*game face on*
“This is IT. I’m officially giving up sugar and carbs and going to the gym EVERY SINGLE DAY this year”
*DOMS and sugar withdrawal kick in*
“Oh wow OK this sucks how do people do this??”
*dives head-first into a pack of double chocolate cookies*
OK, so I may have exaggerated a touch, but I’m sure you’re familiar with this kind of cycle. We’ve ALL been there, trust me – and it’s a particular problem at this time of year. It’s really easy to get caught up in the whole “new year, new me” BS that rears its head after Christmas, and that can lead to us making all kinds of drastic resolutions.
First of all – there’s no need to succumb to the pressure of making resolutions. If you have some 2019 goals, that’s great, but remember that resolutions can be made at any time of year. Don’t let January lull you into the feeling that you MUST change in some way, just because we happened to flip the calendar over to a fresh year.
IF you want to make some new year resolutions, then by all means do – the New Year is as good a time as any to have a think about what changes might make us happier – but be sensible about it! When it comes to nutrition, know that cutting out an entire food group – or indeed, any food item at all – is rarely necessary or helpful. If there’s a food you love that you know isn’t suuuuper healthy, then simply resolve to reduce your intake of it a little and keep it as a “now and then” indulgence rather than a regular treat.
If you decide to brutally cut out lots of foods you love, there are two likely outcomes. One – you’ll crave it and end up bingeing on them when you finally “allow” yourself some, or two – you’ll succeed in eliminating them, but be miserable and associate getting healthy with restriction and sacrificing the foods you love. This mindset is something we actively discourage at Grow! As you know, we’re all about making fitness fun, because that’s the only way to make it sustainable and achievable.
Becoming the healthiest, happiest version of you shouldn’t and needn’t involve sacrifice. There’s no such thing as a “bad” food that you should remove from your diet entirely. Focus on making sensible choices as often as you can, while allowing yourself the flexibility to treat yourself to some less nutritious foods that you enjoy. Life is all about balance – and, crucially, long term consistency is much better than short term perfection.
In the same way that rigid restrictions around food are unlikely to help you in the long term, resolving to drastically increase your exercise won’t help you either. Going from spending zero hours in the gym per week to scheduling daily intense sessions is not a good idea. For starters, the DOMs will hit you hard and the massive shift in your routine will be tricky to deal with. If you’re a beginner, take a sensible approach – try making a habit of going to the gym twice a week, find a good trainer to help make it fun and effective, and go from there.
For some more detailed tips, check out our blog on Creating sustainable, healthy habits. Want more personalised advice? Chat to one of our trainers, or book in for a free initial consultation for Personal Training. Just ping the team an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.