Motivation for the New Year!

Hope you all had a good Christmas?!

No doubt you’re starting to feel a little bloated, sluggish etc from the excess carbohydrates and alcohol?

Well here’s some tips to get you underway for the new year;

Nutrition

Most people go on a diet of some kind. The Problem with “going on a diet” (the clue is in the phrase!) is that at some point you have to “come off the diet” or you return to your normal way of eating!

Most diets in existence are also very low calorie, cut out a particular food group, and generally messes  about with your bodies metabolism (the rate at which you’re body naturally burns calories) and/or your health.

The easiest way to sustain a healthy eating plan is to;

1)      Reduce the amount of sugar you consume. This in turn will balance out blood sugar and insulin levels, which is often the cause of fat gain. You will also find you have higher energy levels than normal due to balanced blood sugar levels.

2)      Always aim to eat protein with each meal. This can include eggs, meat, chicken, fish, protein powder, cottage cheese and beans. Protein will keep you feeling fuller for longer.

3)      Reduce the amount of carbohydrates and type you eat. Carbohydrates are our primary energy source. But as a nation we eat too many. Unless you have an active job and are burning calories throughout the day, you don’t need a great deal of carbohydrates. Any excess will be converted to fat as the body cannot store an unlimited supply. Eat less high-GI carbs like cakes, biscuits, pastry, sweets and crisps, and eat more rye, wholemeal, spelt, vegetables and salads. Our bodies are designed to eat “natural foods”, not processed man made foods that pile on the weight, cause health problems, and reduce your energy levels.

4)      Drink more water! As a minimum you should be consuming 1.5 litres of water a day. Most people won’t consume half that! Our bodies are made up from over 65% water and it’s responsible for transporting nutrients around the body, removing fat and toxins, and keep fatigue at bay.

Create a food diary – write down everything you eat and drink for 10 days, and the times consumed. You will be surprised when you look back at what and when you ate. Try not to leave more than 4 hours between eating, and try not to eat late at night (after 8pm) as this is when people tend to pick on “sofa food”!

Exercise

When most people start an exercise regime they go one of 2 ways. They either decide to go running or join a gym. Unfortunately both don’t give great results most times.

Running – at first most people get some results. That is obvious as they are suddenly doing more exercise than normal! But after a few weeks, results will start to stall, injuries may occur (due to the repetitive, load bearing issues of running) and motivation will start to drop.

Most people have a number of muscle imbalances or postural issues which can affect movement, exercise, and particularly running, as the body has to compensate for dysfunctions by using muscles that wouldn’t normally be recruited. (A kinetic Chain assessment can be beneficial for addressing and correcting these postural  issues*)

The gym– can be a convenient way to have every piece of equipment under one roof, but this is not enough! Your induction will often only show the equipment on your programme, and the workout written for you is unlikely to take into account the imbalances discussed above. Once this is done, you’re on your own! Again, most people get some results early on due to the ‘nothing to everything’ regime, but when the dark nights close in, a bottle of wine and tv programme calls, where is the need to go out in the cold?! Ensure you have a “set-programme” that has a specified start and finish date, and that you progress during the workout, striving to increase the weight used, speed or distance travelled on the CV equipment, with each session. Having a training partner can often help with motivation both in the gym, and getting to the gym!

This is where group classes or partnered work can come in handy. Being accountable to someone else and having that “social support” will give you that extra motivation. If you’re going to a group session and you know Julie, Sandra, Pete or Tom will be there, gives you that extra motivation. Or if you know that Tom will be coming round to give you a lift to your session, excuses come harder!

Try a fitness bootcamp session, a class at your local gym or sports hall, you’ll find the extra motivation that is often lacking when training alone. Alternatively choose a qualified and experienced Personal Trainer, and ensure 2010 is a good year for YOU!

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And you can’t reach your goals?

Looking through last Sunday’s newspaper and came across a real heart wrenching article. Next time you fail to meet a goal or target you set through weakness or lack of commitment, bear this in mind;

An article entitled “Mummy Manual” and was about a mum of 33 who was diagnosed with terminal cancer, leaving a husband and 2 young children. The husband, said “Lisa was a wonder woman when it came to bringing up our daughters”. When she was told she had months to live, she set her “own 12 page goals manual” for her husband to follow and achieve, on how she would like her children cared for, and brought up.

