On our fitness journey it's really easy to want to do all the work, as quickly as possible and get results, yesterday. But this behaviour encourages injuries, burn out, fatigue, frustration, obsession and more than likely we end up overwhelmed. Going from "never exercising and eating whatever we want", to eating loads of protein and ALL the greens, being in the gym 6 days a week, drinking a gallon of water and spending all our time on the loo peeing... it's tough.
Make it easier on yourself.
Consistency is what will get you results! So before you start any journey ask yourself...
Is my WHY clear?
Am I willing to really put the effort in?
Am I willing to change?
Am I willing for this to take time?
Am I willing to be as consistent as I can be?
Have I been dieting, spinning my wheels before?
Am I currently eating too little?
Do I lack energy?
Do I lack general health? Colour in my skin, tiredness, feeling weak?
All these answers can help you determine what your next move is. Replenishment? Getting used to just eating well? Moving? Lifting? Focusing on habits not extremes?
Finding healthy habits is one of the best recommendations I could have ever had. Without habit, you end up relying solely on will power and motivation, and with all the will in the world, that shit is hard and does not last. There is no way motivation keeps me going to the gym or eating well, especially if you decide you want to maintain and balance. With all the" umph" in the world, eating whole foods and training consistently when I don't have a specific goal to keep me motivated, will not, i repeat, will NOT keep me doing it. My why is clear and yes, this helps. I want to FEEL good, I want to live a healthy life, I want my mindset in check, I want t o feel good in my clothes, but even those whys wain from time to time. The one thing that has kept me doing this for 4 years or so, is habit!
Get comfortable changing your eating patterns and making a healthy lifestyle a habit. If you eat whole food, fruit veg, good amount of protein, useful fats and carbs 80% of the time. You have stopped eating “trigger food.” You have stopped feeling guilty about “soul food” You have become active because it makes you feel fooking fantastic. Then awesome, you can focus on the specifics and build from there. But having got all of the above in check, and a base point of a lifestyle, you will have already have gotten results too. More often than not, a lifestyle change is far more beneficial than a 12 week transformation based on an end goal for a holiday in Ibiza. What you gonna do in Ibiza? What are you gonna do post Ibiza?
A good way to help implement the above lifestyle changes is to break down your goals weekly. Don't focus on ALL the things in the first week.
So I will leave you with a look at what you could do to get the hang of the healthier lifestyle in the first month/two months and go from there...
Step By Step:
•Keep a food diary (on Myfitnesspal is a great tool to use) Eat how you normally eat and check your daily averages at the end of the week to see where you could improve.
•Ie, less fats, more protein. Etc…
•Up your water intake
•Drink less booze
•This week don’t worry about trying to implement all recommended portions or lowering calories. Just focus on upping your protein and improving on your last week ie) Drink a bit less booze and try and aim for 2lts water per day.
•Get sleep. Make this a focus this week. If you get a good amount of sleep, try focusing on the quality. Don't scroll on your phone in bed, turn the lights down an hour before you need to sleep. These are things that will help with the quality of sleep. This helps with recovery from the gym.
- Now try implementing portion sizes for your fats and carbs if you decide you want to track macros.
- Up your activity by walking more. Add in 3 x 20 minute steady walks or got from 6k steps on average per week to 8k, the week after try 10k on average.
•Sit down and find alternatives to your cravings eg) craving pizza, type into Pinterest *healthy pizza choice examples. I found this extremely helpful at the beginning. OR, have the foods you are craving, and the next day, get back to you healthier eating.
•Look at what foods trigger you to associate those treats with thoughts related to our old lifestyle. Crisps on the way to work, ice cream at the cinema... these may be triggers to lead you to make unhealthier choices. Try changing your habitual snacks to other choices that either may fit into your macros better, encourage a more nutritional value or not trigger other eating behaviour.
Eg)Butter to coconut oil, chocolate bars to homemade choc treats, a rolo yogurt pudding to a protein homemade ice cream mix. Not because you are not allowed these other foods, but just to potentially help with the transition of better choice.
Add in some self care time. Spend 5 minutes a day to start, on you. Maybe its saying nice things to your body in the mirror, reapeating affirmations, listing to your fav album and dancing in the mirror, either way... Take that 5 minutes and use it for some slef love attention.