The time of mince pies, mulled wine and general over indulgence is over, and that can only mean one thing… new years resolutions and the guilt that comes with them are just around the corner!! Its only natural that with a new year, we want a fresh start, and all suddenly jump in the gym to start loosing all that christmas weight expecting to be tanned and toned in time for the summer. Sadly, as I’m sure we’ve all experienced at one point or another, making a new years resolution is a good deal easier than keeping one!
The problem with new years resolutions is that, for most people they are a short lived thing, and they rarely result in long term change for the better. This is the case with most dramatic life changes…. ever started the atkins, 5:2 or any other fad diet, only to find that two months later you are sat eating pringles straight out of the tube, wondering “where did it all go wrong?”. The other problem is that crash dieting, as most of you probably know, generally ends up with us putting on more weight in the long term than we lose in the short term. Ad to this the fact that most people eat more when they start exercising, and you haven’t exactly got the perfect recipe for that tanned toned body you had promised yourself!
So what, should we just not bother? Well I bet most of us have something we know we should change. But the best way is not to decide “from today I’m going to run 10 miles each day and eat nothing but grapes!” because this is obviously never going to happen. Instead try to make small incremental changes which can realistically become part of your daily life for good. Take walking- its great exercise, good for the joints, good for the heart and definitely good for the head. When it comes to preventative medicine there isn’t much that tops increasing the amount of walking you are doing. So why not try to take a 20 minute walk in your lunch break three times a week? Or take a nice long walk with the family each weekend? Throw a few hills in there and you will start to get your heart rate up as well.
When it comes to food, don’t try and drastically change everything, because you will just end up beating
yourself up when you eat that inevitable biscuit with your mid morning cup of tea. Instead try including more greens in each meal. Make a wrap or a salad for lunch rather than buyi
ng a sandwich. Or simply try to cut out mid meal snacks or cut down portion sizes. You may not see the same dramatic weight loss as you might going on the raw food diet, but equally your body wont think its being starved and go into shut down mode, conserving every single calorie it takes in. It is this which makes people pile on the pounds when they go back to eating their regular diet after a crash diet.
Finally, and most importantly, when it comes to exercise choose something you ENJOY!! If you don’t like going to the gym, then at some point or other, you will stop going… whether its a week, a month or a year, it wont last if you don’t enjoy it. So why not try mountain biking, hiking or climbing. If you get the bug for something, then it stops being a chore and starts being something you look forward to. So get out there and get active, and see how much of a difference it can make.