She gave her husband every tiny detail of how she wanted their daughters to be brought up, from making sure their homework and reading was done, to a list of new clothes they would need each year. She explained to the children that “Mummy had poorly blood and that she was going to die. Amelia(3) was too young to understand, but Ella (5) did.

Some of these further notes/goals included;
My thoughts on Christmas – “Stockings til the age of 18!”
….Food – “Vegetables and fruits, not too much pie”
….Family and traditions – “try to eat Sunday lunch together – the family that eats together stays together! Good chance to talk and catch up. Talk about mummy – things that I liked and didn’t, things that made me laugh”
….Birthday’s – “Don’t make parties too big/extravagant – don’t be a competitive Dad!”
….Clothes – “Please don’t let them look too old too early. No tarty slogans or tshirts!”
….School – “Make sure you’re on time and clean and tidy (Ella and Amelia that is!!)

My thoughts on bedtime – “Should be calm, lot’s of cuddles – and always, “I love you”.

I don’t think there is anyone who wouldn’t/isn’t moved after reading the above.

If a mum can spend her last few months of life putting together such a manual, which outlines her wishes for the future, her goals on how her children should be looked after and brought up, once she has gone, I’m pretty damn sure we can all put out efforts into one month of no alcohol, takeaways, or packaged food, and ensure we eat sensibly and exercise hard, to ensure our goals are met.

Start planning and action those goals TODAY!

Fat Loss Tip #6 – Accountability

Accountability

writingdiary

One of the main reasons people “fall off the wagon” during a fat loss phase, or a when working towards a goal, is that they don’t set levels of accountability at the beginning and during the task.

What do I mean by this?

1) At the beginning, work out what you are doing and why.

This shouldn’t just be I want to lose weight, or be a bit slimmer. How much slimmer? How much weight do you want to lose, and when by?

You have to be specific. Something like I want to lose 6lbs by 20th October is a specific goal. I want to be able to do the button up on this pair of jeans or skirt, by 15th October is a specific goal. If you don’t set a specific aim, and an end date, you’re leaving yourself open to days of “Oh it doesn’t matter if I have this chocolate bar” or “Oh, I’ll start properly next week”. You must have heard those phrases before?!!!

By choosing a specific goal and a completion date you have your reason and you have your focus. This should then be your motivation during this period, and should stop you from straying. Each time you hit an “obstacle”, ask yourself “Will this help me to get nearer or push me further from my goal?”

2) Record your progress

Again, if you don’t record you’re progress you won’t really know what worked and what didn’t.

This means; keep a daily food diary of everything you eat and drink – this not only keeps you focussed on your eating habits but you can see trends, and where you may not have eaten enough, or too much, It also stops many people from eating that biscuit or cake, because it has to be logged – be truthful to yourself and this will be a powerful tool!

Record your workouts, and daily activities. This will allow you to see what you lifted, or how many repetitions you completed last time, so you can ensure that you beat, or do a bit more than the last workout. This progression will ensure your body is “overloaded”, and the stimulus needed to change is applied. If you lift the same weights for the same number of repetitions each workout, you are not progressing, and therefore you give your body no reason to change. The same applies if you’re performing intervals – look to “up” the resistance, speed, time or incline each time, so that your continually trick/overload the body to work a bit more than last time.

Recording your goals and your progress will be key to ensuring that you set manageable and achievable aims, and that you are continually moving on the right path to success, both physically and mentally.

Take action, take responsibility!

goals

Over on my Fat Loss and Fitness Forum, we’ve been running a 4 week transformation challenge, involving my nutrition plan I give to my PT clients and some home workouts.

This week is week 3 of 4, and the progress so far is great!

Everyone is losing weight, feeling so much better, and they all have bundles of energy compared with before the challenge started.

The main reasons they have stuck to the plan and the 4 week challenge is that;

1) They had a plan to follow, workouts to follow, and a deadline or goal of 4 weeks.

2) They had somewhere to ask questions, to talk with each other, and have that social support aspect

3) They were accountable for themselves (by placing up measurements at the beginning) and they regularly post up what they’ve eaten each day.

