For many, the dawn of a new year comes with a resolve to lose weight. Regret over holiday indulgence motivates some, while others view January as the perfect time to address their weight and fitness goals.
The basic tenets of weight management revolve around diet and exercise with a liberal dose of can-do spirit, so launching into a concerted effort at the beginning of a new year isn’t a bad idea at all. Motivation typically runs high and if it is harnessed to an appropriate diet and exercise program for the individual in question, there’s an opportunity to get a real handle on an issue that plagues so many.
Nadia Popova knows a thing or two about motivating people. As the owner of Send Me A Trainer, a franchise servicing the Greater Palm Springs area, she offers customizable and personal solutions for people who are either too busy to maintain a regular workout routine, uninspired, or adverse to the typical gym environment. “At Send Me A Trainer, we come to them,” she says. “All they have to do is sign up for the program. Then a trainer shows up at their door at an appointed time and they basically have no choice but to get a workout done!”
To achieve measurable progress, it’s important to establish a routine. Adding an element of pressure can be helpful too — which is the logic behind the six-week Weight Loss Challenge found at The Camp Transformation Center. The program at this Palm Desert franchise features group training complemented by nutrition and supplement plans delivered by highly qualified trainers.
“The six-week challenge is a bit aggressive,” says Alex Ramirez, owner and general manager at The Camp Transformation Center. “The meal plan is strict. They have to attend a certain number of classes and weigh in weekly. There are a number of things people have to do to lose 20 pounds in six weeks.” A thorough initial consultation and assessment helps people decide whether this particular challenge is for them or if another of the center’s programs would be a better fit.
Ideally, a fitness routine should be consistent and sustainable. Everyone is different and what works for one person might not work for another. “Progress of any kind is made through small steps taken toward a larger goal rather than searching for a quick fix,” says Marlys Yvonne, owner and co-founder of Ara Pilates + Movement in Indian Wells. Pilates is an ideal foundation for a movement routine because the low impact nature of the practice means it can be done every day without fear of injury from overdoing it.
Pilates differs from yoga in that it is designed to be a system of exercise whereas yoga is a preparation for meditation. “Pilates doesn’t call in the spiritual aspect that yoga does. However, both practices use breathing as a way to connect body and mind and move with both power and ease,” Yvonne explains. The priority Pilates places on finding alignment and balance makes it a worthwhile addition to any fitness practice. In fact, many major athletes use Pilates as a way to cross train.
Nutrition-wise, the mistake a lot of people make when attempting to manage their weight is neglecting to formulate a plan. “A failure to plan is a plan to fail,” says board certified health and wellness coach Rachael Bordo. When it comes to meal planning and grocery shopping, she advises following the 80/20 percent rule. It’s best to stock your pantry with 80 percent healthy, nutritional foods to prepare nourishing meals researched ahead of time. The remaining 20 percent can be what Bordo calls “fun foods.”
“Maybe they’re not the best for you but you can’t maintain a situation where you have 100 percent totally healthy foods inhouse,” Bordo says. “You want to allow yourself that 20 percent of fun foods to get yourself where you want to be goal-wise. Meanwhile, a good rule of thumb when grocery shopping is to stick to the edges of the store. The perimeter is your friend. A lot of the good stuff lies there — the produce and the protein sources — whereas the inside aisles contain more of the processed foods.”
The bottom line: A little resolve plus a suitable exercise and nutrition plan are the key to successful weight management.