, you just need to make small changes and it can work wonders. Here are just a few of them:
- It is important to fix a time for each of your meals. Clock the timings of your breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks. Ensure that you avoid eating in between meals.
- Drink plenty of water. But not at one time. Drink at least 3-4 bottles of water during the course of the day.
- Try and reduce the portions of your food and try to keep it balanced with all nutrients.
- As far as possible, avoid colas and sugary drinks. Avoid sugar and fried food. If you cannot avoid it, try to fix a day of the week when you can have them, aka cheat meals. This worked very well for me in the beginning. In fact, I used to treat myself with a dessert on the weekend as an achievement for following the diet strictly for the week.
- Completely refrain from unhealthy habits like tobacco and smoking. Drinks arent really a problem if had moderately, but the real problem is the food we eat along with the drinks.
The World Health Organization (WHO) proposes that every individual should workout at least 30-mins. These 30 mins should be high intensity workouts. So, all of us who think that walking is a workout, we are all wrong!!! If you are a senior citizen, or have some medical issue then yes, walking is an exercise. But otherwise, walking can be used as a warmup and cooldown technique. Again, daily chores in the house can be termed as an activity which keeps you active, but it is not a workout. So, give yourself at least 30 mins a day for some kind of workout.
Believe me, sleeping on time and resting enough is in fact part of the exercise. Train yourself to sleep early and wake up early. This actually stimulates and aligns with the body clock. 8 hours of sleep at a stretch during the night can be very beneficial and helps your body recover from all the workout. You will definitely wake-up fresh.
All in all, if you make these small corrections, you can sustain for a longer time. The key is to train your mind to follow these patterns. By now you would know that you will not step back, and only move forward. Once you have achieved this, the next step would be to take professional advise from a dietician or a trainer to proceed.
So try and make these small changes and let me know if this has really helped you.
Stay Safe! Stay Healthy!