This is the time of year when everyone seems to fixate on one single New Year’s resolution. That is to get in shape and lose weight. For the next two months the gym parking lot will be packed full of people pursuing this goal. Unfortunately after February, the parking lot will go back to the usual 1/4 full. Now I think the beginning of a new year is as good a time as any to decide to make a change in your life. The problem is people’s enthusiasm begins to wane when they don’t see the results they are expecting. I am pretty convinced that this is mainly because of 1) them acting on bad information on how to achieve their goal and 2) unreasonable expectations.
First, I want to include a youtube video of John Stone and the transformation he made back in 2003 going from 215 lbs at 30% body fat to 160 lbs at 8% body fat in 5 months time. He took daily pictures during that time, and it is pretty incredible to watch (link for rss readers)
Now that you have watched that video and see what is possible, I want to repost this great information from Mark Young and his post How not to F up your weight loss resolution.
1) Be reasonable about what you can accomplish in 1 year’s time.
As long as you are getting closer to your goal, you are making progress, but 100 lbs in 1 month is not reasonable. 0.5-1 pound per week is much more reasonable and sustainable.
2) Don’t overestimate the power of exercise.
And this is the key to fitness goals that just doesn’t seem to make it onto the late night infomercials. Diet and nutrition is at least 90% of weight loss. In fact many studies have shown many people that start exercising end up eating more because they feel hungrier. While having more muscle and cardiovascular health is not a bad thing, unless you have a caloric deficit you will not lose weight. So don’t worry too much about the exercise aspect, just get your diet down for 6 months and see how things go.
To that end, I highly recommend reading the nutrition posts in this Beginner’s Sticky Post on John Stone’s forums.
Good luck reaching your goals. Make 2011 your year.