How many times have you approached January with a sense of ultimate determination that this year is your year? This is the year that you’ll finally become the perfect you? Every year? Yeah us too.
So here’s something to keep in mind. With goals comes necessary action. Sustainable action. Necessary plans. For example the goal may be, “I want to lose 3kg in 8 weeks”. The plan needed to achieve this goal is a carb restricted diet and six gym sessions per week. And there’s the issue.
That’s an unsustainable plan. Starting a journey with an unsustainable action plan is setting yourself up for failure.
We inherently want the best results and we want them now. So much so that we’re willing to sacrifice entire food groups and our social life to attain them. But when we change too much too quickly, it doesn’t work. Willpower will only last us so long and quick fixes never last. And so, with that in mind, here’s my top tips for new year better you.
Switch your focus
Instead of focusing solely on weight loss in 2018, focus on health and fitness. These are better motivators for eating well and exercising. Focus on eating healthier due to it’s positive impact on your energy levels, vitality, hair and skin. Focus on exercising due to its beneficial effect on mood, stress relief, productivity, strength and cardiovascular fitness.
Don’t make drastic changes
While you may be brimming with motivation and determination, it’s easy to fall into the trap of changing too much at once. For example, saying “I’m not going to eat any processed foods, I’m going to do six gym sessions a week and I’m giving up alcohol” is a bit life change. In fact, for most people, it’s completely unsustainable. Not to mention the fact that banning foods can result in a lot of psychological distress. Instead, try saying: “I’m going to eat my favorite bar of chocolate on a Friday night, I’ll increase my gym and I’ll only have wine every second week.”
Focus on nourishment, not deprivation
Focus on eating foods that benefit your health and wellbeing, instead of focusing on foods you can’t eat. This leads to mental turmoil and can be really exhausting. Instead of ruminating on biscuits you can’t eat, set a goal of having at least one portion of fruit or vegetables with each of your main meals.
Aim for consistency, not perfection
In the world of health and fitness, consistency doesn’t sell. There is usually a food group to demonized and a fad to be followed. Meanwhile, consistency doesn’t get attention, as it’s not extreme and doesn’t yield quick results. This is where I see people go wrong time and time again, aiming to stick to a perfect diet, and throwing in the towel when they “fall of the wagon”. The truth is it’s better to be consistent with an imperfect diet than to be inconsistent with the perfect diet.
Find a plan that fits into your lifestyle and makes you feel good, trust the process, be patient, maintain consistency and watch the results happen!
Michelle Hone is the head nutrition coach at The Fit Clinic; performance nutritionist with Bray Wanderers FC and Kilmacud Crokes Senior GAA Football and has worked on a one to one level with over 400 clients, including international athletes. For more information visit thefitclinicnutrition.com