This way you’re not cheating yourself, and as well as being self-accountable, they don’t want to be seen letting the rest of the “team” down.

 

This is the way to ensure results.

What’s your goal? When is your target? What are you doing to get there? What are you going to do to ensure you reach those targets?

 

Feel free to join our forum, where you’ll be welcome, and will have a higher chance of succeding with your goals! Join, up, place a post, ask questions etc, you only learn through asking and reading!

How to succeed at fat loss

Happy Female Who Met Her Weight Loss GoalsWhen working towards fat loss results and success, there are 3 main keys for success. This has been proven with my PT clients, and should be followed if you want to drop fat and get results.

goals

1) Set a specific goal and target. You must know what you want to achieve. Just losing some weight is not enough. How much? 7lbs? 14lbs? To fit back into that pair of trousers or dress? Be specific and write down what you want, and when you want to achieve it by. If you don’t have a set target, you’re on a long road to nowhere, with plenty of up’s and down’s!

confusing directions

2) A plan to follow. This could be a workout plan and/or nutrition plan. My MRPT nutrition plan works for those that choose to follow it, but like most things that work, it only gives the best results when you follow all of it.

If you were in a car, driving somewhere you had never been, it would be so much easier if you had some directions in front of you telling you exactly where to go wouldn’t it?! If you didn’t you may get there eventually, but it would take a lot longer, and you wouldn’t be as happy! Exactly the same with fat loss – have a plan to follow, and follow it, because it works!!

food diary

 

3) Record what you eat and drink on a food diary. Again the majority of my clients that fill out a food diary, get better results and quicker. This is not only for me to look at and give feedback on, but it holds you accountable for your actions, and can make you really think about what and when you are eating. This option is certainly the best way to go when you are in the first few weeks of your target.

 

Follow these 3 key steps and you’ll get results. Don’t be one of the few who choose to cut corners, because in the end you’ll cut results.

What’s your reason?

question

Everyone should have a reason. I’m not just talking about a reason to exercise, but a reason why you go to work, a reason why you eat what you do, a reason why you feel unhappy with something, a reason why you look forward to doing something. A reason is just like having a “target”, it is the outcome of what you are currently doing.

These reasons, should be thought about, written down, and focused on, because at the end of the day they are the reason for living!!

You should write down your “reason(s)” and think about it/them everytime you are due to workout, everytime there is a chance you could “fall off the rails” with your diet, every time you lack motivation, every time something doesn’t go to plan at work, or when you come across one of those “I can’t be bothered days”.

Your reasons could be;

– I’m getting married in X amount of days and want to be in my best shape

– I’m on holiday in x weeks and want to have that beach body

– I want to be successful at my job, and earn X amount of £ or $ this year

– We have a history of diabetes or cardiovascular diseases in the family, and I don’t want to go the same route

– I don’t want to be obese any more

– I know someone who is less able than me, and if they can stay strong and get through everyday with a smile on their face, I’m damn sure I can

– I want to be able to run around with my kids when they’re X years old, not huffing and puffing and telling them “in a minute!”

– I don’t want high cholesterol

– I don’t want back pain anymore

– I don’t want to go back to how I used to live/looked

– I want to be an example to my children

– I want to “Livestrong” (thanks to Lance Armstrong! Another show of determination and effort)

Don’t wait for the next day. Decide what you want and action it. Only you can control your actions and your outcome.

“What’s your reason?”

Next time your commitment wavers…

 

 

 

 

murderball-1

 

Watched a great docu-film this weekend, called “Murderball”. Murderball is similar to Rugby/Amercian football, for paraplegics. These guys have lost limbs, or lost the use of limbs through illness, accidents, and injuries, but have found a sport, trained seriously, and competed in their Olympics within the sport.

It is a great docu-film showing the commitment and dedication by a group of people who won’t let their “disabilities” hold them back, and show that through hard work you can achieve great things.

It makes a mockery of some peoples attempts to achieve results, often small, and how people’s will power can disappear at the first sign of a challenge.

Watch this docu-film, see how everyday people who have been struck by a life-changing moment, do not give up on life, and how through hard work, dedication and focus can achieve great things.

It should make you thankful for being fully-abled, and should make you re-address your goals and targets.

Be thankful, and do something worthwhile.