If you have over-indulged over the festive period and are carrying a few extra pounds, do not worry. You are not alone. People who do not gain weight over Christmas are few and far between, let’s get that straight right from the start. The good thing about starting off a fitness campaign at New Year, is that there are plenty of others doing exactly the same thing. Make use of the camaraderie and support of your fellow dieters and fitness friends to help galvanise you into action.
New Year a New You
So where to start on the new you for the New Year? Why not take some time to think about your goals for the coming twelve months and note them down. This will bring an element of clarity and perspective to your hopes for the coming year and you can keep going back to remind yourself if motivation levels start to drop.
Motivation is the key to success
Because motivation is the key to sticking to a new diet or fitness regime. Try and minimise thoughts about how hungry you feel and how tired your aching muscles are, and visualise the positive benefits that these very temporary states of being will bring to your life. Losing weight will have wonderful health benefits, you may drop a dress size or two and your confidence levels will soar. Feeling fitter will have positive knock on effects throughout your life – you will have increased stamina and flexibility and your general sense of wellbeing will be elevated.
Visit the Doctors
If you are not used to exercising, visit your doctor before embarking on any new fitness regime. They will advise you on realistic goals and give you a check-up if necessary.
Losing weight is really not rocket science. There is a basic equation that applies to everybody, no matter what physical make-up – if you expend more calories through physical effort than those you consume in food, then you will lose weight. It’s that simple.
Dieting is more mental than physical
What isn’t simple is convincing your mind that your body has had enough of the foods you like. Dieting is all about the mental battle that goes on inside our heads –‘I need that slice of cake to cheer me up’. No you don’t, you are perfectly fine without it, and if you are genuinely hungry, have some nuts or an apple. Far healthier and less loaded with calories and guilt. Too many of us use food as an emotional crutch, and the sooner we can cast it off, the sooner the weight will start to fall off.
Starting a diet at New Year in the depths of winter may seem a bit grim, but consider all the time you have until the summer to get slim, toned and bikini ready. Plan ahead to keep motivation levels from dipping. Blue Monday is a common problem for New Year fitness campaigners – it usually lands around the third week of January and can see resolves crumble and diets fall by the wayside. Be super-prepared for such times of danger to your plans and organise a galvanising activity or special, low fat healthy feast.
One of the most successful ways of sticking to a new diet or fitness activity is when it is a group effort. Weight loss clubs where dieters meet on a weekly basis are very successful, chiefly due to the supportive atmosphere and camaraderie of fellow club members.
Fitness can be fun!
The same can be said for fitness activities. If you join a sports team or club, the motivation to play well and succeed not just for yourself, but your team mates, makes the whole getting fit thing redundant – it’s about the competition, the enjoyment and the bonding.
Think fun, as opposed to fit. In London you will find social netball leagues (like London Netball leagues) which are the perfect way of combining fitness with fun – for a relaxed approach to team sports in a supportive and friendly environment, joining a netball league is hard to beat. Or you might like to try other team sports such as football, volleyball, hockey and baseball which can be great fun with the additional benefit of increasing your fitness levels and making new friends.
For 2014, why not make a new year’s resolution to start enjoying yourself more? Think about the getting fit and losing weight as by-products of a new fun attitude to life, rather than miserable sacrifices. It’s all about mental attitude and looking at life through a positive lens. Go for it in 2014 and you’re guaranteed a happy new year…