January is always the month where people flock to gyms, join in on the newest diet frenzy and attempt a ‘dry’ month.
We over-indulge during the festive season and come January, many of us feel racked with guilt. We start to make ourselves promises – a new year, a fresh start.
It makes every bit of logical sense and we’ve all been there in some way or another. I certainly hold my hands up – I’ve tried a five day juice cleanse, I’ve bought an exercise bike which has gathered dust and I’ve joined up to boot camps – all in the month of January.
Over time I’ve discovered (and if I’m honest, known it all along) that there really is no quick fix to losing weight. I’ve tried various methods on and off and although I may have felt good during that period of time (who wouldn’t feel skinny living off of juice for five solid days!?) I know now that losing weight the steady, healthy way is really the only way.
Everyone’s a sucker to a good old fashioned marketing ploy – even the smartest among us. I’m not saying that I won’t get sucked in and dabble in another ‘quick fix’ method again in the future but I have now come to terms with the less glamorous but more effective truth that losing weight is best done through a healthy, varied diet and exercise. And besides, many of these quick fix options aren’t even scientifically proven to have any benefits – with some even having associated risks attached to them.
Losing weight is 80% about nutrition and 20% about exercise. It’s a steady process that takes time and patience but with the right ingredients (literally and figuratively), we can achieve our goals.
A good starting point is to forget January. Why? Because if we treat January (the ‘new me’ month) like any other month then we’ll be less likely to jump into a healthy routine that we’re unlikely to sustain.
Joining the gym or an exercise class when you are ready for it, mentally and physically, is the best time to begin. It doesn’t matter what month or day of the week this is, as long as it is a decision that you have come to terms with on your own. The more we want something, the more likely we are to achieve and maintain it.
Treating the weekends like any other day of the week is also a great way to mentally prepare ourselves. When many of us are trying to eat healthily and lose weight/tone up, we often use weekends as an excuse to treat ourselves – takeaways, alcohol and other sugary snacks. Whilst we should treat ourselves occasionally and not refuse our bodies of any food group, we should attempt to keep this under control and not let a simple thing like the weekend get in the way. Forgetting to do this will only counteract all of the hard work that we have put in during the run up to these two days.
Exercising and eating healthily the sustainable way is not only scientifically proven to be better for you than quick fix options but it can be more eco-friendly. Not to mention the other health benefits such as reducing the risk of colon cancer by about 25% and decreasing the risk of coronary heart disease which is the UK’s most common heart health condition. If you’re out of shape, your heart may beat more than 10 million extra beats in a year (as this test demonstrates). Why put that kind of strain on your body?
Facts such as these reiterate the importance to adopting a long-term healthy and active lifestyle. There are many simple measures that can be taken in order to achieve this but before signing up to the gym, be sure to tackle your thoughts first. Our bodies are capable of almost anything – it’s our minds that often stop us from reaching our potential.
Start taking ownership of your thoughts today and tomorrow, you could be on track to becoming a much healthier and happier you.