Watch this video to learn beneficial morning rituals that can prepare your mind and body for everything you have planned for that day.
Some great tips here from Brian Tracy on how to get into some good habits. Plan what you are going to do the night before by making a list, exercise, take a healthy breakfast, which keeps the blood in the brain and read something inspiring.
In practical terms: go to bed in your workout gear, take a sip of your shake before your 24fitworkout, a 30 minute workout, the rest of the shake afterwards….then some reading…or listen to a tape on the way to work.
Whether you’ve been on a nutrition or fitness program, at some point you’ll hit a plateau where it seems efforts don’t equal results. A weight loss plateau can zap your motivation, but understanding the reasons behind it can help you meet your goals. According to Susan Bowerman, MS, RD, CSSD, “When you cut back on your calories, your body reacts as if there’s no more food coming its way. So it does what it’s programmed to do — it hangs onto stored up calories by slowing down the rate at which you burn them.”
Further, as your weight drops, your metabolic rate naturally goes down a bit, too. “That means as you lose weight, your calorie needs also drop somewhat. So, to keep losing at the same rate, you need to either cut your intake further, or exercise more — or accept that your rate of weight loss will be slower as you approach your goal.”
From an exercise perspective, you may be pushing yourself harder and harder but the results seem to be slowing. “Pushing your body to the point of exhaustion can spell disaster for your fitness goals. You’ve got to build in time for your body to recharge,” states former Olympian Samantha Clayton, Herbalife’s director, worldwide fitness education. “Then when you start training again, you’ve got a renewed energy and focus.”
Here are eight tips to move off the weight plateau:
• Use a food diary to keep track of your calorie intake – You may have been more careful when you started your diet — weighing and measuring everything that passed your lips — but you might not be as accurate as you once were. This will get you back on track.
• Replace two meals a day with a protein shake to help you stay within your calorie limit. When you make your shake, you know exactly what goes into it — and how many calories are in the protein powder, the milk and the fruit — so it takes the guesswork out of calorie counting. Use the shake for two meals a day, have a healthy third meal, and fill in with snacks of low fat protein foods, veggies and fruits.
• Dine out less often – No matter how careful you think you are when you go to a restaurant, it’s usually difficult to accurately estimate how many calories you’re eating, because it’s often hard to tell exactly how foods are prepared.
• Step up your activity, particularly strength training – If you’ve been working out for a while and haven’t increased the intensity of your activity, you might not be burning as many calories as you used to. Add some new moves to your exercise routine, increase the intensity, and pump some iron.
• You might actually be at the right weight – If you can, get your body composition checked. Muscle is ‘denser’ and takes up less space than body fat — so if you are carrying more muscle than the average person, you might weigh more than you think you should. If your body fat is within normal range, then you may not have much — if any — additional weight to lose.
• Avoid fatigue – Your body needs to re-generate, restore and repair itself often. Your pain receptors will make movements uncomfortable and your joints can become tender when you push your body too hard. The nervous system also needs time to rest in order to adapt and improve from training.
• Follow your natural cycle – Athletes train in cycles for a reason, the timing of training may vary from athlete to athlete but one common factor in every athlete’s training program are pre-planned rest days. A well-rested body will get better results than a tired one.
• Spark excitement – If you are putting your body through the motions day after day, you can become complacent and your exercise intensity is likely to drop without you even realizing. Taking a day or two off from your current workout routine can make you come back to the gym with a renewed commitment and excited approach.
When it comes to finding motivation to get up off the couch and improve your fitness level, sometimes it takes more than willpower alone to make it happen.
‘I’m too busy and I can’t find the time.‘
This is the number one excuse I hear for not exercising and, you may find it hard to believe, but this was also my go-to excuse after having triplets. It was an excuse that really worked because who would ever disagree? My four young kids sure do take up a lot of time.
And this ‘I’m too busy…‘ excuse sounds so much better and less embarrassing than the truth: ‘I’m just too tired and I don’t have the motivation’.
The reality is that we can all make time to add activity into our life. All we need to do is realize that excuses will only hurt us in the long term. Sometimes it takes a health scare or an embarrassing moment to force us to address the issue but why wait for that to happen before improving your life?
My changing moment was being asked to leave a steam room at the spa and being lectured in front of a full crowd on how heat could harm my unborn child. Sounds awful, right? The real problem was that my babies were five months old already. Talk about a cringe worthy moment! This was all the motivation I needed to get my body and fitness back on track.
3 ways to squeeze in a workout into your day:
1. Set your alarm 30 minutes earlier
This may seem like an obvious tip but it definitely takes motivation not to hit the snooze button and lie back down!
My next piece of advice may seem crazy but it worked for me: for the first few weeks wear a loose fitting workout kit to bed or place your workout outfit with your tennis shoes right next to your bed. When the alarm starts buzzing, put on your socks and shoes and get to it.
Working out at home or close to home is the best way to start out because it removes any excuses about joining a gym or having to travel anywhere. Sure, jogging along a beach at dawn may sound nice but, in reality, you probably need to get your workout done and dusted as quickly as possible.
As your body gets used to the time adjustment, add an extra 10 minutes so that you can actually comb your hair and brush your teeth before you go!
2. Pack your workout clothes and take them to work.
If you are not a morning person then it’s time for Plan B: the lunchtime power-walk. Schedule it in like you would a dentist or your hair salon appointment. It’s funny that we wouldn’t dream of not getting our hair cut but taking care of our health often gets overlooked or sidelined.
Asking a co-worker to join you will give you the extra motivation not to skip a session.
3. Split your workout into smaller segments.
If finding a full 30 minutes is too difficult, then try to do three or more mini workouts. It’s fine to accumulate your workout throughout your day.
This tip works especially well for stay-at-home-moms with young children because occupying a child for 10 minutes while you jump around and squeeze in a workout is a realistic goal.
If you work in an office and sit down all day, try taking a brief 10 minutes to stretch out or walk around the office, it may improve your energy level and boost your concentration.
Making an activity part of your lifestyle instead of a chore makes results easier to achieve. You might be amazed at how quickly small changes really do add up. Trust me, I’ve tried these and they worked for me. When I first got back into exercise, I sometimes went with tip one and other days I chose tip two or three, but I made sure to aim for at least 30 minutes every day and I began feeling more active, and consequently happier, in no time.
Once I decided to ditch my excuses and made time in my day to exercise, I was able to quickly progress to a regular spinning class and being active became just something I did rather than something I had to think about. People even started complementing me on all the extra energy I seemed to have.
So, no excuses - everybody can find time to exercise.
Written by Samantha Clayton. Samantha is a paid consultant to Herbalife.