How can you maintain a healthy lifestyle after the fad diet is over?
Marina is a personal trainer and a native of Tullamore. She is also a health and fitness blogger.
So, how is 2017 going?
Are you on the kale juice diet or doing a 21-day shred challenge? Are you looking for a quick fix to help drop those extra kilos?
Unfortunately, this article doesn’t hold the secret to dropping a dress size in two weeks or getting that six pack you’ve been dreaming of. You know why? Because quick fixes simply don’t work.
Yes, they sound appealing and we all wish it was that easy. But once you’re done, what do you do? Can you keep up with the super strict diet and crazy workout schedule? You can't maintain the lifestyle of a shred challenge forever because you'll end up right back where you started, except with one more “failure” under your belt.
Quick fixes focus on restriction and deprivation, not freedom and satisfaction. This mindset is not sustainable. Nobody can live, or wants to live off a kale diet or a brutal daily workout. So how do you get the results you want? Well I have a few helpful tips to help you make that sustainable change.
Tip 1 - Keep it simple!
Small changes to your diet and lifestyle are more sustainable than dramatic overhauls. By making small changes over a period of time, helps to keep you motivated and on track and develop a habit - a good habit!
Tip 2 - Set realistic goals
90% of people will make a resolution to lose weight in the New Year but it's not a very specific goal and so they inevitably end up failing. It is the same with fitness goals; you want to get fitter but you need to ask yourself some questions first. Would you like to run a 5k or 10k? What about strength goals? Or maybe you’d like to learn a perfect a handstand. These goals are more actionable than vague ones.
Tip 3 - Have a plan
A great philosopher once said, “a goal without a plan is just a wish.” Your plan could be as simple as losing 0.5kg a week, to give you confidence on your summer holidays. Maybe your plan is to run the local 5k race in May. By having a deadline and a definite goal, it is very easy to plan.
Tip 4 - Kick into action
The next part is often the hardest. Here is where you put those plans into action. Another wise philosopher once said “No change can happen without taking action.” This is often where many people fail to succeed. The easiest way to make changes is to make them small and manageable. If you always miss that evening class, try bringing your gym gear with you to work. Miss the class and you're guaranteed to feel bad, and that's a mental setback.
Tip 5 - Stay on the wagon
With sustainable change, consistency is the key, unlike the quick fix where you go all out for a few weeks but fall off the wagon. With small achievable changes, you start to achieve victories in your diet or fitness routine and the long-term goals are easier to visualise and accomplish.
Tip 6 - Be better, not perfect
My last tip for achieving long term results is to aim for better not perfect. Everybody is human, even us personal trainers have lazy days or choose the unhealthy option over the salad! Treat yourself (just not every day) and this will help you stay on track and smash those goals in 2017 and beyond.
For more from Martina, you can find her blog through Facebook @fromthetinyflat or by logging on to https://fromthetinyflat.com/.