If you have regularly struggled with your weight and fitness, you are far from alone. It’s something that millions of people fail to master throughout their adult lives. However, there is still time to finally get things back on track.

When you do, a plethora of physical and mental health benefits will follow. To find the most effective path to success, though, you must put the right steps in place. Use the following checklist for guidance and you won’t go far wrong.

Understand Your Body

First and foremost, you must accept that the plans that worked for a friend might not work for you. For starters, your height, weight, and BMI are unlikely to be the same as theirs. More importantly, the biology of every body is unique. Hormone imbalances are a very common obstacle that can stand in the way of your health goals. This can extend to energy levels, sex drive, and motivation as well as muscle mass.

You may find that hormone therapy that replenishes the hormones used by bodily functions is needed to promote better weight loss. Otherwise, management strategies may be used to provide a strong foundation for the health journey. Either way, the key to success revolves around having a strategy that is tailored to your needs.

Acknowledge Your Current Habits

In addition to appreciating the impact of your biology, you must understand the influence of current lifestyles. Whether you’re looking to get fitter or lose weight, results can only be achieved when you improve your life. It becomes far easier to do when you have an honest and accurate analysis of your current situation to work from. Only then can you address the areas that require improvement. Besides, it’ll also highlight the things you’re doing well.

Your health and weight will both be affected by your actions on a 24/7 basis. That’s not to say letting your hair down for a friend’s wedding will ruin your progress. However, your weekly ritual of 10 drinks and a late-night burger and fries undoes the work you’ve done in the week. Keeping a food diary is vital. Likewise, tracking steps provides accurate activeness insights.

Set Realistic Goals

When starting a new health kick, it’s admirable that you want to transform your life for the better. However, you do not have to become the next Cristiano Ronaldo or Serena Williams to achieve success. In fact, setting the bar of expectation too high could potentially be your downfall. This is because you are essentially setting yourself up for perceived failure. Even if you achieve progress, it will be difficult to feel happy because you wanted more.

Learning to set realistic fitness goals will transform your approach forever. Each success will build further momentum, thus giving you the best shot at sustained success. More importantly, you’ll develop a better relationship with your body and be far happier with the results you gain. Ultimately, that’s the whole point of committing to the new lifestyle.

Shoot For Sustainable Nutrition

Spoiler alert: Diets don’t work, nutrition plans do. Anybody with the right level of motivation can keep up an intense diet for a few weeks, but they will inevitably revert back to their old ways. That’s because most diets focus on short-term gains – or rather losses – instead of sustainability. While they can be an OK way to kickstart your body transformation, you will need to find a long-term solution too.

To get this right, you should consider your budget and schedule into account. There’s no point in thinking you’ll spend four hours in the kitchen each day if you work 12-hour shifts. Finding quick and easy recipes is essential. Meanwhile, kitchen gadgets like air fryers add convenience. Crucially, food should be satisfying. Great tastes and satiating meals are vital.

Make Fitness Fun

As with nutrition, exercise only works when it’s sustainable. After all, consistency is king. While exercise should be challenging if you want it to deliver positive results, you must not overlook the fun factor. Team sports are a great option because they add a social element and a competitive edge. However, gym workouts can be adapted to be enjoyable as well as rewarding. Trying different workouts keeps things fresh and trains all muscle groups.

Exercise doesn’t only occur on the court or in the gym. You can boost your physical activity levels with walking, cycling, swimming, and other daily activities. Even VR video games can have an immensely positive influence. If nothing else, it is far easier to push through fatigue when you actively enjoy your chosen exercise.

Invest In Your Recovery

The harsh reality is that your fitness journey will not see any progress if you’re out injured. Worse still, the mental impacts will probably cause you to abandon your diet, which will subsequently lead to fat gains too. Once you have undone the progress made and find yourself back at square one, you’ll probably quit altogether. While you can’t prevent all injuries, reducing the risks is highly advised if you wish to stay on the right path.

Giving your body a chance to recuperate after a workout is essential. This means refueling in the right way while also getting a good night’s sleep. Ice baths and massage guns can also aid the cause. Waking up feeling energized and ready for the next workout allows you to stay consistent. Better still, you’ll feel more comfortable in daily life.

Add Incentives

Motivation is a key weapon in your arsenal. It will help you consistently make smarter decisions in relation to food and exercise. Better still, it works to deter you from regrettable choices that undo your progress. Intrinsic motivation is a wonderful thing, but most people find that personal rewards along the way are very useful. Whether you use them when hitting a goal eight, achieving a fitness-based target, or staying on task is up to you.

Popular rewards include taking short breaks, getting tickets to a show, or buying something for the home. Buying new clothes to show off your improved physique is another great choice. If nothing else, seeing a better reflection in the mirror is sure to give you added motivation. Besides, there is little point in living a better life if you don’t enjoy it.

Be Around The Right People

Your health and fitness journey is a personal matter. Nevertheless, it would be very naive to think that other people won’t influence your results. A strong support network will push you through any difficult moments you may encounter. Conversely, a bad one could encourage you to make the wrong choices and abandon the new habits that have served you well. It’s OK to put yourself first by narrowing your circle accordingly.

Supportive friends and family are great. For the best results, though, you should also try to find a handful of people who have similar interests. Training for an event together or competing through fitness watches and apps can take consistency to the next level. Similarly, you’ll probably pick up valuable tips from them.

Understand The Difference Between Weight & Fat

There are many reasons why you could potentially abandon your fitness plan. Perhaps one of the worst, though, is a lack of education on weight loss. When your goal is to lose weight, the truth is that your objectivity is more likely to revolve around fat. There is nothing wrong with turning fat into muscle, not least because it’ll enhance your physique as well as your health and fitness levels. The scales are a tool but are not the only way to track success.

If you could see one pound of fat versus one pound of muscle, you would appreciate the success of each pound. It is also important to take issues like water weight and daily fluctuations into account. Stressing out because the scale says you’re currently two pounds heavier than you hoped for is not necessary. If the process is right, results will follow.

Manage Your Medications

Many people overlook the fact that medications can have side effects that impact weight loss. Or leave them drowsy and unable to exercise to their potential. This guide to everyday medications that cause weight gain is very insightful. Or if you’re worried about one that isn’t listed here, you can always check the packaging. If it is affecting your life, speaking to a doctor about possible alternatives is highly advised. It can put an end to your restrictions.

Of course, before changing any medication, you must consult an expert. Ultimately, though, anything you ingest can have a similar influence on your weight as food. In the same way that hormone therapy does, medication can improve situations too. Consequently, then, updating your medication could be the key to putting your fitness journey back on a smooth path.

The Final Word

It is frustrating to see your efforts deliver poor results, but the good news is you have the power to change this. Whether it’s through a mindset shift or a conscious effort to make smarter choices, it only takes small upgrades to generate a big change. Best of all, the results can be sustained.