There is a huge proportion of people who make new years resolutions to lose weight, get fitter and to be healthy. Many of us will know that familiar post Christmas gym rush when you can’t get a treadmill and all the classes are packed like a tin of sardines. A lot of the time it is very irritating, probably more so because by Easter these people have decided that Saturday mornings eating chocolate and watching TV seem far more appealing. The gym is more empty and we go back to that comfort until the rush for a beach body brings them crawling back in on the countdown to their vacation. Once on vacation fitness regimen and healthy eating gets left at home and is not picked up again till after the following Christmas.
I hold my hands up that yes I have been one of these people in previous years but that this year my attitude has changed. I’m feeling very motivated and I feel that this is a combination of not eating the sugary junk (no risk of eating it and then being on a downward spiral) and also the support that the FitFam on Twitter has provided. There are numerous scientific studies that have demonstrated the benefit of group support and because Twitter is accessible 24/7 there is always somebody tweeting something motivating or inspiring. Sometimes just reading tweets about healthy eating or gym sessions is enough to keep pushing me to eat clean and to exercise. I equally find comfort that when I am tempted or I feel tired that I can tweet and just putting it out there makes me feel better.
So thank you to all my FitFam you are truly marvelous and interesting people.
If I had made this pledge and not set my blog or Twitter account I doubt that I would of made it this far. I’ve tried to give up sweets and junk so many times and I’ve never got further than 3-4 days. At almost 4 months of no added sugar I have control of my sweet addictions and feel better for it.
I definitely need to be better with my exercise during the week and to not let work get in the way. I have a half marathon to run in March so I need to be running outside and will continue to do body combat and body pump on a Saturday morning. The feeling that I have leaving the gym is not comparable to any other feeling. Before when I ate a chocolate bar it would be enjoyable for a few minutes and then I would feel guilty for a day or so. Not worth it!
I am determined to lose 15Kg over the next 12 months and to run my half marathon in 2 hours which is a 20 minute improvement from last year. Best get my training plan together.
Here are some tips to stay on track
The Hunger Scale
Use this to avoid over-eating and to become more in tune with your nutritional needs.
1 about to pass out If you wait to eat until 1 or 2 you are probably going to overeat or make unhealthy food choices.
3 Fairly hungry Start eating whenever you are between 3 and 4.
4 Slightly hungry
6 satisfied Stop eating between 6 and 7.
8 stuffed If you continue to eat now you will eat a lot more than you need.
10 feeling sick
If you are not physically hungry but feel that you still want to eat think about what you really want. People are more likely to eat when they are bored, stressed, tired or emotional. It is really important to identify if this is happening to you. It might be that you keep a food and mood diary and record how you were feeling at the time of eating a food.
Once you start to see a pattern and become more aware of this issue you can start thinking of ways to solve it. There is a lot of research that has demonstrated that cravings last for between 20-30 minutes so if you can find another activity to do for this amount of time you might be able to avoid that junk food.
Paint nails, shower or bath, read a book, take a nap, colouring in, knitting or needle work, cleaning or go for a walk.
Also make sure you are not thirsty as this is often mistaken for hunger. Make sure that you are drinking enough during the day. Don’t make this mistake of filling up on diet drinks, there is some research to indicate that they may increase snacking behaviour.
Ask yourself some questions…
Am I really hungry?
How long has it been since I last ate?
Can I do an activity instead?
Is there a healthier food than the one I want to eat?
When you do eat make sure you take your time, chew well (20 times) and try take 20 minutes to eat your meal. This is how long it takes to realise that you are full up.
When you stick to your healthy eating and are exercising you will achieve your goals. Don’t forget to reward yourself when you are making progress but it is really important to make these rewards non-food related.
New nail varnish, book, massage or beauty treatment, get hair cut, go and see a movie or buy some new clothes.
All the Easter chocolate is already all in the shops and I have been ignoring it. It all looks very tempting but I’m not going to break my pledge. So when the day arrives and everyone is tucking into their eggs I am going to make myself a fruit basket. Go to the supermarket and splurge on some of the more expensive fruit. A real treat but a healthy, natural one. If you want to go all out then placing the fruit in a bowl with colour tissue paper to make it more fancy and Easter egg like then go for it. I will tweet a photo of the one I make.
Good luck with the next month and I will be blogging again very soon. I have some great recipes that are both delicious and healthy.