Some tips on how to make 2016 the year you finally make long-term sustainable changes.
Are you setting yourself up for a crazy new regime in January that will see you lock yourself in the gym to lose all the Christmas weight in three weeks? That might actually be possible in the short term but here are some tips that will help you shape your summer 2016 body.
Spend one to two weeks getting the food right
As we all know, your diet is so important if you want to see big changes in body composition. We can’t out-train a bad diet so it is important to nail your technique in the kitchen as well as in the gym.
In my opinion, the best way to do this on your own is to work with some guideline macros. This is commonly known as ‘Flexible Dieting’ or ‘IIFYM’. I have written a blog post before that might help >>How To Calculate Your Macros<<
Planning, Shopping, Prepping, Cooking and Cleaning can take up a lot of time. This is why I advise to tackle either the training or the diet separately. If you try to take on too much at once it could overwhelm you!
Make sure your training is realistic and enjoyable
I think the best way to get an effective and tailored gym programme is to work with a personal trainer but I know the budget can be tight in January after all the festivities.
If you are new to the gym, you might be offered a free gym programme to get you started. The other options are exercise classes. While some of these classes are excellent calorie burners, if your goal is to get ‘toned’, I think in the long term you need to be lifting some heavy weights.
There are some extreme training methods out there but I advise to do a type of training that you actually enjoy. If you are sitting in your car dreading going into the gym then I can’t imagine you will keep it up when the January motivation drys up!
Be confident in the gym
I know, the weights area can be very intimidating. The most common complaint I hear is “I don’t want to look like I don’t know what I’m doing”. What I have observed over the last year or so, is that 70% of the people in the gym don’t seem to be following any sort of program. I noticed a lot of men are confident enough to go in and lift some weights even though they don’t know what they are doing whereas many females won’t enter the weights area without strict instruction.
Apologies if that sounds like a very generalist statement, but my point is that you shouldn’t worry about people looking at you and wondering what you are doing in the weights area.
Everyone is on the same mission - to feel better about themselves. Smile at people, say hi, get to know your fellow gym goers. You will more than likely be seeing a lot of these people and you never know when you will need a spot!
Stop living for the weekend
Friday lunch time rolls around and you’ve managed to survive since Monday so really you should treat yourself? Right? Wrong.
Friday, Saturday and Sunday make up 42% of the week. Keeping up your regime over the weekend will make a huge difference in the long run. This is also why it is important to make sure your training is enjoyable and your diet is nothing too extreme.
In my opinion, one cheat/treat meal shouldn’t make a huge difference if the rest of the week is on point. Plan your cheat meal and look forward to it. The next day make sure you get straight back on track.
Take a break from alcohol and you will find that your weekends can be a lot more productive and enjoyable when you aren’t spending half of the weekend in bed craving dominos!
Don’t fall off the wagon and let it leave you behind
There will be failures. There will be times where you just can’t say no to the extra biscuits/crisps/pizza. The key is to get the practice in saying no. My trick I used to use was to hold onto my hips and picture how I wanted them to feel and I’d manage to walk away from the Nutella.
But when that doesn’t work and you have a feeling of regret after eating too much, don’t worry. Draw a line under it and start fresh with your next meal. There is no point in letting it spiral. Also it isn’t a good idea to reduce your calories to make up for your splurge as you’ll often feel restricted again and might result in another splurge!
Focus on being the best version of you
I know we’ve all gathered all the #fitspo pics to motivate us to train and eat well but at the same time, I think setting unrealistic goals might have us feeling we are always miles away from our goals.
I think if you focus on being the best version of yourself day-to-day, by eating well and getting your training in, you will start to see great results and most importantly you will feel great. You never know, abs might just surprise you one day!
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I hope you all have a fabulous Christmas!