You are dedicated to the gym and never miss a day of workout. Yet, you don’t seem to have inched closer to your goal, be it to bulk up or lose weight. The mistake most of us tend to make when it comes to fitness is that we don’t look beyond exercise. While working out is an important aspect of fitness, it’s not the only one. To achieve your fitness goals, here are 8 commandments that you should abide by.
1. Eat A Wholesome Meal
The general perception is that the lesser you eat, the leaner you become. However, this couldn’t be further from the truth. In order to attain your goal and shed those extra calories, it’s important that you cut down on only the “unhealthy” foods instead of starving yourself. So, make sure you don’t skip meals and eat a wholesome diet.1
- Load up on protein-rich foods like eggs, nuts, and seafood. They’ll fill you up and keep you from overeating.
- Replace multigrain and refined wheat or flour with their healthier counterpart – wholegrain. Oats and brown rice are good examples of whole grains.
- Eat foods that are rich in antioxidants, such as oranges, berries, and even dark chocolate. They will reduce oxidative damage and boost your immunity.
2. Plan Your Diet For The Entire Week
Now that you know what to eat, it’s important that you plan your diet. Plan what you’re going to eat for the entire week and buy the ingredients required. If possible, pre-cook some of your meals by chopping those vegetables or preparing that sauce. And while you’re at it, also pack a snack jar that you can munch on while at work. When you know exactly what you’re going to eat and have the ingredients ready to prepare it, it’s unlikely that you’ll give in to craving and call pizza delivery.
3. Stay Away From The Weighing Scale
While it’s tempting to check your weight every now and then and check your progress, it’s best you avoid it. Your weight is not the sole judge of your fitness level. Your weight can sometimes fluctuate and sometimes this variation has nothing to do with your fitness. Also, a low number of the scale doesn’t necessarily mean you’re healthy. So, stick to measuring your weight once a month or so and not more than that.
4. Choose Your Workout Routine Based On Your Interest
The gym isn’t your only way to fitness. If you enjoy dancing, opt for Zumba. If you’re into martial arts, MMA (or mixed martial arts) might be the perfect workout routine for you. When you choose a routine based on your interest, it won’t feel like a task and you’ll actually enjoy doing it. Also, look at your fitness level before narrowing down on your routine. If you’re a beginner, don’t opt for high-intensity workouts right away. Ease your body into the workout mode by starting off with simpler exercises and activities like Zumba or swimming!
5. Plan “Rest” Days
In a bid to attain those envy-worthy surfboard abs, you might end up overworking. If you don’t give yourself some “rest” days in between workout days, your body might not be able to handle it. Without proper recovery, you might just end up increasing your risk of sustaining an injury. Take at least one day off a week. If you’re doing intense training, then you might need a longer rest period.2
6. Have A Fitness Buddy
It’s easy to lose motivation when there’s no one pats your back when you hit a fitness milestone. So, find a friend with similar fitness goals as you and plan your routines together. This way, you can motivate and even inspire each other to work out and stay away from that bag of chips!
7. Don’t Be Impatient
Once you set a goal, don’t be impatient to reach it. It takes months, if not years, to actually get close to being “fit.” Train regularly and don’t give up if you don’t see instantaneous results. We know it’s not easy to work hard and not see any results. So, try and break up your goals into smaller targets. If you aim to lose 30 pounds by the end of the year, make sure you lose about 5 pounds every two months. This way, you’ll know you’re walking the right path and won’t lose hope.
8. Get A Good Night’s Sleep
This is non-negotiable. Every night, aim for at least 7–8 hours of sleep. If you tend to carry your work home, plan your schedule better. If you have trouble sleeping, consider playing soothing music or read a book before you hit the bed. By skipping sleep, you’re only stepping away from your fitness goal.
So, there you go, folks! Follow these 8 commandments for a healthier and fitter you!