New Year new you and new excuses
Don’t be a superhero in January (like my cat Gary).
At this time of year most people have given up on even attempting the gym or any food that could be remotely classed as ‘healthy’. If it’s not dipped in chocolate or filled with alcohol, get it off my plate. Waking up with chocolate in the corner of your mouth now seems semi-acceptable and is usually washed off with another mulled wine. But don’t worry New Year new you, right?
In between constantly stuffing your face and imitating a caterpillar on the sofa, you make the odd groan about how much weight you have put on. You vow to yourself that you will ‘start in January’ and get yourself on a health kick/diet cleanse/detox/[insert other bullshit scheme here]. This only means one thing…..all the chocolates need to be eaten before January the 1st. Challenge accepted!
This sounds exactly like last year, and the year before but whatever plan you decided to embark upon “wasn’t right” for you. You still never managed to shift all the weight you had planned and after a few big years have ended up in bigger pants.
New Year new you, same plan (so don’t expect different results)
The plan….You start the health kick in January, get rid of all typically ‘unhealthy’ foods, ‘junk’ food and everything else in between (just in case). You start going to gym a minimum of 6 times a week plus HIIT classes, kettle bell classes and early morning runs. After 2 weeks you drop down to just 3 half arsed sessions because you realise you hate cardio. Another 2 weeks come around and the ‘diet’ has gone out of the window and you are getting a takeaway because you’re a tired, grumpy and borderline hangry. You finally make it into February and you have made little to no progress, gets frustrated and throws in the towel. Ring any bells? This is the equivalent of painting yourself in a corner and then realising you can’t leave the room.
This constant vicious cycle of throwing yourself in the deep end and hoping you can swim, is the reason you haven’t ever lost the weight long term. We have all been there and it’s frustrating, demoralising and unhealthy in the long run.
Instead we should be aiming for a moderate, steady and achievable program. You should be making small changes when necessary to achieve long term sustainable results. The usual method of starting out all guns blazing is the reverse of what we should be doing. Instead of looking for a quick fix to get rid of some body fat, you should be looking for a long term sustainable solution.
Slow and steady is boring and unsexy, but it gets results! Achieving your fat loss goals in the future and forever should be much more important than getting them right NOW! Instead of piling on the workload in the New Year and posting your boring chicken and broccoli on Instagram #newyearnewyou, think about the long term plan and implement it.
The first thing that usual happens is all the chocolate gets either consumed before January 1st or thrown/given away. Anything remotely looking unhealthy and in a shiny wrapper is banished to the bin forever. The left over Quality Street tin gets turned into your mums sewing box and you swear you will never eat anything with sugar in again.
You Google healthy foods and your latest self-proclaimed ‘guru’ has come up with a list of only 5 foods….chicken, broccoli, water, dust and air. I wouldn’t want to be you in January. With this approach to ‘dieting’ it’s no wonder people don’t stick it out for the long term.
Let me talk through and alternative method. Instead of concentrating on the foods you shouldn’t be eating, try and get as many foods as you should be eating. Don’t throw away the chocolate either (yes you heard me correctly!). Instead of drastically changing everything and rewriting the rule book start making small changes.
Here are a few tips:
Fruit and veg – Introduce more fruit and vegetables into the diet. These should make up a large portion of each meal. The fibre within each meal will keep you fuller for longer. This will prevent snacking throughout the day and also stop that craving for any sweet foods. It’s also very hard to over consume.
Protein – Bulk out your meals with a large portion of protein in every meal. This will help recover from training sessions and also aid muscle growth/repair. This will also keep you ticking over until your next meal.
Don’t cut out the ‘bad’ food – Yes I said it! Include things like chocolate and sweets in your diet. You will obviously have to cut back on them, but never just cut it all out forever. Having a little snack here and them will prevent an almighty binge when you are finally let free. There is no such thing as good or bad foods, just the context they are used.
Try using these few tips to get started in the New Year and make small manageable changes. Take 1 change a week. Try making a change and don’t move on to the next change until you it nailed down and it flows seamlessly into your life.
New Year, new you and new goals
I’m big fan of setting goal, especially it this time of year. The only way setting goals is effective is if you actually look at them again. Instead of scribbling it down on the back of a fag packet and throwing it in the corner of the room, make it as public as possible. Tell your friends, family and work colleagues about what you want to achieve. By telling everyone about it you will be making yourself more accountable and be supported throughout the process. Don’t keep them a secret, tell the world! It doesn’t need to be complicated just a simple target. Set a date and review it throughout. Use reminders in your phone to stop and think about how it’s going and what you could change to make it better.
- Always go in with a long term mentality
- If you can’t see yourself sticking to this plan for 12 months, then it’s not the plan for you.
- Set long term goals and a plan of how you are going to get there
- Don’t demonise any foods, just manage them accordingly
- Achievable and sustainable results are better than no results
If you genuinely want it to be a New Year new you, then sign up to my FREE fat loss plan starting on 08/01/17. It will be a slow and steady gym based program, filled with a support group and habit building to keep you on track. By the end of the 16 week program you will be able to plan your own diet and calories, along with putting together your own workouts. Be quick though, last few spaces remaining (sign up HERE).
Don’t forget to check out my other blogs (click here).
The brains, brawn and beauty of Dackattack (basically it’s just me). A personal trainer with a private gym in Norwich, dedicated to giving out simple, actionable advice that will give you outstanding results.