Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Make a New Year's Resolution that will Last!

‘Tis the season to make a goal for 2011. But seriously, New Year’s Resolutions aren’t hard to make, they’re hard to keep. In fact the NYR fail rate is around 90%...wowzer! So if you’re planning on making a fitness, financial or career or personal goal/resolution, make sure to make a plan! The first step is to make a resolution that has a chance! Follow these 4 simple rules when making your New Year's Resolution (NYR) and get ready to reach your goal!

  1. Set a goal. According to Psychology Today, if you make a resolution, you are 10 times more likely to succeed the desired outcome. So write your resolution down in specific terms. (ex: I will lose 15 pounds by June 1st. I will quit smoking using the patch by March 15th, I will put $100 into a savings account every month.)
  2. Be reasonable. Just as important as setting your goal is making sure that your goal possible and something that you want to do. If eating more fruits and veggies does not appeal to you on any level do not make your resolution to eat more fruits and veggies just because you know it’s good for you. If you want to lose weight, remember that you can only safely lose 1-2 pounds per week, so don’t make your goal to lose 100 pounds by February 2010. If you make $1,000 per month, don’t make your resolution to save $500 per month. Setting goals like this will just ensure another failed NYR. Find something you can be passionate about and go for it.
  3. Have a game plan. Sure you have your ultimate end-game goal, but knowing how you’re going to get there is super important. This might mean hiring a personal trainer, joining a gym, signing up for a weight loss program, buying nicotine patches or doing research about how to make your goal on the Internet or at the library. Whatever you do, make sure that you have the tools to achieve your goal.
  4. Start NOW. Yes…that’s right…do not wait until January 1st…start today. Whether it’s saving a specific amount of money every week or eating a certain number of fruits and veggies a day, start it now. Maybe not even full force, but use this week to ease into your goal.

Good luck and a happy rest of 2010!

Do you have a question about fitness that you would like answered? Just post your question in the comments section of this post or e-mail me directly at erin@ehfitness.com.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

'Tis the Season to be Healthy!

Just when you’ve come out of the Halloween sugar high and Thanksgiving food coma, the holiday parties and treats hit hard and threaten to undo a whole year of hard work on your health. But just because people are bringing endless baked goods to the office and there are holiday parties every week with fantastic food and drink, it doesn’t mean that you are destined to have Santa’s belly by 2011. Just follow a few simple tricks and trades and you’ll be cheering to your health and pre-holiday body!

Don't go hungry. A great tactic to ensure that you won't overeat at parties or in the break room is to not let yourself get hungry. Eat a light but satisfying snack before you go...100-150 calories should do it. A half turkey sandwich on whole grain bread, veggies and hummus, string cheese, a handful of nuts or a protein shake should do the trick.

Take a step back. You see all the food on the table and you want to make a beeline for the buffet. Go for it, but once you've gone through the line once, plant yourself on a far away and out of arms reach of the gingerbread cookies and peppermint martinis and, better yet, keep your back to the food and drink. With this little trick, you are less likely to absent-mindedly snack.

Work it out. So the holidays can cause stress, right? Lots of shopping, spending, parties and work. Who has time for exercise? YOU DO! Exercise reduces stress so make sure you put your workouts on the calendar and stick to it like you would an important meeting.

Exercise portion control. Where does it say that just because you can eat a truckload of food, you should? Get one plate of food and make sure that at least half is filled up with veggies, fruits and lean protein, the other half can be your favorite holiday food picks…”favorite” being the key word here. Don't waste precious calories on food that you don't really love. Pick out your favorites and savor them slowly.

Drink Dilemma. If you decide to have a drink or two while celebrating, make sure your drinks are around 100 calories or less. Wine spritzers, 1 oz liquor with a calorie-free mixer, a glass of champagne and light beer all have around 100 calories. And of course, drink two glasses of water to every alcoholic beverage to keep you from over-drinking as well as staying hydrated.

Skip the food or drink hangover. Schedule a sweat session for the morning after a party with a trainer or friend…knowing that you will be going to be working hard the next morning will make you think about how much you’re drinking AND eating that evening, plus, you'll burn calories from your “favorite” treats and zap fatigue and winter blues all at once.

Happy, healthy holidays!