Wednesday, January 27, 2010

How to Have Sustainable Self Motivation

I recently conducted a Fitness Seminar titled "New Year, New Body, New YOU! 7 Steps to Jump-Start New Year's Resolutions."

"Lose weight" and "get fit" are two of the top 10 New Year's resolutions. Unfortunately, these are two of the resolutions that most people cannot stick to.

In the beginning of the seminar, I asked the audience their #1 challenge that stopped them from achieving their goals in fitness and weight loss.

Lack of motivation is near the top of that challenge list. It's also one of reasons why my clients hire me as a personal trainer to inject a dose of motivation into them and hold them accountable to their goals.

People know "what" to do in general to stay healthy and lose weight. It's the "how" part that makes all the difference.

You can say and resolve whatever you want to do. Having a action plan and actually doing it is the key to success to anything in this world. Talk is cheap. Actions speak louder.

Here are 3 quick tips that may keep you motivated.

  1. Begin with the end. Start your weight loss journey with the end results in mind. It's not only about the number of pounds you want to lose, but the shape of your body you want, how would you feel. What are emotions associated with that feelings when you finally get it. This is the first part of my Dream Body Blueprint(TM) body transformation system. An easy way to keep your dream body picture anywhere, particularly in kitchen and workout area, to remind you and keep you on track.
  2. Bring out the why. It's the burning desire, emotions about your resolutions that keep you going. It's easy to sidetracked with so many things to juggle. You've got to set your priority straight. So ask youself, "Why" do I want to lose weight? Dig in deep for the real reason for what you want to achieve. Then your goal is more meaningful, has some value and sense of achievement and satisfaction when you finally accomplish. It provides the real source of power and motivation when you hit the inevitable roadblocks.
  3. Write them down. I know. I know. I know. Knowing is one thing. To do is another. Words are powerful. A picture is worth thousand words. That's why it's important to write whatever your goal and plan it. Also write down your daily tasks. What do you plan to do today so that you're a step closer to your goal? Look at your dream body picture. Start your day in the right mindset and action.
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Monday, January 25, 2010

How to Avoid the Holiday Diet Trap - Tip #5

Morris County certified personal trainer Carey Yang shares his top 7 tips to avoid holiday diet traps before making New Year's resolutions.

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Friday, January 22, 2010

The only trick I know that will work

Today is January 22. Six percent of year 2010 (3 weeks) is almost gone that you can't take back. Are you on track achieving 6% of your goals for this year?

I have a great opportunity giving a Fitness and Wellness Seminar a few days ago. The title of my talk is "New Year, New Body, New You! - 7 Steps to Jump-Start Your New Year's Resolutions." It certainly attracted many people who wanted to lose weight and get fit. In fact, "lose weight" and "get fit" are two of the top 10 most popular New Year's resolutions of all times.

The #1 Challenge

At the very beginning of the seminar, I asked the audience to write down and share their expectations coming to this seminar and their #1 challenge that stops them from achieving their goals (lose weight and get fit) in the past. Here are some of the challenges in random order:

Late night eating
Junk food snacking
Lack of time
Lack of discipline
Just being lazy, lack of motivation
Information (lack thereof or too much)
Lack of accountability

Does any of these sound similar to you? You're not alone. They share many of the same challenges as you may have.

The numbers won't lie

According to a University of Scranton study on New Year's resolutions, a quarter of people who resolve to lose weight and change their eating habits on January 1st will go back to their old ways within a week!

So if you're still on doing something, you're better than 25% of other people. Give yourself a pat on the back. But don't get too complacent too soon. The study showed the following statistics past various milestones for the percent of people still on track.

Past the first week: 75%
Past two weeks 71%
Past one month: 64%
After 6 months: 46%

As time goes along, more and more people are falling off the "lose-weight-get-fit" bandwagon.


Information is useful, or is it?

In the seminar, I shared my experiences, explained the Vicious Yo-Yo Diet Cycle and other pitfalls, presented my step-by-step strategies, provided tips to help them overcome their challenges. Some audience chimed in their answers. There were several great discussions as well.

