There is always something that affects the way we live our lives. Sometimes it’s the job. Other times it’s the kids and yet sometimes there are widespread issues within our communities that literally force lifestyle changes upon us.
For example, take a moment to reflect on what all those lockdowns did to our once active lifestyles. Not only were we kept indoors for months on end, but we were kept from hitting the clubs for our tri-weekly aerobics classes. Were you motivated to continue on at home in front of that lovely flatscreen television?
If you are honest with yourself, you will admit that you actually spent those days binge watching all your favourite series with a tasty, albeit fattening, snack to soothe your cares away. No matter what precipitated those changes to your lifestyle, it’s time to pick yourself up and realign your life to the path you have always set for yourself.
Yes, lifestyle does affect your health but the good news is that there really is something you can do about it. The question then becomes, what can you do about it today? Here is some of what you can start doing today that will lead you on a path to success. The long answer follows:
Start with an Honest Inventory
It has often been said that the truth hurts and this is never truer than when we have to face the fact that many times the state of our health and fitness is the result of our own lifestyle choices. If we are being at least semi-honest with the choices we made during those lockdowns, for instance, we would see that maybe we gave into despair. Perhaps it was easier just to let troubles pass us by while we sat there in oblivion eating those cares away. Was there any reason we couldn’t have put on that old jazzercize video we used to dance to before getting that annual pass to the fitness club?
Was there any reason we couldn’t have spent some of that time browsing this range of meal replacement shakes to substitute for one meal a day that was altogether too fattening in the first place? What about whole grain nutritious snack bars instead of that scone topped with layer after layer of clotted cream? These are all amazingly tasty products that can be found on the Shake That Weight storefront, but don’t let the name fool you! Nutritious meal replacement shakes are not the only products they carry. If you’ve got to replace a meal, it might as well be delicious, right?
Create a Logical Plan
Once you have identified the problem areas in your lifestyle, it’s time to create a logical plan for correcting anything that needs fixing. The operative word here is “logical” because you don’t want to embark on a fitness plan that will be impossible to adhere to. Altogether too many people set a plan in which they intend to lose is specific amount of weight within a short period of time. This isn’t always possible.
Everyone’s metabolism is different and where your best friend may be able to shed a stone in an 8-week period of time, you may only be able to drop half that amount. Remember now, your lifestyle had been sedentary so you will need to boost the metabolic rate at which you can process calories efficiently. Perhaps creating a logical fitness plan is the most important step to take when working toward a slimmer, healthier you. It is better to be slow and steady like the tortoise than to sporadically race ahead, falling asleep in the process like the rabbit. Are you the slow but steady winning tortoise or the back-to-the-gate hare?
Address Immediate Concerns First
As illustrated by the example above, there are times too numerous to count in which we get so excited about the prospect of finally getting back into shape that we try to do too much too soon. Within that plan you drew up, take the time to tick off the things you need to address first. Quite often those immediate changes would be in terms of the foods we eat, the frequency at which we eat them, and even the time of day when we are consuming those calories.
You may be tempted to go without a meal or two but that could be a grave error in judgment. Think about the fact that your metabolic rate is largely dependent on fuelling your body to burn those extra fat cells along with the calories you are consuming each day. The immediate concern would be to find foods that are nourishing enough to provide that fuel but devoid of empty, fattening calories. It is perfectly acceptable to make meal substitutions but it is not okay to skip meals altogether.
In Health There Are No “Get Rich Quick” Schemes
Another way to look at an effective fitness plan would be to say that in health, there really are no “get rich quick” schemes. As a matter of fact, it is usually worse to try to do too much too soon. Then, when you step back for a few days, you will start experiencing the yo-yo effect. No one’s body can function well when it goes through periods of high energy, followed by periods of lethargy, followed by those high energy bursts brought about by inconsistency in eating schedules and amounts.
You may also want to liken an effective fitness plan to a bank account. Instead of dropping every penny into your savings only to withdraw money to make ends meet until the next pay period, deposit just enough to begin gathering interest but not enough to short you until your next pay. That’s exactly what you will be doing to your metabolism if you keep trying to jump ahead quickly. Stay the steady course and you will achieve much better and healthier results in so doing.
If at First You Don’t Succeed…
Did you expect the rest of the cliché? If so, you are unfortunately mistaken! If you notice that you are not dropping weight yet have been following your plan to the letter, it might not be something you can’t correct without a proper diagnosis from a physician. This often happens when someone is suffering from a condition such as diabetes or thyroid issues. Sometimes it just isn’t anything you’ve done by the lifestyle choices you’ve made.
With that said, it could also be that you’ve exacerbated a previously undiagnosed condition with those poor eating and exercise habits you’ve developed over the years. If you have identified ways in which you have made poor choices in the way you have been living and have created a logical plan to correct poor lifestyle habits, chances are good that you will see the results you are looking for. However, don’t get discouraged if you don’t see improvements right away. You probably won’t anyway. Attaining a good level of health takes time and effort and this is something you must be willing to commit to in the long term.
It probably took years to gain that extra weight and lose muscle tone you had once been so proud of. Be patient with yourself. Follow your plan and know when it’s time to seek professional guidance from your doctor. If you stay the course, you will see results.