Chocolates, wine, and avoiding the gym. No, we’re not talking about the party season, but a new approach to getting in shape in the New Year.
The holidays are over. You’ve been taught how to cook a turkey by celebrity chefs, snatched the standard hangover cures from T.V. doctors, and now find yourself bombarded with the same old quick fix diet, fitness and detox plans as you attempt to transform yourself from late night cake eating disco diva to svelte pre-season beach babe.
Here, I offer you an alternative route to New Year health and fitness and it is EXACTLY what you want to be reading come January.
Forget January 1st.
With Champagne bubbles still in your system and an array of unhealthy snacks strategically positioned throughout the house, you may wish to reconsider your start date and opt for a few days later. These extra few days won’t count for anything in the long run and will allow you to approach your resolutions on your own terms.
Go Warm Turkey.
Stopping everything all at once, after a week or two of excess, is not always the key for long-term success. Slowly getting through the last of the coffee flavoured chocolates may be the taper the new healthy you needs instead of jumping in at the deep end.
A token few weeks of abstinence will do little in the long run for your well-being. Psychologically this may make you feel better after the Xmas and New Year’s shenanigans, but it won’t make or break your health. If you plan on drinking sensibly as part of a well-balanced lifestyle in the long term, then limiting alcohol instead of cutting it out altogether may ease the pressure.
Avoid The Gym.
January is one of the busiest times for the fitness industry and equipment and classes are oversubscribed. Get out and about, increasing your energy burn during everyday activities and head to the gym when the crowds have replaced it with Prosecco and pizza.
Love Taking it Easy.
Set realistic long-term targets rather than stringent short-term ones made in the heat of the moment as New Year dawns. Valentine’s day is a good six weeks away and is more than enough time to make up for December’s sins.
Why Oh Why Oh Why?
When starting a new fitness and health programme you need to consider exactly why you are doing it. Self-reflection and profound thinking will motivate you to try harder and chase an actual dream instead of a 7lb mirror fix.
Let Old Habits Die...Slowly.
There’sthe temptation to visit the health food shop and fill up your trolley in an attempt to go ‘all in’ on your quest to find a healthier you. A far more sensible approach is to replace a few ‘bad’ items with healthier alternatives each week, gradually (and subtly) altering your patterns of thought and hard-wired tendency to head straight towards the ice cream after a stressful day.
Keep The Carbs.
A small sized portion of carbohydrates with each meal will keep your energy levels up enabling you to deal with whatever the gloomy month of January throws at you. You don’t want to be darting around the sales on an empty stomach or ‘hitting the wall’ after a just a few hundred metres on the treadmill now do you?
Don’t Diet At All.
If your weight is usually quite stable, opt for extra activity and keep things as they are in the kitchen. Regular exercise will help create the caloric deficit required for weight loss and you can always make minor tweaks to your diet as you go along.
You’re Perfect Just As You Are.
You may be obsessed with the ‘new year, new you’ mantra, but do you really need to change anything at all? The chances are, after a month or so, any weight gain from Christmas will disappear as you revert back to your ‘normal’ eating and drinking patterns. Just stay being you!