How to Make Lifestyle Changes That Last

Ashley Azevedo

It's that time of year...

With the New Year officially upon us, I know that A LOT of people are looking to make some lifestyle changes. I thought this would be the perfect time to have a quick run down on some common misconceptions with fitness and overall health.

So, in no particular order, I'm going over a few things that are really important to keep in mind as you’re making those healthy changes this year.


How to Make Lifestyle Changes the Right Way...and other tidbits of info


  1. Find something that works for you AND is maintainable over the long term….

And when I say long term, I mean like FO’ LIFE. But really, before you decide to embark on any new lifestyle change, stop and ask yourself if it’s something that you can maintain for the long term. If you can’t, say no thanks and search for a new method. As tempting as it can be and as “popular” as they seem to be, DON’T go for the quick fixes or fad diets. These might lead to an initial quick change in your body but once you can no longer maintain it, you will set right back into your old ways.


  1. Diets do NOT work.

That’s right. I said it. It’s 100% true. Unfortunately, the media has perpetuated this concept of dieting being the end all, be all and the only way to lose weight. It’s absolutely not true. Dieting actually causes way more problems than it does good. Have you ever noticed that people who diet seem to be perpetually dieting? Their weight yo-yo’s and they are constantly looking for the next, new diet. When you’re on a restrictive diet, of course you see results, but only temporarily. Once you stop the diet, you go back to your old ways and you end up gaining all the weight back, and usually more. It becomes a vicious cycle. Plus, your body begins to crave the things that you are actively restricting. So once you’re off and done with this diet, what do you think are the first things you’re gonna want to eat?


  1. Hard work IS required and it won’t be easy.

That’s exactly what everyone wants to hear right? Sorry, but I’m gonna be real with you. It’s the truth. There are NO quick fixes, short cuts or pills that will get you to where you want to be. You didn’t get where you are now overnight and you won’t get back to where you were before overnight either. You have to go into it knowing that work will be involved and you have to be willing to put in the work to make it happen. How badly do you want it? How committed are you to making these changes? What are you going to do to make sure that these new lifestyle changes become a permanent part of your routine? These are the things that will determine if you succeed or not.


  1. Find your long-term goal and then break it down.

Long-term goals are great and definitely motivating, but they can also be really daunting if you don’t break them down. Try to turn your long-term goal into “bite-sized” pieces that you can work towards and monitor each week or each month. Make sure that you’re very specific, the goals are attainable, and each piece has been assigned a deadline.


  1. It’s all about moderation.

You CAN still eat the things you enjoy and in fact, you should! For your own sanity, happiness & well-being. Now I’m not saying to go out on a full-out binge. I’m saying to use the 80/20 rule. Just make sure that 80% of what you’re eating is nutritious, and that’ll leave you with 20% to fool around with the fun, not so nutritious stuff. The best place to start is to start keeping track of the things you’re eating. Download the My Fitness Pal app and start keeping a food journal. In the beginning it can be tedious but as you get the hang of it, it becomes second nature and eventually you’ll become really good at determining portion sizes on your own.


  1. Strength Train.

There is a huge misconception around what it takes to lose weight and get in shape. Most people think that commiting an absurd amount of cardio is the only way to lose weight. NOPE. Not uh. Once again, not true.


I’ve heard so many people, especially women say that they avoid strength training because they “don’t want to get big, or manly” or whatever their preferrred word choice is. I get what you’re getting at, but trust me, it won’t happen. Getting “big” requires an insane amount of hard, calculated work (especially for women). The people who look that way, are going for that work and working very hard to get there. That doesn’t just happen once you start lifting weight. What DOES happen is you get stronger, tighter, more “toned” (PLEASE see below) and feel more badass.


The more muscle you have, the more fat you burn even when you’re not actually working out. So while cardio is great for your heart and definietly should be a part of your routine, don’t make it your whole routine. Don’t leave the strength training out.


  1. You can’t be “TONE” but not have muscle.

This one I just feel the need to throw in because it’s so hugely misunderstood. I can’t tell you the amount of times that I’ve heard “I don’t want muscle, I just want to get tone”. Lemme just stop you right there and explain it a little better because this is something that most people don’t understand. Getting tone requires muscle. The underlying muscle is what causes that “tone” look that you’re trying to achieve. You cannot get “tone” without building some muscle. Without working


Remember you're working towards a new lifestyle NOT a quick fix. Be patient with yourself and remember that it'll take some time and consistent effort. Hopefully these are helpful and if you have any questions, I’m here for ya!


New year, same YOU, new approach.


Happy New Year and wishing you all the best in 2018!


Until next time,