Summer is fast approaching and the beaches will soon receive bikinis and swimsuits. Are you ready? Okay, do not worry. If you’re not ready to deal with the crowds of people who flock to the beaches, here’s a plan to get you in shape.

Step #1 Start by setting your specific fitness goals

A.Make sure your goals are realistic. You can safely lose 1-2.5 pounds per week. So a realistic goal would be “I want to lose 30 pounds by August 1, 2009.” This would be a realistic goal.

Step #2 Set a realistic target date

A. Losing weight should be a long-term goal for a healthy lifestyle. Think about establishing great nutrition and exercise habits that will last a lifetime.

B. Changing your lifestyle can be very stressful at first; stress levels increase when the weight of an unattainable goal is added. Setting unrealistic weight loss dates can lead to frustration and cause you to give up.

Step #3 Make sure your goals are your personal goals

A. Decide what you want for yourself. Is it a life of better overall fitness or lower blood pressure? Knowing that the goals you set for yourself are not a reflection of those that others have set for you.

B. The pressure of starting a new program combined with the expectations of others can often be overwhelming. Share your goals only with people you think will encourage and support you. If you find yourself in an environment where others do not support your efforts, DO NOT share your goals with them. Misery loves company. So surround yourself with positive people.

Step #4 is simple. write your goals

A. Be creative with the way you present your goals.

B. Find colored paper to make your goals come alive.

Step #5 Post your goals and images

A. Post your goals where you can see them daily. Stick your targets on the refrigerator, bathroom door, office computer, workstation, or car dashboard. Place your targets anywhere you spend a lot of time.

B. Visualization is 8 times faster than auditory learning. Use visual stimuli including photographs, or that bikini/swimsuit you’ve been eyeing.

Step #6 Plan your meals accordingly

A. Part of a good plan starts today. Make a schedule that includes meal preparation time.

B. Don’t use your schedule as an excuse to stop at the local fast food for the #1 combo.

C. Never skip a meal. The most important meal of the day is breakfast. No, not Krispy Kremes and Starbucks, they are not a great way to start the day. Skipping meals throughout the day slows down your metabolism. When your metabolism slows down, your body burns fewer calories and therefore stores unnecessary fat. The reality is that you must eat healthy to lose weight safely.

Items to include Items to exclude

Anything baked, broiled, or grilled Anything fried

Protein from Chicken, or Fish, Tuna Soda

Cheese Low Fat Cheese

Water, Water and Water Juice

Wholemeal Bread White Bread

Steamed Fresh Vegetables White Rice

olive oil butter

Egg whites Tap water

Sweet potatoes


Step #7 Write your action plan (Exercise)

A. To reach your goal you must have an action plan.

B. Decide what steps are necessary to achieve your fitness goals.

C. Okay, you have your nutrition plan and goals in writing. The next

The step is to plan your movement routine. Cardiovascular activities may include

one or more of the following:

1. Walk at a brisk pace, while moving your arms as if you were running.

2. Jump rope

3. Combination of walking and running


5. Pilates, Yoga

6. Swim

7. Ride a bike

8. Take your dog for a walk

9. Jogging


Beginners 10-15 minutes

Intermediate 20-30 minutes

Advance 30-60 minutes

Step #8 Keys to your Success

What you eat is 80% of your success rate. The other 20 percent is how you change your lifestyle to incorporate physical activity. Before beginning any exercise routine, consult a doctor.

Step #9 Be patient

A. Ask yourself how long it took to gain weight. If you are on average over 2-3 years old, it is realistic that you have developed bad habits over time. Therefore, it will take at least 6 months to develop healthier habits.

B. Self-discipline and follow through are the two most difficult things to achieve when losing weight. Know that you will have good days and bad days, and some days in between. But reward yourself by knowing that you’re doing something you can pass on to your kids: yourself and a healthy lifestyle.


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