One of the main reasons why most people don’t take New Year’s resolutions seriously is because they are either unrealistic or vague. The perfect example of the latter can be seen in what is probably the most common resolution – getting fit in the following year. The problem with this is that first, it states only the goal without a plan for its achievement and second, the term ‘fit’ is quite subjective and can mean different things for each person. Still, for those who are completely serious about getting there, here are a few tips which actually might help you.
1. Optimize Calorie Intake
The first error everyone makes here is believing that when it comes to diet, one size fits them all. First of all, it would be completely unrealistic to assume everyone could benefit from the same dietary regimen. Your gender, bodyweight, age and even weekly physical activity pattern all determine your ideal calorie intake. For example, for a 25 years old male weighing 180 pounds, training one to three times a week (light cardio or sports), it should take almost 2486 calories per day just to maintain his weight. At around 1986, he would start losing 1lb each week and at around 2986, he would gain 1lb in the same time span. The easiest way to find a perfect recipe for yourself (unless you are a nutritionist or personal trainer by profession) is with a help of a reliable calorie calculator.
2. Find Well-Balanced Diet
Now, it is vital that you keep in mind that the nature of calories matters, as well. This is why most experts recommend that a perfect nutrient ratio would be to intake roughly 30 percent of protein, 40 percent of carbohydrates and 30 percent of fat. We deliberately said roughly, since there are also some vitamins, minerals and other substances your body will require although they don’t belong to any of these three major groups.
Some guides recommend reducing the amount of carbohydrates, but this would be outright wrong seeing how they are the fuel on which your body burns fat. All you need to do is change their source. Finally, it is also vital that you know that each 1 g of protein or carbohydrates contains about 4 calories, while 1 g of fat contains around 9. For comparison’s sake, 1 calorie is about 4.1868 kJ.
3. Adjust Your Exercise Routine
Next thing you need to do is adjust your exercise routine to your needs. Wanting to lose fat is a complete opposite of wanting to get bulkier, which is yet again why we said that the term fit doesn’t mean the same for everyone. You see, in order to burn fat, you need to get your metabolism going, which is why you need to find a way to warm up your largest muscles (most commonly those on your legs and back). This is why optimal exercises for fat burning are goblet squats, dumbbell skier swings or box squat jumps. On the other hand, getting bulkier and more muscular requires you to isolate muscle groups, which is why it would be wisest to go with exercises like barbell squats or dumbbell presses.
4. Training Entails Many Things
In the end, training is about much more than just going regularly to the gym and lifting as much as you can. It is about making a good meal schedule (2 to 3 hours prior to workout), carrying an adequate energy bar (best if homemade), as well as having the right fitness wear and staying well hydrated.
The last part is especially tricky since drinking too much can make you feel bloated, but also you should never be thirsty. According to Amanda Carlson, losing just 2 percent of your bodyweight in fluid decreases your performance up to 25 percent. This is why you should drink at least 3.7 liters a day (men) and 2.7 liters (women). Naturally, we are talking about clean fresh water and not energy or soft drinks.
As you can see, deciding to get fit means much more than simply deciding to get your gym membership opened on January 1st. It means doing some serious research on the topic and using it to find a perfect fitness recipe. Of course, it also means setting a clear goal towards which you will work and this is something that differs from one person to another. All in all, you have a long journey ahead.