You may have embarked on this journey a while ago and seen some great results or you may be just at the beginning. Wherever you are, think about your goals for a moment.
What goals do you have in mind? Why are you doing this?
Are you changing your lifestyle for the sake of your health? Or are you slaving away in the gym in order to fit into a smaller dress, or to ‘feel great’ on your beach holiday?
The reason why you’re on this journey is very important when it comes to your chances of success. This isn’t a diet or a 6-week bikini body plan, this is a lifestyle. Life is meant to be enjoyed and lived to the fullest. Overworking your body and skipping meals doesn’t equal happiness and eventually, you’ll come to dread the ‘healthy changes’ you’ve made.
If you’ve been on this journey for a while but have seemed to hit a wall, it might be time to make a change. The workout routines and food you were eating may have helped you shift the first few pounds, but now you dread the gym and can’t bear the thought of another green smoothie. It’s OK to feel this way – even the most dedicated people do – you may just need to mix things up.
If you can’t seem to muster the motivation to go to the gym, then don’t force it. Take a couple of days off to rest and refresh your mind. When you’ve taken some time out, reconsider the ways you move your body. Instead of going on the treadmill, consider running outside. If you tend to workout alone, consider joining a workout class – sometimes the energy of others is enough to get you back in the groove.
If you’ve hit a rut in the kitchen, know that it happens to the best of us. Experimenting with new recipes is great fun, until you adopt these recipes as your everyday meals and either get bored, or start to crave your favourite foods (anyone fancy a pizza?). If you’ve come this far on your own, be proud of yourself. But if you’ve hit a wall, consider speaking to a professional. Asking for help is nothing to be ashamed of and a nutritionist can support you throughout the journey, and help you find your drive again.
If you’re at the beginning of your journey and not sure where to start, don’t worry. It’s a daunting process and walking into a gym for the first time can be terrifying. If you’ve got your goals in mind and they’re not focused solely on your physical appearance, write them down. So, instead of writing “get slimmer arms” for example, set yourself a challenge such as, “improve strength to do 5 pull-ups” or “complete 3 sets of 8 press-ups by winter”.
After you have your goals set, consider the support you may need. A personal trainer is great if you are new to the gym, or just want to learn more. They can provide you with a personal plan and support you for as long as you need. If you need a motivator to workout, they can the perfect partner. Also, instead of going too hard too fast, take it slow. Telling yourself you’ll go to the gym 6 times a week is unrealistic and it won’t last. Instead, aim for 2-3 times a week. Get your friends involved and motivate each other.
Here at Nutritionist Resource, we love to prepare our lunches in advance and we love to write a shopping list. This really helps us stay on track, but also to mix up our meals. At the start of the week, plan your meals and set yourself a challenge of reaching your 5 a day and drinking 2 litres of water. The changes you make don’t need to be big – simply swapping the sugar in your coffee for cinnamon or avoiding caffeine after midday will make a big difference to your mental and physical health.
Also consider speaking to a nutrition professional. If you’re starting from scratch, they can help you every step of the way and teach you more about your body and what it needs. Avoid cutting out any food groups – a fad diet isn’t a lifestyle and it isn’t healthy. Living a healthy life is all about balance, happiness and feeling great and that’s what we want you to achieve.