Another new year is upon us and many of us are wondering how we managed to put on all those extra pounds and what are we going to do to get rid of them.
Many of us will have made New Year’s resolutions which involve getting to the gym more, losing weight, cutting down on drink or chocolate or just being able to fit back into your pre-Christmas clothes! For those who kept active over the festive period, your New Year resolutions may involve getting in even better shape for a holiday or special event.
How many of these resolutions actually remain throughout the year or even get started at all? Year after year we see members come back to the gym full of renewed motivation in January only for their visits to die off by March because they gave themselves unrealistic goals & targets then became disheartened when those results didn’t materialise.
The reality is, there are no short cuts to losing weight and yes, it is hard work but with the right approach and realistic goals, you can not only lose weight, but keep it off – forever!
With this in mind, there are three key ingredients to achieving your health and fitness goals and they are: Self discipline, Persistence & Support. Here are our tips for you to put into practice to help keep you on the right road:
Use your diary
You use your diary to mark important appointments, meetings, trips & such like so why not use it to mark your gym visits in? They are important to you, your health & your goals so why not mark them in? Seeing your intended visits written down will help to remind you and reinforce your commitment to yourself. Here’s an interesting observation for you: those members who attend studio classes often come to the desk with their diaries. They book their chosen classes and mark it in their diary to remind them which session, day & time they have booked in to. It’s a form of commitment that works as they rarely fail to attend their class. We don’t, however often see members marking their gym visits in their diaries. Experience has shown us that those member’s who attend classes as well as the gym, tend to stay motivated for much longer and attend more regularly. This is down to 2 main factors: enjoyment and commitment. Those who attend classes say that the fun element and the fact that they are pushed more by the instructor than they would push themselves helps to keep them motivated. Because the classes have to be booked, they feel as if they are making a commitment to attend and this helps to keep their visits regular. So if you haven’t got a diary – get one and start booking out your own time to attend and if you have one, start to use it for your exercise commitments as well as your family & work ones.
Keep up your re-assessments
We are here to support you, never to de-motivate you so no matter how bad you think your progress may be going, or how naughty you think you’ve been – don’t put your re-assessment on hold because of it. Sometimes a good chat with your instructor is enough to help get you back on track. If you’re not motivated we can help by suggesting new activities, a new training programme, a new challenge – but we can’t help you if you don’t make or keep your appointment with us, so make use of us! Keep your progress checks up – every 8 weeks and you’ll see what a difference it makes to your health & fitness goals.
Give yourself a fright!
I firmly believe that out of sight is out of mind for many of us. It’s a contributing factor to winter weight gain and lack of motivation to exercise – when we’re all wrapped up in our winter jumpers, jeans, coats and boots, we tend not to be too aware of changes in our body shape & size. So what better way to get your motivation back that to put on your bikini and have a good look in the mirror. Yes, it’s a frightening thought but if it doesn’t look as good as it did 6 months ago – use that as your motivation to get back in shape and back on track.
Reduce your alcohol intake
This may or may not seem like an obvious one, but cutting out or reducing alcohol in your diet will greatly improve your chances of losing weight when combined with regular exercise.
Increase your water intake
Equally, this one should not be taken for granted as a good flow of water through your body will help to purify your system and aid in mobilising the fat cell in your body.
Do more Weight Training
If you don’t do this already, then now is a good time to start! We’re not talking bodybuilding here, but resistance training. With only a slight increase in muscle tone and mass, your body will burn more calories even whilst at rest as weight training increases your metabolic rate.
Eat in Moderation
This is the most obvious and yet probably the most overlooked. Completely changing your diet will prove difficult to maintain unless you have immense will-power, therefore we’d suggest eating in moderation whilst still allowing yourself a few of your favourites. As long as you are not eating junk food and have a balanced diet, by keeping your calorie expenditure greater than your intake, you should be on your way to losing the excess weight.
Take the stairs instead of the lift
This is a much used piece of advice and a very useful one. If you normally need to take the lift in your building or between floors in your office, try using the stairs instead throughout the day. You will be surprised how many extra calories you will burn doing this on a daily basis.
Stay active each day
It’s all well and good coming to the gym 3 times a week but if you’re not active at all on the other days, achieving your goals will be a struggle. Try to do a little bit of activity on the days you’re not attending the gym. Go for a walk, try a few exercises from our video clips, anything as long as it keeps you moving and keeps your mind on your goals.
Overall, if you are serious about losing weight or getting fit then you need to understand that this involves a complete lifestyle change and a commitment, not only to your goals, but to yourself.