INDIANAPOLIS — Physical health and fitness is annually one of the top resolutions for the new year.
Unfortunately, research shows about 80% of people will give up on their resolutions by the end of February. To help beat the burnout we talked to two experts, a clinical dietician and an exercise physiologist about the things people can do to keep up with their resolutions for the long haul.
One of the first lessons according to IU Health Clinical Dietician Garret Swisher is that it’s important to make your goals realistic and achievable. Swisher says generally, a person can get more benefits out of their resolutions if they start with smaller achievable goals in the beginning, then build their way up as they go.
“Instead of saying, ‘hey I want to lose 15 pounds,’ focus on healthy habits that you can realistically actually do. [Tell yourself] ‘hey, I’m going to eat more at home, or focus on delegating more time to my diet and actually preparing meals.’ Maybe you want to eat more as a family. Something other than focusing on weight loss per say is usually going to be more achievable,” Swisher said.
Another roadblock people run into on their fitness journey is expecting results to come right away. Often the lack of results can discourage people and lead them to giving up all together.
Exercise physiologist Shaylin Pachciarz says focusing on the process more so than the results is generally better for sustaining goals. She adds that placing time limits on yourself, especially unrealistic ones (like losing 30 pounds in 30 days) can be detrimental.
“Go into it knowing you need to be patient, results take time. If you feel like you’ve gotten results or plateaued, that may be an opportunity you could say to change up your routine or increase your repetitions or your time. Your body is so good at adapting. Usually if you’re plateauing, you need to change something,” she said.
Bottom line, both say real change takes time. Persistence and consistency is key. They also add that if you dwell to long on setbacks (which always happen) it makes it harder to recover and continue on with your goals.
Swisher also says when it comes to diet, the one thing you can do that will make the biggest impact is to spend more time preparing meals yourself.