Updated: Sep 19, 2019
The summer holidays are over, the children are back to school, and you are now trying to employ some sort of structure back into your week. Especially if you fully embraced the summer vibes and holiday feel and are now in the "post summer weight gain / pre Christmas panic".
September is a great time to set some new goals. Three to four months of consistent effort can bring very pleasing, visible results. Just in time for another period of excess. 😉
Often the effort involved in the initial phase, commonly the first two weeks, can alter our expectations. Make us feel that we should, of course!, be seeing some change by now. We forget that our body needs time. It can't process these things as fast as our brains do.
The primary cause of this is "change". We are instinctively creatures of habit, more so when it comes to diet and exercise. Adapting to a new way of eating, changing or introducing fitness, all involve developing new habits and behaviours. The only way to create these new behaviours and habits is through being consistent and repetition.
I often find that people can adopt an "all or nothing" attitude. Restricting food groups, eating times and portion sizes or imposing an intense exercise schedule. In my experience, this is not sustainable and leads to yet more impatience and eventually "why am I bothering?" , "It's too hard..." , "I'm fed up of missing out", "It's me. I'm just not built that way".
How about we try something different? How about we try adding to our routines instead of taking away? How about we make a conscious decision to take it slow and make one or two changes at a time? Now bear with me, I know this can sound crazy. As soon as we mention the word diet we automatically think "less/ reduction/ restriction" . But diet simply means "how we eat".
There are some simple changes that can make a world of difference:
Do you often feel hungry? or find it hard to control snacking? Increasing your daily protein intake, meat, fish, dairy, eggs, soy, beans, lentils etc. will make you feel more full and help to control cravings and snacking. Eating MORE of these, lean and unprocessed, at every meal will help you to lose weight.
As will increasing your fibre intake. Fibre comes in two forms. Soluble, found in fruit & vegetables and insoluble, found in whole grains and pulses. Both will not only make you feel more full but will also give you energy as they also contain healthy carbohydrates (super important for the exercise!)
Water, one of the most important nutrients!!! Keeping yourself hydrated throughout the day tends to get lost amongst the tea, coffee and endless to do lists but the benefits are huge! It helps your body transport all of the vitamins and minerals, keeps your brain alert, keeps your skin and hair in super shiny and soft, tip top condition, helps keep your joints supple and mobile, helps build muscle, improves digestion......... the list goes on.
Last but not least increasing the amount you move throughout the day will have help increase your calorie deficit (using more than you are consuming). It doesn't have to be a class or a gym, but those things are great for finding like minded people and much needed support.
If you have a step counter and are all ready reaching your daily goal, try increasing it by 500 steps.
If you are only reaching your goal 4 out of 7 days aim for five days.
Set an alarm to ensure you break up your day with movement.
If you can't run, walk. If you can walk, run.
Take the stairs.
Stick on your favourite music and dance.
Add a strength training workout.
Add a cardio workout.
Remember add one or two things at a time and find what works, what fits to your week and what you enjoy. Stick with it. Don't listen to the voice in your head telling you that it's not working or you should have seen results by now.
Breathe.... be patient and keep reminding yourself that you WILL see results if you KEEP GOING.