1. Set Goals
Simply saying you want to lose weight is not enough. Instead,
set three specific short- and long-term goals that you'd
like to achieve. For example, a short-term goal could be,
"I want to go down two dress sizes by February 14th," while
a long-term goal would be "I want to lose 15 lb of fat in
2. Take a "Before" Picture
Take a picture of yourself in a bathing suit or sports bra
and shorts. When you look at yourself every day in the mirror
you tend not to notice changes in your body. Having a picture
allows you to better see results and it's a great motivator.
3. Measure Your Progress
Don’t just rely on the scale. Muscle weighs more than
fat so you may not see a change on the scale but your clothes
will feel different. Take your base measurements and then
re-take them on a regular basis. You cannot measure your
progress if you don't know where you started from.
4. Be a Joiner
Getting a gym membership is often not the best solution
for getting in shape. Too many people buy a membership but
then don’t actually go on a regular basis because
there's no structure, accountability or group support and
personal trainers are costly. Instead, join a fitness boot
camp, exercise class or other fitness program where you'll
have a set time and workout plan done for you. Bonus: You
will learn proper form and technique, plus you'll meet people
with similar goals that can give you support.
5. Flex Your Muscles
Don’t just do cardio! Strength
training is an essential part of any fitness routine.
It will build your muscle and increase your bone density.
Not to mention, for every pound of muscle you gain, you
speed up your metabolism, which means you increase the rate
at which you burn fat. We recommend strength training one
to three times a week.
6. Start Your Day Off Right
It’s easy to come up with excuses for why you can’t
work out when you're busy, so be sure to book exercise time
in your calendar and don’t double-book. We recommend
working out first thing in the morning so that there are
less excuses to get in the way of your goals.
7. Rest Up
Make sure you get
7-9 hours of deep sleep each night. Studies have
shown that people who don’t get enough sleep have
a tendency to overeat and are more susceptible to weight
gain. Also, be sure to give your muscles a break by taking
at least one or two days off from exercising each week.
8. Reward Yourself Weekly
If you eat healthy all week, allow yourself a cheat day
to eat whatever you want. Knowing that you don’t have
to completely deprive yourself of foods you love will keep
9. Change Your Eating Habits
Instead of three big meals a day, opt for five or six smaller
ones instead. Your body needs fuel every three to four hours,
which also speeds up your metabolism so you are burning
more calories throughout the day. Be sure to include protein
(eggs, cottage cheese, chicken, fish), low glycemic carbs
(brown rice, fruits, lentils, quinoa) and fibrous vegetables.
10. Eliminate Processed Sugars
Processed sugars are carbs that have been stripped of valuable
nutrients. How can you identify these sugars? They are all
white: table sugar, pasta, rice, and bread. Look for alternatives
that provide a nutrition boost. Try honey in place of sugar
and go for whole-wheat pasta, rice and bread.
Don't get caught up in the New
Years resolution craze and try to make too many
lifestyle changes at once. Start with a few realistic goals
you can handle; join a group workout, walk to work, take
the stairs whenever possible, jog with your dog instead
of walking, etc. Once you have successfully followed this
routine for a month or two, you'll be ready to add more
to your routine.
Roger and Daniela Nahas are the co-founders of the Best
Body Bootcamp – Toronto’s most dynamic
fitness bootcamp. Roger has been providing fitness training
and nutritional counselling since 1999. He has been featured
in Muscle Media, a leading fitness magazine and was
awarded the Sports Clubs of Canada Personal Trainer
of the Year Award in 2001. Daniela has been a physical
trainer for five years. She specializes in training women
because she knows firsthand how intimidating the gym can