5 Reasons You’re Not Achieving Your Fitness Goals

Spring into Fitness

Spring into Fitness Special Training Package

Every year, people all over the country make New Year’s fitness and weight loss resolutions only to abandon them 2 or 3 weeks in. Why do such good intentions fade so quickly? Why can’t we lose weight, get fit, and stick with healthy goals? Here are 5 reasons you may have failed in the past and 5 ways to change it around and finally reach those goals.

Problem 1: You haven’t really set a well-defined goal, written it down, complete with sub-goals, action items, and dates to complete them. If a goal isn’t written and broken down into manageable pieces, it’s doomed from the start.

Solution: Follow the SMART goal formula, and write it down.

SMART is an acronym that stands for:

S – Specific: How much weight exactly do you want to lose? Or what dress size do you want to be? Or how many calories a day do you want to eat?

M – Measurable: What gets measured gets managed. You have to regularly weigh yourself, do circumference measurements, weigh and measure your food.

A – Attainable: Is your goal challenging but realistic? Have you given yourself enough resources to achieve the goal you want?

R – Relevant: Is this your goal, not your husband’s, wife’s, or parents’ goal for you? Do you have a specific reason for wanting this goal?

T – Timely: Have you assigned a date by which you will achieve your goal? Is it realistic?

Problem 2: You procrastinate. You’re waiting for the beginning of the week, month, year. You’re waiting till after that big event (Wedding, Bar Mitzvah, Christmas, Family Reunion, etc.).

Solution: Just do it. Get started. There will always be another big event/holiday on the horizon. While you’re waiting for the perfect time, time will be racing on without you. While I enjoy setting New Year’s Resolutions myself, I also set goals every day of the year, month, week that I feel like it. Waiting for the perfect time is an illusion that will derail your efforts every time.

Problem 3: You don’t know how to start, what to do, or how to do it. There is more information available online than you can take in and most of it contradicts each other.

Solution: Hire an expert, join a group, study what’s out there. I’ll admit right here, I’m biased. I am a former weight loss client, turned trainer, who successfully lost weight with the help of a personal trainer. Trainers know how to help you lose weight through nutrition, exercise, and healthy lifestyle choices. But if you don’t want to work with a trainer, there are other ways. Weight loss groups, fitness classes, even a walking or jogging buddy can help hold you accountable.

Problem 4: You started but had a bad day, week, or month and quit. You decided if you can’t be perfect, you may as well not bother. You got discouraged at your lack of progress and gave up.

Solution: No one is perfect…No One. If you have a bad day, try to keep it to the one day and just get re-started in the morning. If you realize your bad day turned into a week or month, remember why you wanted your goal in the first place and try again. You won’t succeed if you don’t keep trying. Call your fitness expert or your training buddy and ask for a pep talk.

Problem 5: You lost weight but now you’re regaining it.

Solution: Weight loss is temporary. Weight maintenance is for the rest of your life. Losing weight is an achievement to be proud of. However, the new habits you’ve established must become permanent, or you’ll find yourself falling back into old habits that caused the weight gain in the first place.

If you’re looking for someone to help you set goals, show you what to do, and hold you accountable AFC is accepting new clients.

Check out our Spring into Fitness Special Training Package.

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Jump Start your Fitness Goals

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Mid-Winter Special – Training Package

Marlton Trainer | Mid-Winter Special

It’s true, summer bodies are made in the winter. At least, they’re started in the winter! Marlton Trainer is offering a special training package for new clients to get you started. Check out the details here!

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The NEAT Way to Burn Calories

The NEAT Way to Burn Calories

Infographic by Joy Keller and Judy Meyer from IDEA

Is Sitting Really the “New Smoking”?

Now that the AMA has officially designated obesity a disease, there will be more and more talk about how to prevent and treat it. Not that there is a lack of information about how to lose and control body weight, but having a “disease” may make people consider their own weight issues a little more carefully. Weight loss isn’t that hard to understand. Eat less, move more. However, people seem to get a little fuzzy about how to implement a plan. If that sounds like you, read on.

You’ve tried everything to lose that extra weight. You track your calories and exercise 3 to 4 times a week. But the weight stubbornly hangs on. If this is you, the problem may not be what you are doing but what you are not doing.

