January is the time to make positive lifestyle changes
January is the time when most people think more seriously about their health and making some positive changes to their lifestyle.
Problem is that most people try to do everything else at once, waging all-out war on the body almost as if getting fit and healthy was a punishment.
So this year, if getting in better shape and having better health is your plan, how about approaching it a little differently.
Here are my top 9 tips for getting back on track in January and (more importantly) maintaining that the whole way through the year, and beyond!
Stop dieting - Diets, for most people do not work. Try not to view food as good or bad; there are simply foods you should eat more of and foods that you should eat less off. Get the balance right most of the time, and you will soon see and feel results. Remember you are aiming for a long-term lifestyle change not a two-week quick fix diet (that won’t work anyway)
Get some sleep – sleep is vital for overall health and is crucial if your goal is to drop some body fat. A tired body is a stressed body and a stressed body will want to hang on to your fat stores for dear life due to, amongst other things, a fat storage hormone called cortisol. Aim to get 7-8 hours every night, or wherever possible. Practice good sleep hygiene; have a phone and lap top curfew. Make sure your room is pitch black and cool. Have a nice relaxing bath before bed and really try to wind down before you finally hit the sack.
Stay hydrated – not only essential for health but being hydrated will also help promote fat burning too. Plain water is best, approx. 2-3 litres per day (more in hot weather or when you are exercising regularly). If plain water is ‘too boring’ try adding fresh lemon, lime or cucumber. Get into the habit of taking your water bottle with you everywhere you go, think ‘keys, mobile phone and water bottle’ when you leave the house.
Eat protein – protein is the building block of muscle the more muscle we have, the faster our metabolic rate is and the more fat we burn without exercising. Not only that, but protein has a higher satiety index than carbohydrates meaning it fills us up for longer and it also help to lower cortisol (that fat storage hormone I mentioned earlier) Good sources are meats, fish, eggs, nuts etc.
Have a stress management plan – Not only is daily low level chronic stress really bad for our health but it plays havoc with fat loss. There are a number of things you can do to help manage and lower your own stress levels. A daily stroll in nature helps reduce stress and blood pressure and anywhere from 30 minutes is really beneficial. No power walking here – this is a slow, leisurely, relaxing walk. Meditation is also super beneficial as are mindfulness classes like BrainFit which I am launching on 11th January.
Start taking some regular exercise – if you want to get into really great shape then you have to exercise. The type of exercise you embark upon really depends on what your goal is. For fat loss, the best, most effective type of exercise is HIIT – High Intensity Interval Training. This type of exercise is proven to burn more fat when compared to engaging in steady state, moderate intensity exercise like jogging. A 20 minutes HIIT workout will not only burn more fat than a moderate intensity workout but it will also help shape, tone and strengthen your muscles too. All Isle Lose It Fitness camps workouts are based on HIIT principles for maximum fat burning results.
Stop hating yourself – Constantly putting yourself down and comparing yourself to others is detrimental to your health and your attempts at losing weight. Having a positive mindset is crucial for long term results. Sure, we all have bad days, but if you can start to control those negative, berating thoughts and replace them with more positive, empowering ones then results will come much quicker. For anyone struggling with low confidence issues BrainFit is a movement and meditation class that helps retrain the brain to think more positively.
Try to eat ‘clean’ – clean eating is something I have done myself for the past decade and promoted through Isle Lose It Fitness Camps since 2010. Clean eating basically means eating a diet that is as close to nature as possible, cutting right down on processed foods, sugars, wheat and gluten. You don’t need to count calories when eating clean. Focus on the QUALITY of what you are eating rather than how many calories it contains!
Be consistent – hopping on and off diets and fad exercise regimes won’t bring you the results you desire. It is the small daily changes that you make that will add up to the biggest results, so take a look at what you do daily and start there. Small changes=big results.
And finally – don’t try to do everything all at once! What is the rush? Super-fast weight loss does not equal long term weight loss. Focus on one thing at a time. For example, start with maybe increasing your water intake. Then add in some daily walks. After that focus on getting more sleep, adding in some exercise etc etc. Give yourself a weekly or monthly target to implement all of the above strategies. Rome wasn’t built in a day and the more pressure you put yourself under to get everything right from the start the more chance you have of giving up.
We have a saying at Isle Lose It Fitness Camps – “We are not perfect but we are persistent’
You don’t have to get everything spot on all of the time but being consistent with all the above will set you in great stead for a very healthy and happy 2017!
For more information on BrainFit, Isle Lose It Fitness camps and all our products and services contact Sue [email protected]