By: Steven Thrash
Whether you want to lose or gain weight, sculpt or just trim your body, you have decided that this is the year to seriously hit the gym. Congratulations on choosing to get healthy and for setting this New Year’s resolution. But after your first few visits to your local health club you may start asking yourself: What was I thinking?
You’re not alone, and there are many people who will start 2014 with unrealistic expectations based on insanely lofty goals. If you start off with something as impractical as wanting to pump your way to Arnold Schwarzenegger’s physique, you are more than likely going to come away extremely disappointed at year’s end.
Dr. Martin Binks is the CEO and clinical director of Binks Behavioral Health in North Carolina, specializing in life coaching, weight loss and health programs. He has identified five of the most likely reasons resolutions fail and how you can keep your commitment to visit the gym regularly:
- Unrealistic goals
- Expecting something magical
- Surrounded by temptation
- Too many resolutions
- Going in blind
You must realize it is difficult to lose 30-50 pounds in a few months time, as so many outrageous infomercials suggest. Whether you’re going to the gym to put on weight or take it off, remember both take time. Realistically, a healthy goal to set is either losing or gaining up to 2 pounds per week. If you want or need to lose significant amounts of weight, and you expect instant results, you are going to likely fail. Try something simple like aiming to lose 50 pounds over the course of the entire year. It’s not unrealistic to lose 1-2 pounds each week, and there are activity calculators and calorie-counting charts online to help you on your fitness journey.
For example, a person must burn 3,500 calories to lose 1 pound of body weight. If a 250-pound man or woman just sat around and relaxed 12 hours a day and slept the other 12, that person would burn approximately 2,700 calories over 24 hours. If that same person set their daily calorie intake at 1,700, he or she would burn 1,000 calories a day = 7,000 calories a week. Now, look at that. This person has burned off 2 pounds in seven days just like that.
Now, imagine what you can accomplish if you hit the gym and exercise. Also, you can’t expect to achieve your goal, if you surround yourself with unhealthy and tempting foods like sweets and sugary sodas. A healthy diet will go a long way with your trips to the gym to helping you make your resolution happen.
Finally, set and focus on one goal at a time. If you do that, rather than trying to accomplish multiple goals, you will have a better chance of making your resolution a reality. Do your research, be realistic and even employ the buddy system then you will find making that trip to the gym all the easier to do.