With Christmas wrapped for another season, the thoughts of many Australians now turn to the New Year, and hopeful resolutions for a positive and productive 2015.
"Better health and fitness is a priority for many Aussies, with weight loss being one of the most common New Year's resolutions," says Real Health and Fitness personal trainer, Dan Tarlington.
The only challenge is that for many of us, losing weight can be easier said than done, so here are five simple steps to ensure you exceed those New Year's resolutions in 2015!
Dan Tarlington's clients are swinging into a fit and fabulous 2015!
1. Be true to yourself!
You may dream of having Miranda Kerr's legs, Michelle Bridge's arms and Iggy Izalea's behind - but being true to yourself and understanding your own body composition is a far more beneficial approach.
Weight loss isn't an arbitrary idea, but should rather be considered in terms of lifestyle, nutrition, exercise, health, age and other factors which can influence your body composition.
Discover your best body, rather than being dictated by conventional standards of beauty. Share your New Year's resolutions with a friend, and support them in achieving their own!
"Itís generally best to have more lean muscle mass and less body fat; this increases your energy, heart health, joint performance, circulation and fertility, whilst reducing your risks of disease or stroke," says Tarlington.
A doctor, dietitian or personal trainer can explain your personal body composition, and any weight loss goals should be tailored around this information.
2. Plot your goals!
After you've set a weight loss goal based on your body composition, determine an achievable timeframe for this to happen.
"Failing to plan, is planning to fail," says Tarlington.
A fitness professional can help you design a weight loss plan, if you're not sure how long your body needs to strengthen and change.
On a calendar, write down your long-term goal, and then break this down into smaller short-term milestones along the way.
"For example, if your New Year's resolution is to shed 5 kilos by summer, then a short-term goal may be learning to run 5 kilometres in 30 minutes," says Tarlington.
3. Treat yourself!
For each short-term goal that you achieve, reward yourself with something small that will maintain your motivation or boost your confidence.
"If you do conquer those 5 kilometres in 30 minutes, for example, buy yourself a new running singlet or get a massage to mark the occasion," says Tarlington.
A massage will help you feel refreshed, rejuvenated, and ready to tackle your next goal!
4. Be accountable
Being accountable to your goals each day will ensure that you meet short-term, and ultimately long-term, horizons.
"Keep a food diary to monitor your nutritional intake and identify areas for improvement,Ē says Tarlington.
"Often people will notice theyíre not snacking on wholesome foods, or perhaps not drinking enough water throughout the day, and itís these little changes that can aid in weight loss."
Using free fitness apps for your smartphone, such as RunKeeper or MyFitnessPal, can also be a convenient way to track your progress on a daily, weekly or monthly basis.
5. Consistency is key!
The key to success is being consistent; donít let a bad day become a bad week, instead just get back into routine tomorrow.
"Itís easy to fall off the bandwagon by splurging on take-away, having one too many beers, or skipping a gym session, " says Tarlington.
"Balance the equation by taking the stairs, or hopping off one bus-stop early and then walking home."
Itís these small changes that will gradually create consistent, healthy habits.
Try different exercise styles if you get bored with your fitness routine. New challenges and ideas will break you out of your comfort zone, and keep you on the path to success!
In 2014, 70 per cent of Australians said they wanted to lose weight, though only a quarter will actually have done so.
Make 2015 your year to strive for success, and surpass those New Yearís resolutions!