Chances are that December and January involved family, friends, fun, time-off and relaxation. Christmas time and the festive season is truly an amazing time to get together with the people closest to you and unwind from the year that has just passed. But with the festive season usually comes a bit of over indulgence in food, drink and all things enjoyable. We are all human, everyone tends to go a bit over board during this period. Now that we are into the new year it’s time to get back on the wagon and prioritise your health and fitness.
Don’t become a statistic
The most common New Year Resolution in 2020 was ‘Lose Weight /Healthier Eatingwith 59% of people surveyed saying that they did not hit their goal and a 42% of people sharing that they never reach the goals set at the start of each year, so why are the success rates so low and what can YOU do to stack the odds in your favour and make 2021 your best year yet.
Follow this simple 10-step plan to take charge of your health and fitness goals and achieve those things MOST important to you.
1. Start today
Don’t wait until ‘Monday’, or next month to start, the time is right now! There is no time for excuses when it comes to your health. We all have slip ups, but taking ownership as quickly as possible is vital.
2. Get some help
Don’t try and do it all on your own, if you need some motivation, support and guidance, find and experienced, share your goals and make sure to get a clear plan for both your food and exercise that is tailored to your lifestyle.
Get in touch with us to create a plan for you
3. Go back to your ‘WHY?’
Ask yourself, why did I set out on this journey in the first place? Why is this important to me? Sometimes reminding ourselves of our ‘WHY’ is all you need to re focus. Think about how amazing it will be once you get to your goal. The power of visualisation is really strong. Remind yourself how you are going to look once you get to your goal weight, think about how you’re going to feel once you’re there. Use photos of yourself as motivation to keep going. Always focus on the long term and don’t let anyone stand in your way.
4. Lose the ‘All or nothing’ mentality
One vital part of fitness success is finding a sustainable balance that you can maintain long term. If you don’t have balance, you will likely fail eventually. Ask yourself now ‘Can I see myself eating/training this way long term?’ If not, you may not have found the right balance yet. If you’re being too strict and eating next to nothing, chances are you’re going to have a blow out and a day of binge eating. Eating for weight loss doesn’t mean going hungry, it’s about eating the right foods. Eating a mars bar, and then not eating for the rest of the day is not going to get you long term success. Balance is key.
5. Get active
This is not about punishing yourself by spending hours in the gym all week, but it is important that you get your body moving and set yourself some exercise goals to assist with getting back on track. If you usually walk for 30 minutes 3 times a week, try setting yourself a goal to wake up early 5 days a week to walk or jog or stretch for 30-40 minutes.
6. Identify your weaknesses
This is a big one. Ask yourself what your negative triggers are. What are the things that get you off track and then ask yourself if they’re avoidable? An example may be socials and ‘after work’ drinks. Ask yourself ‘Are the after work drinks every Friday helping me get to my goal? Can I avoid them for a month or two while I focus on my weight loss journey?’. It may be stress, and resorting to comfort foods. How can you manage your stress levels better? Maybe a walk around the block, or reading a self-development book each week will help. It’s important we can identify our weaknesses, and consciously work on strengthening them. Self-awareness is key to overcoming weak points in our life.
7. Keep a Food & Activity diary
A food diary can often seem tedious, but it’s proven that keeping track of your daily food and drink intake is great help when trying to stay on track. This is because you’re holding yourself accountable. When someone gets off track, it can often be gradual – an extra mocha in the afternoon, a few handfuls of corn chips, an extra serving of food, all these little things can add up very quickly and sometimes you don’t realise until you see it on paper. It’s also a great idea to track your steps by using a pedometer each day and ensuring you’re always trying hard to achieve 10,000 steps a day. Any extra exercise is great too!
8. Prepare your meals
We have all heard the saying ‘Fail to prepare, prepare to fail’. If you see someone who’s in shape, chances are they prepare their meals the night before to stay on track with their nutrition. Preparing your meals will not only save you money, but also a great way to ensure you’re eating the right foods. Using excuses like ‘I’m too busy’, may be an indication you need to go back to number 3 and number 6. We all live busy schedules, yet we all have time to spend on our phones or watching TV. Spending the extra hour, a couple of times a week to prepare some meals is vital for staying on track. It can even be a matter or making extra and packing away your left overs in plastic containers for the next day, and ensuring when you go grocery shopping you know what you’re planning on making for the week so you can cook accordingly.
9. Keep a gratitude log
It may sound silly, but many of the most successful and motivated people on the planet will admit the key to success and happiness in life is simply gratitude. Being able to take a moment and identify what you have in our life, rather than focusing on what you don’t have, will transform your entire way of thinking. This way of thinking can take some time to adjust to – like anything it becomes easier the more you practise it. Jot down 5 things that you’re grateful for in your life, it may be family members, it may be job security or little things like new furniture in your apartment or dropping a dress size. It’s a common belief that the more you focus on good positive things in our life, the more good we attract, and your life will prosper. You will also become a better person to be around when you’re positive in thought. We all know someone negative who mopes around complaining about their life and their problems. No one wants to be around that kind of person, and sadly – its usually the case that those people continue to attract negative experiences into their life, and continually fail at achieving their goals, just by being the way they are.
10. If you’re stuck at a plateau, keep going!
Everyone on a weight loss journey will face a plateau at some point along the way. Sometimes they last for a few weeks, sometimes months. It’s important to realise that this is very normal and in fact a healthy part of a weight loss journey. In reality, we lose weight in cycles and phases and your body will stabilise at certain weights throughout your journey. This is known as the set point theory. Usually people face a plateau after losing 5-10kg depending on their weight. This is when it’s very important to stay consistent. Slow and steady wins the race. If you’re impatient with your body and start to use extreme tactics to get past a plateau you will do more harm than good, this is why fad diets and detox diets don’t work. You’ll get quick results, and will then quickly put the weight back on. Be kind to your body, trust the process, and remember it’s a lifestyle – not a race.