January 4th is the first Monday of the New Year and as Monday is the day we all start our new diet regime - then the first Monday of the year is the ultimate restart day. Is it yours?
Isn't it interesting how our minds work? Have you eaten the last of the chocolate, finished the Bailey's and gone to town on the cheese (just me?!) because, well - tomorrow is Monday and the diet/new lifestyle starts then. But why Monday? Why not Saturday afternoon at 2pm? Or, radical thought - what if we change our thinking and don't restart tomorrow because we didn't stop. We didn't fall off our diet because we weren't on a diet.
You don't need to overhaul your lifestyle and diet tomorrow. You don't need a new you - I doubt there was much wrong with the old you. I think we need to change the way we talk to ourselves about diets. And restricting, throwing out all the chocolates and embarking on a radical fitness regime only sets us up for failure. Did it work last year and do you want to repeat this January restart every year?
I'm not saying do nothing. I'm saying that if lasting change and improvements to your health (be it weight loss or fitness or both) are what you want. There is a better, more sustainable way of going about it than going hard starting Monday.
1. Spend next week easing into better eating habits. Add more vegetables and fruit to your usual nutrition.
2. Drink more water.
3. Get more sleep.
Weightloss is simple. I'm going to repeat that and then explain it. Weightloss is simple - BUT IT IS NOT EASY.
Weightloss (or more accurately fatloss) comes down to consuming fewer calories. There are many methods - WW, Slimming World, Keto, Juice Diets, Shakes, Cabbage diets and any other of the latest must-do diet. But these are methods and the principle still remains the same - eat fewer calories (plus increasing expenditure, i.e. exercise, helps) and you will lose weight. That is the basic biochemistry but the hard bit is the mental stuff and that's why I suggest you go slowly into January.
Start following the three tips above for a week or two and work on the mental stuff at the same time. Think about why you make your food choices - particularly the less healthy choices. Is it boredom and habit? Do you eat to squash unpleasant feelings? Do you crave certain foods at certain times of your menstrual cycle?
Practice your healthy habits but be kind to yourself when you fall back into old patterns. Collect information on all your habits. When things don't go well, explore why. The more data you have the more you will be able to change things for good.
Be kind to yourself and take small steps. Set yourself up for lasting change this year by building on small successes and treating "failures" as data. You have all year. Start slowly. Good luck.
And don't forget - if you need some help I am a Nutrition and Fitness Coach with all the tools and tricks to get you success in this process.