Flab to fit in 2013: How to keep your New Year’s fitness resolution
Published Tuesday, January 1, 2013 1:28PM EST
For many people, it’s the holy grail of New Year’s resolutions: lose weight and get back into shape.
With 60 per cent of this country’s men, 44 per cent of women and 31.5 per cent of children overweight or obese, many Canadians may be saying to themselves it’s time to tip the scales back toward better health.
"I'm always trying to remind myself to get healthy. Yeah, so it is definitely on the list,” said one man on an Ottawa street.
"I'm trying to lose my weight but I have to enjoy my new year,” said another man.
“It doesn't last very long. Once you hit summer, it kind of goes by the wayside,” said another woman.
The benefits of shedding a few pounds outweigh the alternative, say health experts. Excess weight has been linked to such health issues as insulin resistance, Type 2 diabetes and hypertension.
But figures show 90 per cent of all resolutions fail.
So how do you make sure you’re part of the 10 per cent who succeed?
Part of the problem is that most people have unrealistic expectations, said fitness expert Tony Greco, who counts among his clients singers Carrie Underwood and bif Naked, as well as NHL players Mike Fisher, Claude Giroux and Todd White.
"Start with small steps,” said Greco in an interview with CTV News Channel. “Start with adding more water, incorporate green veggies, maybe ease off starches and get adequate protein."
Eating five to 10 portions of fruit and vegetables a day are recommended by The Heart and Stroke Foundation.
If you want to slim down that waistline and build some muscle so you can plank like a pro, experts say it’s important to set specific goals, such as losing 10 pounds, working out three days a week and decreasing portion sizes. But be realistic. It’s hard for people to lose 100 pounds in a year, said psychologist Mark Crawford.
Focusing on short-term goals of a week or two is better, Crawford said, because a year is too long.
Most experts agree one major ingredient to success is writing down goals and keeping them in a prominent place – such as posted on the fridge.
"They say that goals you set are goals you get and when you write it down it makes you accountable," added Greco.
Resilience is key.
Once you make a plan, stick with it, said Terry Blizzard, who owns a gym in Saint John, N.B.
“One of the main things is to hire a professional, a mentor or a friend, someone you can partner up with so you guys can be accountable to each other, that's really important,” said Blizzard.
On average, people pack on 10 pounds over the holidays, he said. Getting back into a fitness regime is important for both physical and mental health.
"You want to get moving, get the good hormones playing into action, lot of people get down in the winter so it's very important to get mobility and flexibility up, especially in the winter months,” said Blizzard.
Experts say even walking 30 minutes a day can bring some results.
Also consider keeping a food diary. There are plenty of apps that make it easier than ever. Some even list fitness facilities such as FitnessFind.ca, which pulls together 5,000 locations of gyms, dance, boxing or martial arts studios and university wellness centres.
Forget about a quick-fix to losing weight. It’s time to think long-term. And don't let minor setbacks discourage you into packing your gym clothes away and reaching for that box of cookies.
"When you are making the decision, the resolution you have to factor in that it is a lifestyle change," added Greco.
With files from CTV’s Ashley Dunbar and Natalie Pierosara