In 2001, the American College of Sports Medicine declared that it takes a four- to six-week commitment to a consistent exercise program to experience significant changes in fitness. During these weeks you must adopt healthier eating habits and incorporate physical activity on a daily basis. Develop a daily weight loss calendar to increase your odds of success.
Schedule specific days and times to prepare your healthy meals. You will be better able to control your diet by preparing food in advance. Each day plan to carry a cooler with you with a healthy lunch and snacks such as fruits, almonds, low-carb protein bars or shakes and water. With healthy food in your grasp you won’t have to resort to eating fatty foods to satisfy your hunger.
Write down five daily fitness tasks to achieve. Incorporate small changes to your day-to-day routine to lose weight. Schedule time to take the stairs, walk the dog, enjoy a stroll through the neighborhood or go on an active weekend excursion with your family and friends.
Schedule your splurges. A 2005 issue of the “American Journal of Clinical Nutrition” revealed that successful weight loss was linked to the ability to “plan” for dietary mishaps. Limit your consumption of sweets and fattening foods. Stick to lean meats, vegetables and low glycemic carbs such as whole grains and sweet potatoes during the week.
Identify your “feeding times.” Tosca Reno, author of “The Eat Clean Diet Recharged” recommends eating small meals every two and half to three hours to increase your metabolism to burn more calories during the day. Set an alarm on your watch or write a note in your calendar as a reminder to eat on schedule.
Identify your workout days. Schedule formal workout days most days of the week. These workouts can consist of cardiovascular exercise, like a walk in the neighborhood to a treadmill run, and strength-building exercises such as lifting weights or a fitness class. On each of these days place a check box on the calendar so you can keep track of whether or not you completed each task.
- “The Eat Clean Diet Recharged”; Tosca Reno; 2009
- “American Journal of Clinical Nutrition”; Long-Term Weight Loss Maintenance; Rena Wing and Suzanne Phelan; 2005
- “ACSM’s Resource Manual for Guidelines for Exercise Testing and Prescription”; ACSM; 2001