Judging from the audience, I have this sense of feeling that 'lack of informatoin' or 'more new information' is NOT what stops people. It is the 'doing' part that keeps them from achieving the results. Far too many people spend time in searching, planning and getting ready. They never get to implement and actually take actions doing them.

In this age of information explosion and overload, I think we have more than enough information or too much information to keep us moving forward. Too much information can be too confusing to choose from.

Information without digestion is useless. Knowledge without actions is not power and won't give you results.

Your new resolution: 100 workouts, 100 reps!

The only 'trick' I know that will work is control what you can do and do what you can control.

If you understand this simple yet powerful concept, most of the #1 challenges listed above are no longer there. Agree?

As I said it all the time, everywhere, "losing 20 pounds' is not a healthy goal. It's an 'outcome' goal at most. It's a symptom from the outside. There's no power, compassion, desire or any emotion attached to that statement. Even if you get it, you'll lose it again. Fixing the symptom doesn't address the root causes. It will show up and repeat itself over and over again.

When you set a 'outcome' goal, you have to immediately set 'action' goal to support it. It's easy to say "I want to lose 20 pounds." What course of actions and corrections do you plan to take?

I issue a new resolution for you: 100 workouts, 100 reps! Pull out your calendar. Plan and mark 100 workouts for the year. That's just 2 workouts a week, not so much a demand, huh?! Choose 3 exercises in each workout. Perform 10 to 15 reps in each exercise and repeat for a total of 3 sets.

Sounds simple, right?!

One of the pitfalls most fitness and nutrition program fails is that people push too hard, too soon in the beginning and then quit the first sign of obstacle.

Keep it simple. Pick up the weights and start moving!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

How to Avoid the Holiday Diet Trap - Tip #4

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Friday, January 15, 2010

Is Cold Winter Weather Making You Fat?

We have a very cold winter weather in the U.S. for the past month. No wonder the 2010 farmer's almanc predicted a frigid winter. It's no coincident that it's the time of the year for making New Year's resolutions.

Is it true that cold weather makes you less likely to move and store more fat?

A Pedometer research published in the journal Medicine and Science and Sports And Exercise uncovered a huge difference in the number of steps taken between the summer and winter:

7616 steps per day in summer
6293 steps per day in fall
5304 steps per day in winter
5850 steps in spring

Foods by themselves are not to blame for gainig weight. Properly supported nutrition is critical in fueling your body and making your body function the way it's designed for. Most people blame winter weight gain on the food. It's not just the Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year's celebration feasts. It's less winter activity that also contributes to the holiday pounds.

Seasonal affective disorder (SAD) has been studied at length by psychologists. SAD occurs during the short days and long nights of winter and fall, when there's less sunlight and colder temperatures. Symptoms include depression, cravings for specific foods, loss of energy, hopelessness and oversleeping. These types of symptoms can contribute to weight gain.

In warm weather, people are wearing less and enjoying the outdoors more often. People want to look good. In cold weather, you're covered up. There's less self or body-image consciousness. Also most people tend to stay on a diet more diligently and train harder when summer is coming around.

So you have to keep training hard and eating properly even in cold winter season. Seasonal weight gain is usually very small. It's the type of slow weight creep that goes unnoticed. Over a period of 10, 15 or 20 years, it's enough to accumulate into overweight or obesity. One day you wake up the morning, look in the mirror and ask themselves, "How did I get so heavy?"

You have to be conscious and diligent to stay lean all year round. Watch out for the increases in your appetite and decreases in your activity. This is a year-round style, not a seasonal resolution for quick-fix.

When you make your New Year's resolutions for losing 20 pounds by summer, you'll need to make monthly, weekly goals. These are "outcome" goals that you receive as a result of the actions you've taken. In other words, you'll need to make your "action" goals to support your outcome goals.

