We are now entering the most challenging period of the year to stay on track with our health and fitness goals; however it is easier than you think to stay on track. From now until the start of January we suggest that for the majority of people the target should be to aim to maintain the health and fitness results that you have achieved so far. To do this there a few simple strategies to introduce that will see you getting through December in a strong position ready to kick on with your health and fitness plan in the New Year.
Stop and Think
Now is a great time to take stock and analyse how your fitness plan has gone in 2013. For many I hope when you do this you will be able to look back on the progress you have made over the past year with some pride and satisfaction. Often you don’t realise the progress and great habits you have adopted over the past few months until you stop and take stock of things. If it has not gone as well as you would have liked what have you learned from the experience that you can do different in the future (remember there is no failure only feedback)!
Set your mind for success
With everything going on at this time of the year, your health and fitness goals can quickly slip down your level of consciousness. When this happens you are a lot more likely to eat poorly and drink more alcohol as your goals are no longer subconsciously impacting on your behaviours. To prevent this from happening write down what you want to achieve in 2014 with your health and fitness. Write a list of everything that will be great about achieving these goals. Now read these goals regularly and know that what you do now will have an impact on you achieving these goals. By simply staying focused you will make it much easier to reach these goals in 2014.
The number one tip for staying on track is to look at your diary from now until the start of January and choose the days in which you are going to eat and drink foods that you would not consider to be healthy. By doing this you are maintaining a level of control. For many when they eat a few poor food choices they then adopt the ‘sod it I might as well keep going’ attitude and before you know it a few bad food choices can lead to 2 weeks of eating and drinking rubbish. If you accept that you are going to have few days off and know that this will not cause a great deal of damage to your long term goals you will be able to enjoy these treats and say no to things that are offered at times out with these scheduled breaks.
Remember the blood sugar rules!
Every sugar high is followed by a sugar low. Be aware that when you eat a sugary/ starchy food (sweets, chocolate, breads, fizzy drinks, alcohol), you are likely to crave more afterwards. After having a sugary treat, insulin will kick in and take all the excess sugar out the blood stream leaving you with low blood sugars. The best thing to do to get off this sugar cycle is to eat some protein to stabilise the blood sugars. Eat a handful of nuts (not those salty ones though!), or make some eggs or eat a chicken salad. Tune into your blood sugars and know that when you feel tired, grouchy and crave sweets it just means you have low blood sugars. Reaching for more sugar will only prolong the cycle.
Keep the structure
Where possible aim to eat your breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks at similar times as you would in a normal week. This will stop you getting over-hungry and make you more likely to make healthier food choices.
Remove the temptations
Do not have chocolate, sweets, cakes, biscuits and alcohol lying around the house as its likely you will eat these without even thinking. If you have time off you are likely to spend more time in the house and unfortunately boredom can lead to consuming sweet treats for something enjoyable to do. Be conscious of what you are eating and if it is out with your designated time off from healthy eating then say no to any treats on offer.
Give any leftover boxes of chocolates, sweets and alcohol away or even better stick them in the bin. Just because you have them does not mean they must be eaten. I know for many the thought of wasting food goes against everything we were taught as children. But ultimately if living a longer, healthier and happier life is our goal then throwing out left over chocolate should actually sit better with our moral beliefs than eating poor quality food just to stop it going to waste.
Aim to stay active, go for walks with the family, play with the kids. Just find fun ways to burn up some calories. Also aim to do 3-5 structured exercise sessions during the festive season. Get your workout done in just 30 minutes with a high intensity full body blast. This will help maintain lean muscle and keep the metabolism ticking along nicely.
We would like to take this opportunity to wish everyone in the Get Results Fitness community a very Merry Christmas. We hope that 2014 is your healthiest and happiest year to date.
And finally – if achieving a lean body and optimal health appears in your new year’s resolutions. Get Results will be offering some amazing programs to help support you each step of the way so we look forward to working with you in 2014!