Fitness

Make Your New Year’s Resolution a Reality

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Happy New Year everyone! I’m sure that many of you reading this article have a list of resolutions that you’ve already began working on.  I’m also sure that over half of you (probably closer to 100%) have “losing weight” as one of your resolutions.  Every single year, millions of people start their new year with optimistic hopes that this will finally be the year they get into shape and into better health; however most give up on these goals as early as February or March because they never created a clear plan of action to go along with their optimism.  As Benjamin Franklin so eloquently stated, “By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.”

Any type of health goal, including weight-loss, body sculpting, adopting a healthier diet, etc., etc., requires perseverance, consistency, AND a daily guide to keep you on tract.  These are the most difficult kinds of goals to adhere to because they usually require an overhaul of harmful behaviors that you’ve acquired over a lifetime!  Many of these behaviors were even introduced to you as a child, and you were conditioned to continue to act on them.  If you weren’t raised in a health conscious environment, these health goals become even more daunting and difficult to accomplish. 

 

Now, please  don’t think that I’m trying  you to scare you or even discourage you to give up on your health resolutions, I just want you to understand that you have to take them seriously if you’re going to accomplish lasting change.  Anything worth having in life is worth the extra effort in achieving it.  I’m sure all of us can agree that health is definitely worth fighting for!

Fortunately, you don’t have to figure out of of this on your own!  There are great instructors, trainers, and fitness gurus (including myself) who can help develop your plan and keep you accountable.

In fact, here’s a sample week of one of my holistic programs that will help you get started on your resolution today!

Basheerah Ahmad’s 3-Part Holistic Program

(Week 1)

Part One: Get your mind ready with daily affirmations

Before beginning any type of new program, its essential that you get your mind prepared for the changes that are to follow.To adjust any behavior, good or bad, your mind has to already be in agreement or you’re not going to be successful.  Here are 5 affirmations from my book “Love yourself enough to be healthy” (available on Amazon) that will help you begin to acknowledge your self-worth. 

Monday: “The only weight-loss program you can fail is the one you don’t start.”(Basheerah Ahmad)

Tuesday: “I release all feelings of shame, guilt, and inferiority that have led me towards destructive behavior.” (Basheerah Ahmad)

Wednesday: “Clear your mind of toxic thoughts and clear your body of toxic waste, so that you can operate from a position of clarity.” (Basheerah Ahmad)

Thursday: “As I love myself healthier, my capacity to love others is also increased.” (Basheerah Ahmad)

Friday: “By putting the needs of everyone before my own, I subconsciously tell my mind, body, and spirit that I don’t matter.” (Basheerah Ahmad)

Part Two: Get in shape with strength training and a cardio routine

Your body was created to move!  Even when you incorporate a small amount of activity into your weekly routine, you can make improvements to your blood pressure, blood sugar, cholesterol and lung and heart strength! 

Here’s a 5-day workout that will get your heart pumping and help to raise your metabolism!

Monday

Note: Warm-up the body for 5 minutes before your workout

Strength Training: (lower body focus)

Set 1:

  • 50 squats (with or w/o dumbbells held down by your sides)
  • 15 Shoulder presses
  • Jumping Jacks (1 minute)
  • (Repeat set 2 more time)

Set 2:

  • 30 Alternating Lunges
  • 15 Biceps Curls
  • Mountain Climbers
  • (Repeat set 2 more times)

Set 3:

  • 30 Standing Donkey Kicks (Right leg)
  • 30 Standing Donkey Kicks (Left leg)
  • 20 Triceps Dips
  • (Repeat set 2 more times)
  • (Cool-down with a light stretch)

Tuesday

Cardio: 30-45 minutes (treadmill, elliptical or bike)

Wednesday

Note:  Make sure you warm-up before the workout

Strength Training: (upper bodyand abs focus)

Set 1:

  • 15 Chest Presses on bench or floor (light to medium dumbbells)
  • 10 Push-ups (on toes or on knees)
  • 50 Abs Crunches
  • (Repeat set 2 more times)

Set 2:

  • 15 Lat Pull-downs (or narrow grip rows if you don’t have access to a gym)
  • 15 Triceps Kick backs (light dumbbells)
  • 60 Abs Bicycles
  • (Repeat set 2 more times)

Set 3:

  • 30-60 sec plank (on toes or on knees)
  • 15 Super-mans
  • 20 Leg Raises (on floor)
  • (Repeat set 2 more times)

Thursday

Cardio: 30 to 45 minutes (treadmill, elliptical, or bike)

Friday: (make sure to warm-up before the workout)

High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT)

Set 1: (you need a timer)

  • Squats: 30 seconds
  • Running in place: 30 seconds
  • Rest: 30 seconds
  • (Repeat set)

Set 2:

  • Push-ups: 30 seconds
  • Plank Jacks: 30 seconds
  • Rest: 30 seconds
  • (Repeat set)

Set 3:

  • Deadlifts (w/dumbbells or a barbell): 30 seconds
  • Jumping Jacks: 30 seconds
  • Rest: 30 seconds
  • (Repeat set)

Set 4:

  • Overhead Shoulder Presses (w/light dumbbells): 30 seconds
  • Burpees: 30 Seconds
  • Rest: 30 seconds
  • (Repeat set)

Part Three: Fuel your body and mind with nutritious foods and drink

The most important element in any weight loss program is the meal plan.  You can workout as much as you want to and sculpt your body perfectly, however if you’re not eating the correct number of calories and taking in the appropriate amount of vitamins and minerals, then you’ll never see your hard earned results!

