Small Steps to a Fitter You

  |     |   Fitness

WorkoutHave diet and fitness attempts taken more than they’ve given? Have you eaten broccoli and cauliflower until you’re green and white? Have you spent more time with the treadmill than with your significant other? Still can’t stick to a plan? Is your weight yo-yoing?

You may be doing too much!

Many people make overambitious resolutions. For example, “I’m going to stick to 1,200 calories until I lose 40 pounds.” Few can keep this up. In such plans, short-term weight loss is common, but real lifestyle change is rare.

An alternative: changes you can live with

Instead of losing 40 pounds, try to drop 10. Rather than cutting 1,000 calories a day, cut 100.

Here’s the math: If you consume 100 fewer calories and burn 100 more, you can lose 10 pounds in about six months. Not enough, you say? Are you slipping behind your friend who shed 30 pounds with the latest internet fad? Consider where you’ll be a year from now. Your friend will likely fall from that diet with a crash and regain all those pounds.

You, on the other hand, will lose at least 10 pounds in half that year — maybe 20 for the full 12 months. Since you can maintain these changes all your life, your weight loss is yours to keep. You can even continue with this plan during the second year. Eventually, you’ll level out, and then you might decide you're happy where you are. Or you can make more small, sustainable changes.

A few points:

  • A fitness program should make you healthier. If you don’t feel better, the program’s not a good one.

  • Most people start with a restrictive diet and ease off later. Instead, start small. If you choose, be more aggressive later.

  • Calories count. Use any popular internet calorie tracker. Count calories you burn as well.

  • Find activities you like. Whether it’s walking, sports or a gym workout, you’ll keep it up if you enjoy it.

If you don’t belong to a gym, consider a residence that has a workout facility. The Citizen at Shirlington Village boasts a newly updated 7,000 square foot fitness center with a sauna and a pool. Check out our apartments in Arlington, VA and find a new home for your healthy lifestyle.

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