So, it's that time of the year again when we vow to use our gym memberships more religiously and clear our kitchens of any chocolatey treats after over indulging over the festive period. This has been happening every year since I was around 16 and usually ends promptly 6 days into January where I've found myself in KFC ordering a box of fried chicken...
Since August last year I've been on a diet and managed to stick to it. About 6 months ago I joined Slimming World after reading many weight loss newspaper articles and Slimming World being credited for the subjects success. I went along to my first group in August and since then I have managed to loose 2.5 stone! I rave about it as rather than the plan dictating that you can't have certain foods, this diet - or food optimisation as they rightly call it - allows you to eat whatever you want but in moderation. So hold out on dumping that Cadburys just yet!
For me the weight loss isn't that rapid, but its about changing your lifestyle and eating habits and training yourself to eat better. I've lost on average around 2lbs a week which for me is maintainable. There is no point in me loosing lots of weight quickly only to pile it all on again as I have done in the past.
Whilst I'm no guru and am definitely not the greatest example, I thought I'd share a few tips on how it's working for me after years of trying and failing.
New Workout Clothes
What better way to encourage yourself to get into the gym than have a gym wardrobe shop! Pop along to Sports Direct, TK Maxx or even Primark for discounted Nike Dry-fits and vests. I'd also recommend a good pair of running trainers, whilst they're not the most attractive shoe I've bought, they are comfy, springy and support your feet....even if like me, you don't actually do that much running in them! Everyone feels better in new clothes and it might give you that oompth you need to get yourself back in the gym
Update Your Playlist
Whilst Maroon 5 and The Script might be ok for your daily commute, you want pumping bassy tunes for the gym! For me personally it makes it so much easier! Not sure if it's where I'm busy moving the cross-trainer to the beat of the music but that 20 minute target I set myself whizzes by when I'm distracted and busy singing along. There's many fitness compilations available in January but its just as easy to make your own playlist. My favourite workout track? Iron Maiden - Run To The Hills when I'm on the treadmill!
Exercise With A Friend
If your having a 'cant be bothered' day, your less likely to cancel an appearance at the gym if you feel like you'll also be letting your friend down. My friend Courtney also attends Sliming World with me and she is doing so amazingly well with frequent losses of 4/5lb a week. It helps motivate me to try harder. There's nothing wrong with a bit of healthy competition!
Had A Bad Day? Don't Worry!
If you have a bad day of over indulgence don't let it dishearten you. Rather than give up completely start a fresh again the following day. If you've had a bad morning or afternoon, ensure you eat healthily in the evening.
Join A Slimming Club
...if you can. The fact I get weighed every week in front of someone I hardly know prevents me from picking up that cupcake or being gluttonous during the week: I really don't want the embarrassment that I have put on and I definitely don't want the only 5 pound I lose to be my weekly subs! If I was doing it on my own and I wasn't 'answerable' to anyone I'm confident I would have given up by now.
Little & Often
It seems a bit of an obvious one this but try to eat little but often so you never feel starving hungry. I notice it's when I'm really famished is when I fancy the unhealthy fatty foods.
Write It Down
A food diary is a great way to realise what you actually eat. In the past I've eaten food without conscious thought just because it was there in front of me. Seeing all what you've ate over the course of a day in black and white is a great way to better manage your meals and monitor what you are consuming. My Fitness Pal is a great free app for keeping tabs on-the-go.
Choose a take away night once a week and stick to it! I have a take away on Mondays after I've been weighed. Whilst it seems ludicrous coming out of a slimming club and straight to the chip shop, I know I have a whole week to work it off. Its stupid to deprive yourself of take aways, chocolate and alchol. In life we are going to eat unhealthily on occasion - you still have to treat yourself but just in moderation.
Do It For Charity
Why not sign yourself up for the many charity 5/10k races which take place throughout the UK & Ireland? Cancer Research UK's Race For Life is a popular one, which you can run, jog or walk. Sign up here!
Slimming World set you goals, but I find setting interim targets helps keep me motivated. I have my overall weight loss goal but when I reach an interim target I give myself a pat on the back and treat myself to a new pair or shoes or a pricer make up product to say well done! It helps keep me focused and motivated ...and who doesn't like a treat!?
The Wardrobe Overhaul
I've tried to put aside some money each month. Hopefully when the day comes that I meet my overall weight loss target I will have a nice chunk of change and a wardrobe that will need an overhaul of clothes in smaller sizes. The fact an epic shopping trip is nearly within my reach keeps me on track and motivated!
Is your resolution to get fit in 2013? Do you have any dieting tips or a favourite gym music track? I hate the word diet, it sounds far too much like hard work...!
Wishing you a happy & healthy new year xx