You can't really control how much weight you can lose, really. What you can control is the exercises -- how long, how often, what kind and how intense. You can control the type of foods, how much, how often that you eat. In the end, your body responds to these training effect and nutrition. Then you adjust your exercise and nutrition program based on your ACTUAL results.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

How to Avoid the Holiday Diet Trap - Tip #3

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Wednesday, January 06, 2010

How to Avoid the Holiday Diet Trap - Tip #2

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Friday, January 01, 2010

How to Avoid the Holiday Diet Trap - Tip #1

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Seven Ways to Beat the Holiday Bulge

This is the time of the season again when people are stressed out with holiday shopping. The economic downtime (albeit on the way of recovering) has added salt to the wound - pushing many people out of jobs.

One of the biggest traps for people wanting to lose weight is to use foods as a way of comforting themselves or soothing their stress and anxiety and make them feel good.

Many people eat even when they are physically hungry. When eating food is nothing to do with fulfilling basic survival needs and fueling your body, it becomes emotional eating - from stress, boredom, anxiety, frustation, loneliness, sadness, etc.

Holidays, parties, social functions, weather are all triggers to binge eating or emotional eating. If you feel guility after eating, that's unhealthy eating behavior. You should feel satisfied after eating for physical hungry

On the New Year's Eve, almost everyone is reflecting the past year and looking forward to the coming year. The New Year's resolutions seem to become cliche. Many people stop making them since one-third of them quit in the first month. Half of them will be gone after six months.

Starting a new page for the New Year requires letting go of some of the bad habits and beliefs that didn't serve you. Here are the top 7 holiday diet traps and some strategies to beat them before making a clean start for your New Year's resolutions.

1. Dinner buffet and cocktail party. The social and family gatherings are inevitable. We're in the world of abundance - plenty of food selections and feasts. No wonder two-third of Americans are either overweight or obese. To avoid social overeating and binge, you can eat a light meal or snack packed with lean protein and fiber about one to two hours before the event. When you're not that hungry, you're less likely to make poor unhealthy choices.

2. Eat while you cook. Have you been wondering why it's rare to see a fit chef? When you cook, you're likely to taste a little here and there. These calories do add up. You can try to chew mint-flavored gum to keep your mouth busy. You can try to sniff peppermint oil. It helps depress appetite by stimulating the area of the brain to make you feel full. So you'll eat less even you do.

3. Eat everything on the table. This is the one you want to be picky eater. Before you sit down to chow, "survey" the foods to be served including drinks, appetiziers, entries, deserts, etc. Instead of eating everything, choose a few (hopefully balanced out with good carb, vegetables, lean protein and essential fats) that you really like and enjoy them. Leave some room (discretionary calories) for special dishes that you can only have during the holidays.

4. Portion, portion, portion! This is a no-brainer. But most people are still side-tracked or put themselves in situations that they don't have control. If you use a smaller plate or bowl, you'll fill up less amount of food at every meal. It will help you eat less (or the right amount). Pay attention to the recommended porition size. For example, one serving of rice is half a cup; not a full cup. That's 100 calorie difference!

5. Mindless eating. Notice that how much more you eat when you watch TV, read magazine or listen to a CD or tape than eating alone or in silence? When your mind is busy with something else while eating, you don't fully savor the taste and tend to overeat. So start practicing 'mindful' eating.

6. Winter domance or hibernation. The bitterly cold weather in winter makes many people become dormant or go into hibernation. They don't move much at all and certainly are less likely to burn enough calories to maintain their weight. Stay active. Do short 10 to 15 minutes of exercises using bodyweight or simple free weights at home even if you can't go to gym.

7. Lack of quality sleep and rest. We're already a sleep-deprived nation. The hustle and bustle over the holidays just make it worse for many people to get enough 7 to 8 hours of quality sleep. When you sleep less than 5 hours, your body produces lower level of leptin, a hormone that controls how full you feel. You also have higher level of ghrelin that stimulate appetite. In the end, you tend to eat more and gain weight.

It's your decision now to release the old bad habits and make room for the new healthy positive changes.

My best wishes for the New Year!

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