It’s January, we’re all on a diet after stuffing our faces to the max over Christmas. We’ve made multiple New Year’s resolutions and have to keep reminding ourselves to refuse the office cakes, go for a run and, let’s be honest, most of us are filled with regret after writing a long, smug post on social media about doing dry January /Veganuary / other impossible month-long challenge.
And while it may be hard to stick to a gruelling diet, exercise regime or the promise to “be positive every day”, there are a few little things you can do to help you feel and look your very best.
- Follow the 80-20 rule
Calorie counting and only eating ‘healthy’ food is boring and usually ends up in a binging session where you devour 5 doughnuts in a row (just me?) and often leads to more anxiety over food.
Instead, eat well 80% of the time, and treat yourself the other 20%. Perhaps that means having a healthy breakfast, lunch and dinner but treating yourself to a piece of cake in the evening. Or having a huge brunch with friends and balancing it with a small dinner.
Depriving yourself of all treats and food you love simply isn’t sustainable, which is why the 80-20 rule achieves better long-term weight loss results.
- Eat only when you’re hungry
Next time you reach for a late night snack. HALT.
Are you Hormonal? Anxious? Lonely? Tired?
It can be tempting to go on a snacking binge when you feel any of the above, but this will lead to consuming more calories when you’re not even hungry. Stop eating your emotions, find other outlets to manage them instead.
- Stay hydrated
Your body uses water in all its cells, organs, and tissues to help regulate its temperature and maintain other bodily functions. You lose it throughout the day through breathing, sweating, and digestion, so it’s important to stay hydrated.
Signs you need to glug a glass of water ASAP include having dry lips, dark urine, a headache, trouble concentrating, and feeling thirsty.
- Get a good night’s sleep
Sleep plays a vital role in good health and well-being throughout your life. Getting enough quality sleep at the right times can help protect both your mental health and physical health.
Here’s three ways to sleep better:
- Control your exposure to light
In the evening you should avoid bright screens within 1-2 hours before bedtime. The blue light emitted from your phone or tablet is disruptive. Put them away and find something to talk to your other half about instead!
- Drink smart
Avoid caffeine and alcohol in the evenings as it can disrupt your sleep cycle. Guess gin o’clock will have to be moved to 10am then? ;
- Exercise daily
Exercise can strengthen circadian rhythms, promoting daytime alertness and helping bring on sleepiness at night.
- Eat more protein and fibre
Including a combination of protein and fibre at your meals and snacks could help you lose weight more easily.
Protein and fibre make you feel fuller for longer with fewer calories than carbohydrates, so when you are trying to shift a few stubborn pounds, it’s a good idea to increase your protein and fibre intake – especially if you find yourself always feeling hungry.
- Brush your teeth early
Who’s guilty of eating healthy throughout the day and then going on a food binge in front of the TV in the evening?
One way to stop the late night binge is to brush your teeth soon after you’ve had dinner and your evening cuppa. It subconsciously signals to yourself that eating is done and you’re then less likely to raid the cupboards out of boredom/ habit.
- It’s ALL in the prep
And no that doesn’t mean you have to portion off chicken and broccoli every day for a week… It just means you should have a plan to stop bad food choices from happening.
Will you be out and about over lunch time? Bring lunch with you
Will you be getting home late? Have the ingredients ready for making an easy dinner, like a stir-fry.
Planning ahead will help you stick to your goals.
- (Portion) Size is everything
Wonder why getting in a relationship makes you fat? It’s because you’re trying to eat the same portion size as somebody who likely has a different build, different goal and different activity level.
If you’re trying to lose weight but your partner isn’t…or if you spend most of your day behind a computer whereas your partner spends theirs being active…then you shouldn’t need to eat the same amount of food.
It’s so easy to plate up the exact same size meal for you both, but that’s where the excess calories that you don’t really need come into play.
- Move your butt regularly and consistently
Being active releases those happy hormones that make you feel like you can conquer the world. Luckily, we live on an island full of fun outdoors activities to get involved in. You could train for the Parish Walk, have a go at abseiling or a simple jog along the prom. Or if you prefer to work out in a gym environment, there’s a variety of fun classes to choose from.
- Stop worrying about the number on the scales
Please stop worrying about the number on the scales. Your weight can be affected by so many things, such as:
- Whether you’ve eaten a fibrous or salty meal the night before
Whether you’re more stressed than usual
- If it’s that joyous that time of month
Instead, you should focus on the fit of your clothes, how you look in photo comparisons, and how you feel.
If you need a helping hand with your health and fitness goals for 2019, I can create a completely personalised exercise and meal plan for you. It’s like having a virtual personal trainer to keep you motivated, on track and ready to be the best version of yourself.