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Stay on track. Trim the fat.

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By Lony Chhuon

Dear people of 2013,

We’re a month in—how’s your new year’s resolution going?

Most of us made a resolution to change our lives in some way. These short and long-term goals normally consist of finding a balance between work and play, drinking less, becoming financially stable, or countless others.

However, the most sought-out resolution and hardest to maintain is, you guessed it: losing weight and eating healthy. These two changes go hand in hand, one of the main reasons it is difficult for anyone to commit to the changes long term.

A big problem is time. As students, parents and employees, we all look for convenience—what’s fastest, what’s easiest. With our many “on the go” stops, many of us could be one burger away from becoming Back Fat Betty or singing along with Jennifer Hudson about Weight Watchers.

Nutrition

It’s all about what we put in our bodies. Lauren Domanski, 29, a certified trainer at MVP Sportsplex agrees.

“Eighty percent is what we eat,” Domanski said. “The remaining 20 percent involves daily exercise.” The most shared mistake is thinking you’ll instantaneously see results working out seven days a week. We have to remind ourselves that if we’re not fueling our bodies with the right nutrition, it can dramatically take away from our physical efforts.

Set Realistic Food Goals

Style your meals to clean foods that you actually like. If you don’t enjoy the foods you’re consuming, you’ll be more tempted to eat outside of what’s right. Here are a few tips on how to deal with food:

  • Cut daily calorie intake moderately, but increase calorie percentage that comes from protein. This way, you’re losing fat but preserving muscle.
  • Avoid binge eating and don’t allow yourself to get hungry. If you need a snack, snack. Take everything in moderation.
  • Drink plenty of water. Non-water fans and soda lovers can add a Crystal Light flavoring or substitute beverage with a flavored mineral water. Lack of water can decrease performance, so don’t wait until you’re thirsty to hydrate.
  • Don’t ever “diet.” The goal we’re trying to achieve is a lifestyle adjustment for permanent results.

Exercise

LISTEN to your body. Design your workouts to fit your build and time. Start by focusing on trouble zones. Everyone’s body reacts differently.  Begin light, then increase time by progress you’ve made and are comfortable with. You don’t want to overexert your body trying to do too much at once. Here are some exercise tips:

  • Possibly create a routine 2-3 times a week with rest days then increase weekly if desired. You have to allow days in between for your body to recover.
  • Thirty minutes-1 hour of cardio is the most popular among fitness seekers. This includes treadmill, elliptical, walking or cycling.
  • Add a component of anaerobic exercise. It will maximize your fat burning capacity, burning calories and cellulite. This includes sit-ups, push-ups, jumping ropes, etc.
  • Practice circuit training—15 to 30 repetitions of an exercise without resting in between. This could include arm or leg toning such as lunges and squatting body weight.

Stay on Track

“An easier way to stay on track is to have a workout buddy or trainer,” Domanski said. “You set a goal in your mind: ‘I’m going to work out Monday and Wednesday, or let’s meet on Tuesdays at 2 o’clock.’ You know you’ll go.”

If your time is limited, try the little things. Take the stairs to class or park further than normal for a good walk. During a commercial break during American Idol, do a circuit of abs or even purchase a set of dumbbells for easy at-home workouts.

A way toward fitness is in our everyday routine! This can include the use of certain smartphone apps that can assist in shedding pounds, including the “Carb Lover’s Diet,” “Shake a Snack,” “Fooducate,” “Meal Snap” and others.

This is just the beginning. Schedule and monitor your food intake and physical sessions as best as you can to obtain and maintain the health and body you desire. Let’s strive for different resolutions in the next years and leave the Slim Fast for the slackers.