Did you know that 17th January is officially "Ditch the Resolutions Day" - the day that, on average, we're most likely to give up on those life-changing "be the best me" promises we made ourselves just a few weeks ago? Yep - it's a bit depressing, if you want to view it that way. It's also an opportunity - to re-evaluate your goals, and perhaps find a way to make them more realistic, less restrictive, and more achievable. Need some help? Here's some tips to help keep you on track: "2019 - the year I get fit" You joined the gym...signed up for a marathon...bought new trainers...now what?! - Reach out to a Personal Trainer - a good one will ensure that your training is specific to your needs, your goals and your lifestyle, and provide both the accountability and motivation needed to keep you on track. Most trainers are happy to run small group sessions too, if you'd like to recruit a friend! - Join a local class. Most fitness classes offer free or cheap taster classes, so give a few a go to find one that excites you. Enjoyment is key in staying motivated, and the social element is great for mental health and adherence to your new regime. - Try out online programming - most PTs are happy to offer online or distance programming if you'd rather train alone (it is also usually a little cheaper than 1-2-1 sessions, if your budget is tight). You can be confident that your training is specific to you, and you won't end up running aimlessly on the treadmill for 30 mins not sure on what you should be doing in the gym! "2019 - the year of [Insert Fad Diet Here]" You're detoxing...cutting out gluten...eating for your blood type...but it's a bit depressing (and you found the biscuit tin)... - Fad diets may help you lose weight in the short term, but they're notoriously hard to stick to. They're also almost always rooted in bad science (or no science at all), and focus on rapid results at the expense of health and improved long term habits. - An 'all-or-nothing' approach to dieting, or any lifestyle habit for that matter, will end in failure for most. Any informed and trustworthy practitioner will also never advise you to cut out any major food groups or make drastic dietary changes without evidence of a true intolerance or allergy. Be suspicious of any plan that encourages any food group embargo. - The British Dietetic Association advises against any 'quick fix' diet, shred or detox program. Take a look at their handy guide on spotting dodgy advice. Have a read of my helpful dieting blog post, outlining the key elements to building a healthy and sustainable diet, and don't be afraid to get in touch if you have any questions or would like more help building a nutrition plan that suits you. "2019 - the year I complete 'Dry January'" You indulged over the festive season...enjoy a glass or two on a school night...engage in the occasional (or slightly-more-often-than-occasional) weekend binge...but this month, things will change... - January 20th is apparently the day that, on average, 'Dry-Janners' will fall off the wagon...you might have felt virtuous to start with, but you've probably not learned much about your relationship with alcohol, nor developed any strategies for reducing your consumption long term. - We already know that full abstinence approaches to lifestyle change are generally doomed to fail...so why not take a more balanced approach? - Try setting small, realistic, time-bound goals to reduce your alcohol consumption...it might be one glass instead of two, or assigning yourself an alcohol-free day each week. These goals can progress over time, helping you to develop new, healthier habits, without a total ban on the fun stuff! "2019 - the year I go vegan" Everyone's doing 'Veganuary'...it'll shift the pounds...and it's all over Insta...we're all meant to be doing it, right? - I'm not against being vegan, vegetarian or the like. At all. If it's a moral decision, and you're committed to taking a healthy approach, go for it - if it's what you want to do (don't do it because an aggressive voice on social media filled you with guilt). - It is difficult, but not impossible, to obtain all the vital macro and micronutrients your body requires through a vegan diet. For most, this requires an extra level of commitment and investment into tracking their intake that is unsustainable and difficult to fit into their lifestyle. - ‘A global shift towards a vegan diet is vital to save the world from hunger, fuel poverty and the worst impacts of climate change’ – The UN. We're all becoming increasingly conscious of our impact on the environment, and it is reported that widespread reduction in meat and dairy consumption could help us to live more sustainably. It's a great time for us all to make some changes, but we must all make them in healthy ways that work for us at an individual level. - We know that total food embargos are generally ill-advised, not beneficial to health, and difficult to stick to. Try making small changes towards reducing your meat and dairy intake, rather than cutting it out altogether right away, and buy British to reduce your food's carbon footprint. You'll also likely end up eating more fruit and vegetables instead - result!
Ultimately, any lifestyle change should be approached in a relaxed and positive manner. Small, realistic goals are the key, and we must be certain that our approaches are healthy, and intrinsically driven. If you'd like help with online fitness programming, nutrition advice, or would like to know more about personal training, do get in touch - I'd be happy to help!