Every woman’s guide to an ideal fitness journey
Many women today are more conscious about living a healthy and wholesome life but don’t necessarily know how to go about it. Added to this is pressure from a significant other, colleagues at work, friends, family members, social media and that biggest critic – self! For many in this category, losing weight is the beginning of the process and waking up every morning for a run, preparing healthier and leaner meals, or cutting down on junk food remain dreams they wish could become realities. I’ve come up with a few steps to bring those dreams closer.
Define your fitness goals and be specific about it
Thinking long term is always the way to go, which is why your fitness goals should be specific, clearly defined and realistic. Clarity helps you understand and prepare mentally for the task at hand, it also helps you track your progress, and ensure you achieve your desired result. It is important to know the specific amount of kilos you want to lose, then, set a realistic timeline for this to be achieved. An example of a realistic goal is deciding to lose 10Kgs in a 12-week period. This goal is realistic and achievable. Setting unrealistic goals only sets you up for failure.
Get a good and accountable workout buddy
Getting a workout and accountability partner can be one of your greatest assets in your journey. When you feel the need to fuel your motivation, it’s always a lot easier when you have a workout buddy who can motivate you to keep going and vice versa. An African proverb says: “If you want to go fast, go alone but if you want to go far, go together.” In the end, it’s not about how fast but how well. The chances that you finish strong are higher if you have a partner committed to the same course.
Eat clean and cut down on fast food and soda
Eating clean basically means eating as close to nature as possible, that is, eating more whole foods, fresh fruits and vegetables than processed food. The more you eat less-processed foods, the better. If you find yourself buying items like chips, cookies, soda, pasta, desserts or other processed or packaged foods then a change of habit is required. If you don’t buy these guilt treats and store at home, you are less likely to consume them. Also, the practice of healthy swaps is strongly advised and will be very helpful. For instance, smoothies are a great replacement for soda or cocktails, Ofada rice is a better option than polished white rice etc.
Prep your meals ahead of time
Meal prepping has proven to be a major key factor to reaching fitness goals asides a great workout plan. It is important to plan your meals ahead of time, this prevents you from eating just anything that comes in handy. The simple reason is that the continuous habit of preparing meals ahead helps you control your diet, keep track of what you eat, but also keeps you on the top of your game at all times. Preparing
meals ahead may initially be a bit stressful but as you become more familiar with it, it becomes much easier. The truth is that the results are usually more rewarding and outweighs the stress.
Beware of your food nutritional labels
Being aware of food labels make it much easier to keep track, compare and make the right choices of foods that have the ideal nutritional value you require. You will be able to track the amount of fat, sugars and cholesterol content of different foods. It is important to look out for foods with nutritional labels that have high vitamin, fibre and protein content. Food labels will also help you track the amount of calories you consume.
Track your caloric intake
Your calories count! The golden rule of ‘dietology’ states, “if a person wants to be healthy and maintain normal weight, then they need to burn as many calories as consumed, but if they’d like to lose weight, they’ll need to consume less calories than they burn.” It’s important to track what you’re eating but more importantly, it is key to calculate and compare your consumed calories and your burned calories which would help you monitor your fitness levels.
Ensure to reward yourself
It’s so easy to get so carried away with your fitness journey that you become so hard on yourself. It is important to celebrate your successes, applaud yourself for every milestone achieved. Reward yourself as your fitness journey progresses by taking a day off or having a cheat meal. However, ssensure to be cautious and remain motivated.