If you’ve ever lost weight and gained it back or tried diet programs that just don’t work, then read on! For most of us the struggle of balancing our busy lives, unpredictable schedules and love of all things food can all create some serious roadblocks in our plans to stay healthy. Maybe you play chauffeur to your kids. Maybe you’re balancing full time work and full time school. Or maybe you’re a busy executive and can’t seem to get time to workout. And to top it off, we’re tired at the end of the day. I mean worn out. The last thing we want to do is go to a gym and work out!
So, how, then do we get the help we need to lose weight and keep it off? The answer is so surprisingly obvious, yet many of us overlook the most powerful tool for creating changes in your life: Get a group of friends who want to do it together!
Bang! You probably just smacked yourself in the head or you want to smack me in the head for giving such a “no-duh” answer. But, the reality is that support groups and accountability are two of the most powerful tools in accomplishing a goal.
The following are tips on how to select the right group, set goals and expectations in order to get results.
- Choose Wisely
When selecting a team of two, three or more people make sure that they are serious about getting healthy. Some key indicators are they are excited and involved in the planning process. They engage, share ideas and ask questions to move things forward.
- Set Achievable Goals
Find out everyone’s goals. They may be different. Your friend Sally may want to lose 30 pounds and your friend Sam may want to run a 5k. Regardless of the goal you’ll want to design a timeline and expected milestones so you can track your progress. When choosing a weight loss goal, most people have a general idea of something like, “I want to lose 30 pounds.” The next question you should ask is “When? By when would you like to lose the 30 pounds?” Then set a timeline for losing the weight within the specified time. But make sure the goal and timeframe are reasonable for the individual. We’ll talk more about that later.
- Be Accountable
Check in with each other everyday. Maybe even multiple times per day. Apps like MyFitnessPal make it easy to stay in touch and see how your team is doing. You can post status and encourage each other for a job well done. The biggest boon to using these type of apps is that they hold you not only accountable to each other, but they hold you accountable to yourself. Throughout the day you’ll see your food plan progress and you’ll see the calories and macros that you’re eating and see where you are in regard to your daily caloric “budget.” I find this to be the biggest eye-opener for most people. More often than not people over-estimate or under-estimate how many calories they are actually eating. Food logging will expose the truth and allow you to make positive changes so you can lose weight and keep it off for life!
- Get Together
Nothing beats going to the gym or exercising out side with friends. Whether it’s a hike, a gym workout or simply a walk outside, exercise becomes more fun when we add the social component to it. Plus we get time to spend with the people whom we always tell “We really should get together, but I’ve just been so busy lately….” Now you’ll have a reason to get together and achieve your goals at the same time. It’s a Win-Win. Ding Ding Ding!
These four tips are the foundation for good planning and the beginning phases of execution for a healthy weight loss program. But remember, nothing happens without a strong desire and worthwhile goal. Here you can read the 5 Tips For Success and apply them to your new health program.
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Tony Bianchino is a Nationally Certified Personal Trainer and Nutrition Specialist
See more about Tony on our website Out Run your Fork.com
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