So it's December 31st and that can only mean one thing. Tomorrow (if your head isn't too sore) you will be one of the vast amount of people flocking to various gyms, sports clubs and leisure centres to create a new you in the new year. For most of you this will involve biting off more than you can chew, partaking in fad diets and being looked down on by 'regular gym guys/girls.'
Here is your survival guide. What is the secret to actually making this new year new me thing stick?
Hunt in packs.
Whatever you do, try and do it with someone. Whether it's with a personal trainer, a friend or in a group or team, having a support network is like a safety net. Some of the most popular and successful companies like Weight Watchers and Cross-Fit produce great results because you have a great support network. Be aware that this will depend on the company you choose as some trainers, teams or organisations may not be the most welcoming, so don't be afraid to shop around!
Don't fall into the trap that this 'getting fit business' is a chore and you need to get it over with. Find a sub-section of the gym (for example) that you really enjoy like Yoga, Weightlifting, Pilates, HIIT, Resistance or even Boxing. Once you enjoy the process of getting fitter, stronger or just healthier it goes from being a chore to a hobby.
Diet smarter, NOT harder.
Getting into a routine at the gym is great but it is only a small portion of your day. Nutrition is going to be possibly the biggest bump in the road. Firstly there are lots of diets out there like Keto, Paleo, Gluten free, Vegan and various others. All of these have their benefits, but remember, a big change isn't always a sustainable one. On the other hand there is counting calories which is of course a tried and tested way to alter your body composition; my advice is in the beginning to try and stay away from either. We all know what should be on our plate, and more importantly, what shouldn't. So eat fats, eat proteins and eat carbs... but maybe eat a little bit less or heap on the broccoli, beetroot, asparagus, peppers, cauliflower, salad and yes, even kale. Ease off the starches a bit and pull back a bit on the rice, pasta and potatoes (by all means keep eating them but if volume is your issue then you get more bang for your buck from leafy greens and other colourful veg).
Set goals but don't fixate over the wrong numbers.
By this I mean; have a goal, whether it's getting stronger, fitter, bigger or smaller but don't obsess about the numbers on the scales or tape just yet. Enjoy your training, work hard and have a laugh for at least the first two weeks. Try and focus on different numbers like the weight you're lifting or the time it takes to run, row or cycle 2, 5 or even 10k. Then once you are enjoying yourself, the scales will become a key tool for your success and not a potential catalyst to giving up then start using them.
Don't give up the things you enjoy!
If you enjoy a bar of chocolate, cheeky dominoes or a night on the booze with the guys/girls. Don't then go and ditch it. Earn it! Have these as your little trophies! Have them in moderation because as we know "too much of a good thing.... you get the idea"
Good luck in 2019!
Happy New Year,