With the the arrival of the new year comes the hope of sticking to new year's resolutions.



A full week of 2017 has nearly passed by and usually around this time of year many people start to think about shedding a few pounds either for health or personal reasons. Personal trainer Amber Leavitt believes creating realistic goals will help ensure a successful weight loss plan.

"You need a goal," she stressed. "You know you're going to start making steps towards doing something, but having just a general 'I want to lose weight' is not good enough. You need a smart goal."

For many, going to a gym can be overwhelming especially with weights and machines everywhere. Knowing how to use cardio machines and weights begins at the front desk.

"Go and ask people at the front desk who are working at the gyms how to use the equipment (and) what equipment to use. That is absolutely the first thing you should be doing when you get in there," recommended Leavitt. 

Establishing a healthy diet is also important to ensure a weight loss resolution is successful. Leavitt reminds people to chose a diet rich in protein while balancing carbohydrates.  Health experts and researchers are now touting the DASH and Mediterranean diets as the best diets to consider in 2017. Each diet is rich in vegetables, fish, chicken, beans and whole grains.

Leavitt says staying committed to a plan means asking yourself why you want to lose weight to begin with.

"That's a huge part, figuring out why you have chosen that goal for yourself," she noted. "For me, when I first started, I wanted to get healthier and the reason why I wanted to get healthier is to live longer so I can see my kids grow up and get married and all that stuff, and if you start falling off the wagon and you think about your 'why' again, that will help you get back on the wagon, so to speak."

Leavitt also recommends having a deadline for the goal and to have a workout buddy. 

"Make sure you tell people what your goal is and that you have a deadline," she said. "In doing so, you might find that some of your friends want to jump on the wagon with you and join you in the gym and having a group of people surrounding you who are your cheerleaders, and you can be their cheerleader, having that friend with you would help along the way."


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