We are halfway through January and I know how hard it is to keep the routine of eating healthy and exercising regularly (there were so many Christmas cookies this year!). So we checked in with La on how we can all stay on track for 2019. —M.S.
Write down your intentions. The first step is to acknowledge that you may have slid off the path a little (if that’s true) bit and recommit to your health and wellness goals. They might look different than they did in 2018, but that’s okay. What are your goals? To lose a dress or pant size in a month? Lose two inches in your waist? Set your goals as if this is the first time you’re working out. Write them down, and make sure they arerealistic. Set yourself up for success.
Record your stats. To start, weigh yourself and then have a friend or family member use a measuring tape to measure your neck, chest (across nipple line), right arm (90 degree angle and measure in the middle; do not flex), waist (around your belly button), hips (meatiest part), and right thigh (bend knee at a 90 degree angle and measure in the middle). Measure the same side of your body each time. In four weeks, redo your measurements. Do not weigh yourself weekly—the scale is not the only measure of success (just as an FYI, healthy weight loss is between 1 and 2 pounds a week). As long as you are down at least four pounds after your first four weeks of your new fitness plan and have lost some inches, you’re on the right track. Either way, never give up!
Have a plan. Michael can attest that I use this saying a lot: “When you fail to plan, you plan to fail.” The worst thing you can do is walk into a gym and have no idea what you’re going to do. Don’t freestyle in the gym; talk to a trainer before you hit the floor, take a full-body exercise class, or use one of the many fitness apps on the market to guide you. (A few you can check out are My Fitness Pal, Aaptiv, Nike Training Club, and Sworkit.) Likewise, if you’re working out at home: Make sure you have the tools you need (weights, bands, medicine ball, etc.) to succeed. Also, set the days and times you’re planning on exercising (my general rule: two to three times a week). Commit to this schedule by marking the event in your calendar. Do not cancel on yourself. Treat your workout as if it was a doctor’s appointment or a business meeting you can’t miss, and plan around your sessions when other things come up.
Summon your #Squad. Be vocal about your goals and what you want to achieve. You might find that your spouse, significant other, or friends will try to sabotage you with seemingly innocent comments like, “You can miss one workout” or “You can eat this.” They probably aren’t doing it on purpose, but when you verbally stand firm, they will learn to respect your commitment. Also surround yourself with likeminded individuals, like people you’ll meet at the gym or in spin class, or even one of your family members who will want to join you on your fitness journey, too.
Dress it up. Get great workout clothes that fit. Please don’t grab some tight leggings that you haven’t worn in years, or shorts, sweats, and flabby t-shirts with holes in them. Athleta, Fabletics, WITH, and Jennifer Lopez’s collaboration with Niyama Sol have great options for women; and for the guys, look no further than MSX by Michael Strahan. I’m a strong believer that when you look good you feel good. Even if you’re a little heavier than you want to be right now, it doesn’t matter: Own your look! Love yourself and respect that you are making changes so you can love yourself even more.
You are what you eat. One of the most important things you’ll need to do is adjust your food intake to five small meals a day. Doing this will help you from feeling overly hungry which can result in overeating. Also, when you start a new workout routine, your body is working harder and will demand more in order to recover effectively. Within 30 minutes of a workout, have a protein shake because solid foods take more time to digest and you want the protein to get to your muscles as soon as possible to help repair and rebuild solid, lean muscle. Remember: Building muscle burns fat! Shakes should be two of your five meals.
Supplement yourself. I don’t care how healthy you eat, there’s no way you get all the nutrients you need from food alone. So I recommend that all of my clients take what I call “the non-negotiables” through supplements: a multivitamin (for overall nutrients), fish oil (for heart and joint health), and a probiotic (for gut health). Also, when you’re on a mission to lose weight or get healthy, I recommend eliminating artificial sugars and dairy, and adding vegan protein to your supplement regimen is the best choice. I’ve been using supplements for years, and Previnex has the best products on the market with the highest absorption rates. Translation: your body is actually getting what’s in the bottle.