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Having trouble jumpstarting yourself to start working out? Well the dreaded gym doesn’t have to be so bad. We know its hard to get started working out again, but here are a few simple tips to help set you on your way to that great bod you’re dreaming of from Marie Claire:

Be Realistic

Don’t declare a permanent embargo on carbs when you wake up on January 1st. The quickest way to dropping your diet is not to give yourself crazy limitations, i.e. “I will start the day with two hours of pilates and a spin class, and subsist on nothing but grapes and rice cakes from now on.” Pick one habit to break at a time–like mindless grazing or throwing back sodas instead of water.

Fix Your Mistakes

Before you fix your diet or fitness routine, you first have to figure out where you went wrong in the past. Track your daily calorie intake and exercise through a site like fitday.com for a clear picture of how many calories you’re taking in and how many you’re burning on a daily basis. You may find that your morning jogs are too short to make up for the croissant you have for breakfast, or that you can drop pounds if you cut back on your weekend alcohol intake.

Blast away your belly bulge

Write Your Own Diet Plan

It might be tempting to start shedding the pounds by hooking onto something like the South Beach diet and declaring all carbs to be evil, but those strict rules get harder to follow as soon as real life starts interfering with your New Year’s resolution glow. Devise your own healthy eating plan instead, based on your own schedule and food preferences.

Take Baby Steps

Slow and steady wins the race when it comes to shaping up. Don’t be tempted to do everything all at once. You don’t have to run eight miles and do hundreds of crunches a day to see results–in fact, the more you push yourself past your limits, especially if it’s been a while since you’ve been active, the more likely you are to burn out by the second week of January. The same goes for any new diet you embark on. Try incorporating one good diet habit or losing one unhealthy one each week. If you ease into healthy eating, you’ll be more likely to find healthy foods you like, and better able to cope with separation anxiety when you put a limit on your fried food intake.

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