The best place to start your fitness program is in the space between your ears, the same area where Hogan advised golfers to improve their game. Making a decision to exercise and eat right is the hardest part, and sticking to it until it becomes a habit is the next most difficult. After that, everything else seems easy. You can expect some resistance and setbacks as your brain makes creative excuses for not sticking to your plan, and you have to be ready to push back each time.
Forming a Walking Habit
The three week rule for adopting a new habit works for many people, but some research shows that it may take longer. Breaking the habit of eating high fat foods and not exercising is difficult at first, but the reward of changing to a healthy life style that helps you lose weight and get fit is worth the effort. Setting a certain time each day for exercise is an effective way to establish a habit so that it becomes a regular part of your day.
The simplest exercise is best when you are starting a new fitness routine, and walking is about as simple as it gets. Effective, accessible, and free, it is an exercise that you can do almost anywhere. Walking strengthens your bones, exercises your heart, and helps you lose weight. Thirty minutes of walking at lunch time every day reinforces your walking habit and provides excellent health benefits. Signing up for a gym membership at the outset may prove problematical, requiring transportation and a change of clothes when you get there. The best way to achieve success is to avoid obstacles that deter you from reaching your goal.
Establishing a Healthy Food Plan
Soon after you start your walking routine, you begin to look at food differently. Exercising and eating properly work better in combination than either does alone, and they need to remain linked in your fitness plan. Getting fit and losing weight requires you to burn more calories than you consume. President Thomas Jefferson was a gardener and an advocate of eating vegetables, preferring to use meat as an accent instead of as a main course. Putting three portions of vegetables on your plate and only one of meat gives you plenty of fibre that fills you up with a low amount of calories.
Make a promise to avoid any food that is enriched, processed or refined. By avoiding them, you make food choices from whole foods, lean protein, and dairy. Start your day with a breakfast that includes at least 35 protein grams, have a light lunch, and a dinner that includes two or three vegetables. Choose an apple or nuts for snacks, and stay away from sweets.
Sticking to Your Plan
Changing the way you eat poses a greater challenge than adopting an exercise habit because you get hungry several times during the day. Your commitment to eating properly requires you to plan ahead so that you have nutritious food available for all meals and snacks. As you progress with your new fitness program, it will soon become routine so that not doing it feels strange. Your breakthrough comes when you no longer have to think about sticking to your new healthy lifestyle.