Another year, another resolution.
Now that it's the 13th of January, you're probably just about to give up on yours, right?
Well, if you have a weight loss inspired resolution this year, I want to help.
These are my sure-fire, ten steps that I would follow if I wanted to give myself the best chance of success.
Clean out the fridge and pantry: I don't know how many times I have to repeat this. If you think you have the motivation or will-power to leave junk and processed food in your cupboards and not touch it, you are wrong! Get rid of it and replace it with some whole-foods like fruits, vegetables, lean meats and seafood.
Start tracking your food: Tracking your food by either using a food tracking app like Myfitness Pal or using a food diary will allow you to become more in-tune with your eating habits. This step alone has been shown in studies to produce incredible weight loss results when compared to individuals that don't track.
Find an accountability partner: Often, our own motivation is not enough to make change. Bringing on a partner in crime with health journey is an important step for a lot of people. The reason this tends to be effective is we will often be OK with letting ourselves down, but when it comes to someone else, it's a different story. Find a friend or family member with similar goals, or hire a coach.
Use a pre-made meal company: I'm always a big advocate of simplifying the process. One of our biggest challenges when it comes to fat-loss in particular is our ability to be organised on the nutrition front. If you don't have time to make healthy meals, why not get someone else to do it for you. A company like Youfoodz will not only make it and deliver it, but they'll also give you a range of healthy choices too.
Join a gym close to work or home: This is a big mistake people make when joining a gym. They often choose a location thats not close to their work or home. This may be fine when you're motivated and enthusiastic about attending, but when all that newness rubs off, the 15-20 minute drive doesn't seem so appealing anymore. So choose something close or at least on the path between work and home.
Find a purpose or why: This is a big psychological step that can't be missed. Often if we find we don't have the motivation to want to do something but we know we should, it's because there hasn't been an emotional link created between the activity and our reason 'why'. Sit down and map out the big picture as to why you need to get in shape. Link it to aspects of your life that are important to you. For example, "the reason I need to lose 10KG is because if I don't, I'm at risk of heart disease which could impact me being around to support my family in 15-years".
Fix your sleep: This step is often missed by most looking to lose weight as they don't see it as important. After working in this industry for well over a decade now, I would argue it is more important than exercise (hear me out). If we don't get adequate sleep, here's what happens. Firstly, we don't have the energy to train effectively. Next, it impacts our nutritional choices as we tend to push towards processed food when we're tired. Also, lack of sleep leads to stress in the body which impacts recovery, metabolism and our immune system. These are just a few of the reasons why you should prioritise your sleep if you're serious about weight-loss. Set a bed time alarm, black out the room, ditch the technology and consider a magnesium supplement. This is a good place to start.
Set up a simple eating plan: So how should I eat you may be asking. Well, stick to the basics. Without going into too much detail, aim for 3-4 meals a day and stick to a palm of protein, a fist of vegetables, a cupped hand of carbs and a thumb of fats per meal. Click here for our infographic guide.
Stick to a calorie deficit: To achieve fat-loss, you need to be in a calorie deficit. This means you are burning more energy than you are consuming in your diet. But how many calories should I aim for each day? Our friends at Precision Nutrition have done the hard work for us by creating a calorie calculator. Simply put in your details and your goals, and let the calculator work its magic.
Ask yourself, 'is this goal really important to me right now?': You know what, often if we can't find the motivation to do something, it's because we don't have any desire to do it. I know this contradicts everything else I'm saying, but if you can't be arsed, then it's probably not worth starting. Sometimes in our lives, the right time presents itself, but often it doesn't. The start of the year often isn't the right time. So if you're just not feeling the motivation to start, don't bother. It will only lead to disappointment. If this is you right now, I would still try and seek a partner to team up with because often you will catch fire on their motivation. Otherwise, take some time off your health goals and focus on whats important to you right now. The sun will always come up tomorrow, and that presents another opportunity to get started.
So I hope these steps help to make it easier for you to smash your New-Years resolutions.
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