like many Americans, you made a resolution to lose weight and
get in shape in 2014. And, if youíre like many Americans,
youíll step on the scale a few days into your new diet and
throw your hands up in discouragement at the lack of "The
Biggest Loser"-worthy numbers.
"Biggest Loser" trainer Bob Harper says that
reaction is a big mistake.
lose 1 to 2 pounds a week, you should be thrilled, he said,
even though that would spell elimination on the NBC reality
weight loss show, which returns Tuesday.
can never try to compete with the numbers they see on ĎThe
Biggest Loser,í" Harper said. "Itís not a real
situation. Itís reality TV on steroids. Everything is so
enhanced. You use the show as a motivational tool, but not as
a way to compete from home."
eight other mistakes you donít want to make as you embark on
a more healthful lifestyle in 2014. (Keep us apprised of your
process by using the hashtag #LATFit on Twitter and Instagram.)
wait for the motivation fairy to knock at your front door:
"You have to realize that a healthy lifestyle takes
commitment, and it takes drive," Harper said. "And
never for a minute think itís going to be easy because itís
not. Ö Itís going to be boring and monotonous at
weigh yourself only every week or two: "If youíre
trying to lose weight, you need to get on a scale every day or
every couple of days," Harper said. This flies in the
face of the notion that you need to give your new health
regimen some time to work. But Harper says regular dates with
a scale allow you to see trends and patterns between your diet
and your food journal. Speaking of which Ö
are keeping a food journal, right? This is probably the single
most despised piece of advice in the diet-and-fitness realm.
Yet itís one of the most crucial, Harper said. Does the
scale jump the morning after youíve eaten high-sodium
Chinese food? Does your weight nudge down a quarter-pound
after three days of healthful eating and moderate exercise?
Thatís invaluable data.
let the scale make you crazy: "Donít define yourself by
the number on the scale," Harper said. This may sound
like it contradicts No. 2, but Harper said there will be many
days when you step on the scale and it doesnít budge. And
thatís fine. Because progress can be defined in many ways.
Maybe youíre feeling stronger during your workouts.
"Maybe those jeans arenít quite as tight."
make grand goals that you cannot keep: "People say, ĎOh,
Iím going to start exercising all the time in 2014,í and I
say, ĎNo, no, no.í Letís start with something doable.
How about: ĎIím going to work out three times a week no
matter what.í And then stick to that," Harper said.
Same goes for your approach to your eating.
think you can outrun the junk food: Folks who are watching
this season of "The Biggest Loser" saw this mistake
play out when Hap, who by all accounts was a monster in the
gym, fell short on the scale week after week. "Hap really
thought that, ĎHey, Iím going to be able to eat what I
want because I work out so hard,í" Harper said. But
that thinking got Hap eliminated. "Diet is the most
important element when it comes to weight loss," Harper
said. "Itís No. 1 and No. 2."
donít change your priorities: It all comes down to this,
Harper said: "Are you willing to change your
priorities?" This goes hand-in-hand with No. 5, and itís
why he suggests finding achievable goals to build on
throughout the year. "You need to look at your big
picture and decide that you really want to change your
lifestyle. And then you need to really take it
get easily discouraged: "You have to be able to trust the
process even when you donít see it changing on the
scale," Harper said. Setbacks are inevitable. "This
is a lifestyle change. You need to recognize that. There are
going to be ups and downs. Itís how you handle the downs