Peaking too early

How many of you set out with the goal that 2016 was going to be your year to lose weight and get fit?

I have spoken to many people who use the new year as a marker to start their fitness journey…but by February…they’re back to their usual routine and the healthy eating and exercise are ancient history.

Did you peak too early?

Setting yourself goals and deciding to take charge of your health and well-being is by all means a fantastic thing, but often what happens is we approach things like a bull in a china shop. With fitness and weight loss this is not always a good thing. Setting yourself small goals and being educated about your choices is the best way.

From experience, I know that many people will follow a fad diet and force themselves to go to the gym after work to use the treadmill or cross trainer for an hour. We all know that an hour on the treadmill is mundane at the best of times and that cutting out carbs, sugars and fats leaves you bored and craving for food. We’re now in February…If you have managed to maintain your regime up to now…give yourself a pat on the back. It takes about 21 days for people to form habits, by now, your body has adapted to the changes in food and has come accustomed to going to the gym. However, the first 3 weeks are the hardest and by now, most people have given up, or found it too hard.

How to keep yourself on track

Set yourself a short term goal and aim for it. If you set yourself an achievable 4 week plan, you’ll have regular moments of elation when you reach those goals. That feeling will keep you motivated to keep going and to set another goal. Setting yourself a goal to lose 10kg by next year is always going to feel so far away and often out of reach.

Educate yourself about exercise, diet and you! If you know you cannot eat breakfast look into the 16:8 diet (16hrs of fasting, 8 hrs of eating), find an eating plan that suits your life. If you know you do not eat enough protein, find a great tasting protein shake to help supplement your diet. But remember health and fitness should be a lifestyle change, not a short term slog. Adapt your life in small ways. Cut out desserts, eat less bread, swap chips for sweet potato. There are many small changes that will allow you to enjoy your life and still look great. If you can’t get to the gym 5 times a week (better still save time and try home training) make everyday changes to help you keep moving. Walk to the train station instead of driving, take the stairs instead of the lift, park your car at the furthest point from the shops…these little bits of exercise will soon add up if you do them every day.

So, if you’ve managed to maintain your new year’s fitness resolutions up to now…well done and keep it up! If, however you’ve given up and find it all a bit too hard to motivate yourself, re-evaluate your regime, set a small goal, research your food and exercise options and don’t give up. Fitness can be a slow journey, but it will become a lifestyle change that you’ll never regret.