Burn the fat: How to get motivated and stay that way
Want to lose weight? Brinda Sapat lists out simple but effective strategies that will help you shed all those kilos!
Imagine yourself as being fit, or slim, or muscular, or flexible, or stronger... whatever your fitness goal is.
This may sound silly on the surface but research has proved that imagining yourself as your desired end result makes it easier and quicker to attain.
The reason is pretty simple. Once you have fed that message to your brain, you will begin to programme yourself in accordance.
Mind set is where the process begins.
These strategies work for all fitness targets. Here we take, for example the very popular goal of weight loss.
1. Think of what you will look like slim and fit
Like it? Now freeze that image in your head.
2. Think of what will help you to get there.
You know it already!
An exercise schedule and a good food plan.
But you do need to think and pick the correct form of exercise. (Which in this case is mainly cardiovascular exercise and some weight training).
A lot of people embark on a fitness programme without knowing that there are different workouts for different results, leaving them totally off the mark.
How often have you heard; "I've been working out but nothing's happening!"?
Same goes for food plans. Your diet must be targeted towards your goal.
More importantly, pick an exercise plan that you enjoy, making you more likely to stick to it.
For eg, there are various forms of cardio, not just the gym cardio machines; you can swim, walk, do a cardio class or cycle.
3. Think Realistically
Remember it took a long time for you to gain all that weight.
Most people want a 3-6 month weight loss plan for what took years to gain.
Losing weight the right way takes time.
You don't want sudden weight loss that leaves you low on energy, your skin loose and face dull.
Your motto should be: "I want to be slim AND fit".
Being realistic also means not denying yourself the odd chocolate cake.
You want to be slim but you also want to be happy! No harm in an occasional indulgence.
Likewise, with exercise.
It is okay to skip a workout once in a while if you aren't up to it.
4. Make it a part of your lifestyle
This is paramount!
Not only diet and exercise but you have to think yourself slim in the smaller details of your day.
I want to be slim so I shouldn't wait for the lift, but take the stairs; I'll skip the sugar in my coffee; I'll walk to pick up the groceries; I'll snack on nuts; I'm going catch up with my friend over a walk instead of coffee; etc.
5. Out with the old, in with the new
You are thinking yourself slim now, so ditch your old habits that led to fat gain.
6. Treat yourself
Give yourself a pat on the back for the change of attitude and setting yourself up for attaining your goal.
Get something that motivates you.
A new workout t-shirt, pair of shoes, an outfit you'd love to see yourself in.
7. Keep that thought alive
Enthusiasm can fade. You need to keep it up.
Do whatever works.
Tell a friend to hold you accountable, paste a slim person's picture where you can see it, set motivating alarms on your phone; anything that helps and keep thinking fit!
Image: The first step to getting fit is to set the target -- imagine what you want to look like at the end of your fitness programme.
Photographs: Keith Bedford/Reuters