We’re in the second full week of 2015 – are you back on track after the holidays? I’ll have to admit, I’m not at my peak. Yes, I’m eating well and exercising, however not at the level my inner athlete craves. Don’t let me fool you, I am not being hard on myself about this whatsoever. I know I’ll get back in the game and hit my peak, then go beyond it. This is what consistency looks like for me. It’s a lifestyle, and similar to a marathon the pace/intensity varies. There are specific and smart training tools that lead to long-term success.
Here are a few reminders to help you train smarter, not harder in 2015:
If I haven’t already convinced you to jump on the “Planning Ahead” bandwagon, here’s one more try, it is the best way to staying fit and healthy. Let’s take a moment to reflect on what happens when you don’t plan ahead, shall we?
It’s lunchtime and you’re at work. You didn’t bring anything to eat, so you have to go out but you also have a project deadline in a few hours. Your inner athlete is freaking out because he/she needs fuel to function! There’s no time to visit a sit-down restaurant, so you dash into your favorite local eatery across the street, knowing they also have a nice selection of foods to choose from.
Once inside, you choose a sandwich, assuming it’s a healthy choice. Unfortunately, what you don’t realize is that even though each looks fresh and healthy… these packaged sandwiches are highly processed and contain high amounts of sodium and sugar. Much higher than a homemade sandwich. Doh!
Now you’re back at work and the 3 pm cravings kick in… we all know how this story ends.
Nutrition Tip: When choosing packaged foods follow the 10:1 rule – go for foods that have 1 gram of fiber for every 10 grams of carbohydrates. These tend to have fewer added sugars than other packaged foods. – Harvard School of Public Health
Plan Your Food
The scenario I outlined above could easily have been avoided if your inner athlete had pulled it together to plan and prep some meals ahead of time.
Imagine this: last night when you cooked that delicious chicken breast for dinner you also made extra to eat for lunch. You popped it in some Tupperware along with some greens, and voila. Now you have a lunch to brag about (that won’t leave you feeling grumpy in the middle of the day, either).
Yes, it requires a little bit of forethought and organization (you should see my parents’ fridge!). When you’re at the grocery store, you’ll need to purchase extra food so you’ll have leftovers. But the payoff far outweighs the trouble: you’ll end up saving money and reaching your health & fitness goals at the same time. P.S. my mom is a professional when it comes to planning and prepping food and she still finds it to be a struggle. She says she can make it Sunday to Thursday with prepared meals (breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks) for two. This is not to discourage you, but meant keep you from being hard on yourself and giving up. But… your inner athlete never gives up! Be SMART by starting small and building from there.
Plan Your Exercise
When it comes to exercise, set aside time in your calendar to go to the gym or workout at home, even if you only have 10-minutes. When you actually set an appointment to exercise, it suddenly becomes and event that’s not to be skipped.
Even better, make an exercise date with a friend. An accountability buddy is one of the most effective ways to make sure you’ll be at the gym when you said you would be. The promise I made to my buddy kept me accountable on New Years Day when all I wanted to do was sleep. I felt so much better after the workout and we had fun!
PSST! Here’s a little tip: the more solid your work out routine at home, the easier it will be to hit the hotel gym when you’re on a business trip because you’ll be so used to honoring your work out appointment.
Work Your Plan
Yep, I said it: work your plan! Getting into a routine is a big thing. The more regularly you plan your food and exercise, the more they’ll become second nature and staying fit and healthy will start feeling like a cinch, even after the holiday season.
Sometimes it’s a challenge to make a plan when you don’t even know where to begin. It can be extremely helpful and motivating to sit down with a fitness strategist/trainer to create a food and exercise plan that really works for you, even when you’re traveling. This is also the case when you hit a plateau and aren’t seeing the results you once did and still desire.
If you’re ready to take a serious look at where you are and where you desire to be, let’s set-up a free 30-minute phone consultation and begin creating a plan for success! Are you training smarter?