I like to think that everyone wants to be a healthier version of themselves and that everyone wants to feel good about themselves. Those seem like simple statements. The hard part about this is actually beginning the journey toward being a healthier person. If you go online and search you will find plenty of good and bad information on any food, diet, or workout plan. You will also find plenty of people arguing over how to recover, stretch, and even what to wear. It can be exhausting to find information that makes sense. Because of this, people often ask me what the best fitness program is to get started and which foods to eat.
My answer to them is so simple that I often receive some curious looks in return. “Whichever program work for your goals and whatever foods you will eat is the right place to start,” I tell them.
We are all different, there is no blanket program for diet or exercise. If you want to lose a few pounds and gaining strength isn’t your goal, you wouldn’t start a powerlifting program. Just as if you are only concerned about strength, you wouldn’t do a bodybuilding workout.
Picking the path that is best suited for your journey is key. Here are a few keys pieces of advice I give every client to help them set their path for success.
- Do your research: Talk to different leaders in the field, read about different types of programs, and set goals based on what you want to accomplish. Be honest with yourself, pick a program that excites you, and be prepared to lean into the experience.
- Consistency is key: Fitness is a long-term investment in yourself. Your goals will change and so will the path to each of them; what is the same is consistency. Consistency means doing the work even when you don’t feel like it. This is where a trainer can be helpful, to keep you accountable and push you along the way. The work is still your own but just like you’d hire a teacher to learn guitar; a good trainer will provide you the homework so that if you execute in between lessons you will learn and see success.
- Abs are made in the kitchen: The best workouts can be made and ruined in the kitchen. Your food should fuel you, not make you feel like you need a nap. You can do all the work you want in the gym, but if you don’t eat to support your body it will be a longer road to success.
- Don’t be afraid to change small things: You don’t have to force yourself to eat new vegetables or protein sources at the beginning. Instead, work toward changing small habits. If you are currently drinking 2 cups of coffee a day, try cutting it down to one. If you enjoy a sweet afternoon baked treat, try substituting that pastry for a cup of fruit. You don’t have to change everything at once. Small building blocks create a strong foundation for growth and success.
- Be easy on you: Living a healthy and fit lifestyle takes work. It’s a process to shift old habits and it is hard enough without hating what you’re eating and what you’re doing in the gym. Congratulate yourself for taking the step to get on this path in the first place.
- If you need help, ask: This journey is rarely accomplished alone. If you aren’t sure what to eat I can teach you how to read nutrition labels and will help with grocery store tours. If your workouts don’t feel hard enough, consider working with a personal trainer to ensure you are getting the most of your time in the gym. There are lots of quality experts out there, especially at Austin Simply Fit; we’re here to help.
Most importantly, remember that most people don’t experience success by changing everything at once. Small changes add up to big steps! Take the leap, you won’t regret it.
This article is written by ASF personal trainer, Nick Adams. Learn more about Nick here.