New Year’s Motivation

Motivation for the New Year!
Photo by kristikorn @

New year, new motivation, all for a new you!

If you are like a lot of people who find motivation on New Years Eve to create a new you, then you might have found yourself at a local gym today signing up for a new membership. And of course, the nation wide chain gyms have all kinds of programs, and training set up just for you. I truly do hope that if you committed yourself financially to getting fit that you will stick with it. But here is a reality; many if not most of you will have quit going to the gym at about the same time that the rest of the new years resolution crowd have also lost their motivation for going to the gym.

Let’s be honest here, if you have never been one to workout in the past, you should really consider saving your money by not getting sucked into an expensive gym membership. You might not use that membership for more than a couple of months. And this is all despite how much motivation you are feeling today to improve your level of fitness.

What I want you to understand is I absolutely do applaud you for wanting to lose body fat, and improve your fitness level. But, there are plenty of ways for you to do this before committing money that you might spend better elsewhere, such as on healthy foods.

obese woman on exercise bike
Photo by nomadsoil1 @

Motivation and Commitment!

Working out is tough, and requires commitment to carry through with once it becomes a chore to you. For working out to be truly meaningful, you will need to increase your intensity over time in order to keep improving. Additionally, for exercise to help with you losing body fat, your nutrition needs to be quality. A good, sweaty session on a treadmill or incumbent bike is not a license to eat a few snack cakes afterwards. You can’t out-exercise poor nutrition my friends, it just does not work that way.

When it comes to managing weight, research suggests that focusing solely on exercise is not the answer. While exercise is certainly important for your health and can help you burn calories, you need to focus on what you eat if you want to shed pounds over the long-run.

Many people begin to lose their motivation to workout once they begin realizing a few facts:

  • There is a point where your body adapts to higher activity levels so you don’t burn energy at the same rate when you exercise more. Once an exercise becomes easy, you have to increase your level of intensity. Just going longer is not necessarily going to do it for you.
  • Exercise accounts for less than 30% of your daily energy expenditure. Things like breathing, digesting food and going about your daily activities burn the majority of your daily calories. The reality is, you will not burn nearly the amount of calories as you might believe through exercise. Most people greatly over-estimate their caloric burn from their time in the gym.
  • You may move less throughout the day if you’ve already gotten your activity in during your regular exercise session, so your total daily energy expenditure may not be as high as you think.
  • When you exercise, you may eat more, either because exercising increases your appetite or you feel like you’ve “earned” the extra calories. This is the problem for many people. Good, vigorous exercise will make you hungry.

Look, I am NOT trying to make you lose your motivation to lose weight and work out. I am trying to explain a few things that gym owners and personal trainers who work for them won’t. I want you to find exercise for yourself that is something that you will enjoy, and also that your physician approves of. Gym owners and trainers are more interested in your money than your health. You can take that to the bank.

Exercise is a healthy component of any plan to lose weight, but it does not change bad eating habits that allowed the weight gain to occur in first place. In order to lose body fat, you must consume fewer calories than you burn in a day. This is true for everyone with the only exceptions being a very small handful of medical conditions. But, even in those cases, you still must watch your caloric intake each day.

Nutrition Matters!

You can exercise all you want but, a bad diet is only reversed by eating real food. There is no getting around this fact. If your social media feeds are anything like mine, you are getting bombarded each day with get thin quick weight loss scams.  Some of these scams may provide a temporary, quick loss of water weight, but none of this is ever permanent no matter what their paid testimonials might tell you. You have to get your nutrition in order to lose weight in a healthy manner.

What most people fail to understand is that one of the main and exclusive reasons they aren’t able to lose weight, or keep it off, is their lack of balance between nutrition and weight loss. If you want healthy weight loss, then you must ensure that all of the food which you are consuming brings nutritional value along with it. Your body requires a good balance of macronutrients. It does not need junk foods that are high in calories and low in nutrition. If you believe that you can just take the latest fat burner on the market and eat what you please, you are doomed to a life of obesity until your thinking changes.

Additionally, without a healthy balance of protein, complex carbohydrates, and healthy fats, our bodies will starve, and pull nutrients from our muscle tissues and cells in order to give our bodies needed energy. This has a counterproductive effect on your metabolism’s ability to burn fat. You may lose weight for a while, but your body fat percentage will have changed very little. Too high of a body fat percentage is unhealthy no matter how much you weigh. That condition is what we call “skinny fat”.

Our Western-style diet, which is high in red meat, unhealthy fats, fast foods, sugars, and desserts, carries a significantly higher risk for obesity, type 2 diabetes, and heart disease – furthermore, it is known that a change to your nutrition can improve your health outcomes. The bottom line is – if you want to feel better, you have to eat better. There is no way around this fact. This fact can’t be argued against by anyone, although some will.

Healthy children running in a meadow.
Photo by master1305 @

Good nutrition is essential in keeping current and future generations of Americans healthy across the lifespan. Many if not most ailments today are a result, whether direct or indirect to poor nutrition. Conversely, people with healthy eating habits live longer and are at lower risk for serious health problems such as heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and obesity. For people with chronic diseases, healthy eating can help manage these conditions and prevent complications.

The way in which healthy eating makes you feel should give you more motivation as you lose weight and get healthier.

Eat smart, be well, and remain motivated my friends!

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