Here are 2 meal plans that I use with many of my clients.  They are broken down into a 1200-1500 calorie plan and a 1500-1800 calorie plan.  I’ve also broken down each week into 2 plans, one for Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, and another plan for Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday. I allow you to create your own meal plan for Sundays, but I ask that you stay within the calories that were designated for the rest of the week.

Monday, Wednesday, and Friday
1200-1500 calories

Breakfast:

  • 1  cup oats
  • 70g blueberries
  • 3 egg whites
  • 1 cup cooked spinach
  • 1 tsp olive oil to cook with

Snack 1:

  • Wheat Thin Crackers (125g)
  • 4oz Tuna or Chicken
  • 1tbsp Veganaise
  • 1tbsp celery
  • 1 tbsp chopped onions
  • Your choice of seasonings

Lunch:

  • 1 cup raw spinach
  • 1 cup mixed greens
  • 100g grilled chicken breasts
  • 1 tbsp chopped almonds
  • Your choice of veggies (bell peppers, cucumbers, tomatoes, carrots, broccoli, etc)
  • 2 tbsp of a low calorie/low-fat dressing (no ranch, blue cheese, or thousand island)

Dinner:

  • 4 oz whitefish (Swai, cod, or tilapia)
  • 2 tbsp of low-fat/low sodium marinade
  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 1 cup steamed green beans

Snack:

  • 2 cups low fat popcorn

 

Tuesday, Thursday and  Saturday
1200-1500 calories

Breakfast:

  • 1 wheat tortilla
  • 3 egg whites
  • 1 turkey sausage patty
  • ½ cup spinach
  • 1 tbsp of low fat cheese
  • 1 orange

Snack:

  • 1 scoop of your favorite protein powder
  • 1 cup spinach
  • 1 cup frozen berries
  • 1 tbsp ground flaxseed
  • 8 oz almond, soy, or coconut milk (30 to 50 calories)

Lunch:

  • 4oz ground turkey (97% fat free)
  • 1 small yam
  • ½ cup cucumbers
  • ½ cup tomatoes
  • 1 tsp onions
  • Lemon Juice (to taste)
  • 1 tsp olive oil

Dinner:

  • 4oz Salmon
  • 1 tbsp teriyaki sauce
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1 cup sautéed cabbage (sautéed with the olive oil)

Snack:

  • 1 cup watermelon chunks

 

Sunday
Stick to the same number of calories, but you can choose what you’d like to eat

 

Monday, Wednesday, and Friday
1500-1800 calories

Breakfast:

  • 1  cup oats
  • 70g blueberries
  • 4 egg whites
  • 1 cup cooked spinach
  • 1 tsp olive oil to cook with

Snack 1:

  • Wheat Thin Crackers (125g)
  • 4oz Tuna or Chicken
  • 1tbsp Veganaise
  • 1tbsp celery
  • 1 tbsp chopped onions
  • Your choice of seasonings

Lunch:

  • 1 cup raw spinach
  • 1 cup mixed greens
  • 1 cup brown rice
  • 100g grilled chicken breasts
  • 1 tbsp chopped almonds
  • Your choice of veggies (bell peppers, cucumbers, tomatoes, carrots, broccoli, etc)
  • 2 tbsp of a low calorie/low-fat dressing (no ranch, blue cheese, or thousand island)

Dinner:

  • 8oz whitefish (Swai, cod, or tilapia)
  • 2 tbsp of low-fat/low sodium marinade
  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 1 cup steamed green beans

Snack:

  • 2 cups low fat popcorn
  • 10 almonds

 

Tuesday, Thursday and  Saturday
1500-1800 calories

Breakfast:

  • 2 wheat tortilla
  • 4 egg whites
  • 2 turkey sausage patty
  • ½ cup spinach
  • 1 tbsp of low fat cheese
  • 1 orange

Snack:

  • 1 scoop of your favorite protein powder
  • 1 cup spinach
  • 1cup frozen berries
  • 2 tbsp ground flaxseed
  • 8oz almond, soy, or coconut milk (30 to 50 calories)

Lunch:

  • 4oz ground turkey (97% fat free)
  • 1 small yam
  • ½ cup cucumbers
  • ½ cup tomatoes
  • 1 tsp onions
  • Lemon Juice (to taste)
  • 1 tsp olive oil

Dinner:

  • 4oz Salmon
  • 1 tbsp teriyaki sauce
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1 cup sautéed cabbage (sautéed with the olive oil)

Snack:

  • 1 cup watermelon chunks
  • Plain Greek yogurt (you can sweeten with Truvia)

 

Sunday
Stick to the same number of calories, but you can choose what you’d like to eat

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Featured Photo by Randy Walters Film

Make-up by Vanetria M. Jones (V-Makeup) 

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