Experts disagree on how much of the weight loss equation is diet and how much is exercise, but they all agree that a combination is best. While the nutrient balance debate rages on, meanwhile, you are still wondering why you can’t lose weight. Barring medical issues, the problem may be a NEAT problem. By NEAT, I don’t mean groovy or cool. NEAT is an acronym for Non-Exercise Activity Thermogenesis.

What is NEAT?

Before I explain what NEAT is, let me backtrack a bit. Humans, as everyone knows, burn calories during exercise, which is why an exercise program is usually recommended for weight loss. We use calories during exercise, and depending on the type, duration, and intensity, we burn some calories after as well. We also burn calories digesting the food we eat. Modern humans are periodic eaters, but we metabolize our food for several hours after eating. This metabolism uses calories or energy. In fact, some calorie expenditure happens all the time. This base level of energy need is our resting metabolic rate and is required for healthy functioning of the body and brain.

However, during all the other hours of the day that we are not exercising, sleeping or digesting, we have a choice (limited perhaps, but usually possible) on how many calories we burn. For example, Jack may drive to the office, sit in front of a computer, drive home, surf the internet, watch tv, eat dinner, work a puzzle with the kids, go to bed and start over again tomorrow. Jill, meanwhile, may ride her bike to work, have a walking meeting with a client, participate in a corporate fitness lunch-bunch break, ride her bike home, play soccer with the kids, take a walk after dinner and fold laundry before going to bed. Guess who burns more calories? Obviously, Jill will burn more calories even without a scheduled exercise session.

Are You a Fidgeter?

So Non-Exercise Activity Thermogenesis is defined as the calories you burn doing activity that doesn’t include sleeping, digesting your food, or purposeful exercise. It’s all the other stuff you do. Some people are natural fidgeters who can’t sit still. Maintaining a healthy weight is probably easier for them than someone who enters a room, finds a seat and settles in as quickly as possible. This concept is being studied by Dr. James Levine from the Mayo Clinic. Since beginning his research on NEAT, he has installed a treadmill with a desk for himself and promotes the use of inexpensive exercise equipment for others to use at his office.

Treadmill Desk

Hubby with our new treadmill desk.

Although NEAT is not a replacement for a structured cardio and resistance training program, it has been shown to increase daily energy usage by hundreds of calories. So how can you begin living this wonderful calorie burning lifestyle? It’s easy if you make a lot of little changes.

What Can You Do?

Some examples are to park further away from the store, take the stairs, stand instead of sitting, walk instead of standing. If you are fortunate enough to have a treadmill or other exercise equipment, consider putting it in front of the tv. Some models have arms that you can rest a board over to hold your laptop or a book. You don’t have to walk fast, but even at 1 or 1½ mph, you can walk several miles each evening and not break a sweat or really even notice it. Studies have shown that wearing a pedometer can help get more steps into your day.

Take up an active hobby such as gardening, ballroom dancing, rock climbing, or make a point of going up and down the stairs twice for each trip. There are all kinds of non-exercise activities to do; you are only limited by your imagination. The key is to keep moving. Try a couple of these to start and do some research on the internet. You may find being a little more active is fun, feels good, and the weight loss you were looking for in the first place may become just a little easier.

Works Referenced

Fruhbeck, Gema. Does a NEAT difference in energy expenditure lead to obesity? The Lancet. [Online] August 20, 2005. [Cited: May 24, 2011.] www.thelancet.com.

Levine M.D., James A. 2004, Nutrition Reviews, pp. S82-S97.

Janiszewski, Ph.D., Peter. Home/office based mini-exercise routines: an update. Obesity Panacea. [Online] January 21, 2011. [Cited: 24 2011, May.] http://blogs.plos.org/obesitypanacea/2011/01/21/homeoffice-based-mini-exercise-routines-an-update/.

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Monday Motivation

Monday MotivationNever really give in as long as you have an earthly chance.
Alf Shrubb

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Monday Motivation

Monday MotivationAlways do your best. What you plant now you will harvest later.
-Og Mandino

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Monday Motivation

Monday MotivationI believe that by living as athletes, we live more fully.
-Gloria Averbuch

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