Fitness In The New Year
5 Secrets to Success from Celebrity Trainer Mark Harari
So here we are. A new year begins. Of course, that means a “new” resolution to get in shape. Again.
I’d like to offer a suggestion ... and a solution.
Let’s resolve to STAY in shape this year. That means—yes—you are going to have to work hard and make positive food choices. It also means that you are going to have to stay committed to your choices and your goals. In other words, this year is going to be a positive lifestyle change.
5 Ways to Jump-Start and Maintain a Strong, Healthy Body in 2016
1. Ditch the Leftovers
HAPPY NEW YEAR! Party like it’s 1999, and then accept it’s 2016 and you don’t have the same metabolism as you did 16 years ago. The average American consumes 4,500 calories on Thanksgiving Day, and another 3,000 on Christmas. Let’s not even talk about the empty calories you drank on New Year’s Eve. You did it. It’s over. Let’s move forward. Don’t let the holiday goodies linger around the kitchen and haunt you.
2. Start Moving
Get back into the rhythm of what you enjoy doing. But this year, let’s take it up a notch. Your body looks the way it does today because of what you have been doing. If you want to see something different, then do something different.
The key to “change” is “challenge,” and I have a challenge for you: if you have access to a treadmill, download my PulseTreadTM app for iPhone/iPad. Each day you will receive a brand new, 30-minute cardio workout. If the elliptical or bike is more your style, you can adapt the workouts for those, as well. If you are not a “workout person,” find a partner who is, who will keep you accountable for the first month of this year. Make that commitment to them and, most importantly, to yourself. If you can’t find a partner, use the PulseTreadTM app. I won’t give up on you!
3. Plan Meals
Here is where you win or lose. Proper food choices are absolutely essential to your success this year, so let’s plan ahead and choose the right ones.
Meal planning is only as miserable as you make it. Quite honestly, I love it, and it actually saves me valuable time during the week. Don’t try to plan every meal for each day of the week in advance. You’ll drive yourself crazy, and you’ll be bored with the meal before you even eat it. Rather, have an idea of the different foods you like (lean proteins, vegetables, fruits and complex carbohydrates) and try to have them available to mix and match during the week.
The one meal each day that I pre-make is breakfast. If you do not normally eat breakfast, please do. It will change your life for the better. Think of the word itself, “break...fast.” Your body has been fasting since you finished dinner the night before. When you get in the habit of breaking the fast with something healthy and protein-rich (20-25g of protein) each morning, your body will learn to burn calories and repair muscles more efficiently while you sleep.
If you just can’t make yourself eat in the mornings, make a protein shake. My personal recommendation is the Shake from IDLife (www. Pulse.IDLife.com). It’s all-natural, non-GMO, gluten-free, soy-free ... it’s the cleanest protein supplement I have found.
“Mark, do I have to give up my glass of wine with dinner each night?” No. You don’t HAVE to do anything. This is where it comes down to, “How badly do you want it?” Alcohol is purely empty calories for your body. To make matters worse, alcohol lowers your inhibitions, making it tougher to say “no” to the leftover pie and brownies that I already told you to throw away! Be smart. You know alcohol is not a positive food choice. You decide how important it is to you.
4. There is No “Cheat”
I’m not a fan of the term “cheat meal,” and I’ll tell you why. The word “cheat” is negative. If you are going to feel like you cheated, then you just shouldn’t eat it at all. Now that does not mean you can’t indulge once in a while. In fact, I encourage you to do that occasionally. But do it because you’ve earned it, and enjoy it! It’s not a punishable offense, so please don’t run three extra miles or do 200 extra crunches the next day. Make it a positive experience, and then get back on track.
5. Celebrate Achieving Your Goals
We have a long year ahead, which allows for a lot of time to make changes. Be realistic when setting your goals. Instead of beginning the year with the daunting task of, “I need to lose 25 pounds this year,” get your head set for five pounds by March.
Or better yet, make your goal something not related to the number on the scale. Allow yourself the opportunity to succeed, and when you do, take a moment to be proud of yourself and celebrate your achievement. That does not mean you should go out and derail all of the hard work you have done! In fact, I would advise making your “reward” something that is not food-related. After your celebration, set your next goal, and get to work.
Remember, small changes add up to huge results. Once you commit to a new routine, you’ll feel accomplished, stronger and more energetic. You deserve to live a great life, and only you can make that happen.