Happy New Year!

Posted by Ben Simpkins on January 4, 2017

I hope you had a great time over the festive period, managed to spend some time with loved ones and found some time to relax a little. 2017 is finally here and a lot of people will be looking to continue making progress on their goals or will want to start on their fitness journey. The gyms in Clapham and Fulham I go to have already started to fill up with new members and you can see the green smoothies being drunk on morning commutes!

New Year new you is probably something you have heard or seen and could be sick of by now! So todays post is to get you to look at forgetting to make a New Year’s resolution but to make a New Year commitment. The definition of resolution is this;

A firm decision to do or not to do something

Not bad right? Making a firm decision but it doesn’t scream success does it? It just seems like you could go either way, and it doesn’t seem that important a choice to you.

And that is usually what happens with the resolutions, you get 2-3 weeks in, realise this is more work that you thought it would be and give up the reason? You are not committed to making a change.

What is going to fire you up more a “Yeah I would like to” or a “Yes I am going to”

Commitment

The state or quality of being dedicated to a cause, activity, etc.

You must be dedicated to succeeding in changing your lifestyle habits are not as easy as saying yes I will stop drinking that can of coke at lunchtime and your body will just accept it. We are programmed for routine, we like to know what is going to happen on a daily basis and we run off it. If you have been having a fizzy drink at lunch for the last 12 months, you are not going to get rid of that habit in 12 days, it will take time, so please do not discourage yourself and give up.

It is essential that no matter what your plan and goal is that you commit to seeing it through, once you get used to saying no a few times to activities, foods and drinks that harm your progress it will become easier each time.

Below are a few tips on how to aid your body as best as you can to make sure you are more likely to succeed with making a change this year round, choose anywhere between 1-3 of these to take on and commit to nailing these tasks, if you take on too much at once you won’t succeed.

Too many people go all or nothing and end up with nothing, start small and achieve your goals.

1 – Eat protein at breakfast

Easy rule, find ways to add protein to your morning meals. Find what high protein foods you can make and stomach to eat in the morning. Ideally, you want a natural food source of good quality meats, fish (smoked salmon), eggs, beans or you can mix up a batch of protein oats.

If you struggle with time then potentially look at a protein shake for a quick option but try to focus on eating natural food sources. Eggs on toast with some smoked salmon is a great start to the day.

2 – Eat enough food

One mistake a lot of people make is they think to get in great shape you need to cut out as many calories as possible and don’t touch carbs or fats, depending upon which diet you read up about.

Ensure you are consuming sufficient calories each day otherwise your body will start to burn your muscle mass which is a real big issue, you can get food cravings which usually are sugar based as the body doesn’t have enough energy in it to function, you will become more tired and you will struggle to lose body fat.

Figure out what you need to take in each day and stick to it, just a heads up, it won’t be under 1500 calories.

3  – Lift weights

Lift more run less, one of the main boosts I see each year from training people outside is the increased number of people heading out on morning runs, look at hitting the gym and lifting weights instead of running 3-5 times a week.

Ideally, you would be doing resistance training 3 times a week, leaving 2 days for running if you must, and covering a full body workout, this has many benefits and will lead to faster longer lasting results.

You will gain lean muscle tissue, you will slim down, you will boost your metabolic rate while burning more calories per workout!

Just a heads up too, you will not turn into a female bodybuilder, you only become that lean by working extremely hard for it and by training a minimum of twice a day while being on a ridiculously tight eating plan. It won’t happen unless you want it to happen.

4 – Sleep more

Aim for 8 hours, sleep is when your body resets it’s hormones, replenishes the muscles with what they need to function and also helps the body recover from your workouts.

If you don’t get enough shut eye then your body will have a lower energy level, reduced memory function, a lack of alertness and a lower will to exercise, slower recovery from workouts.

Try to find a sleep routine and set yourself a time to be in bed by as you should know when your alarm is going off in the morning.

5 – Embrace failure

We all slip up from time to time with our exercise and nutrition, it will happen and you will go back to your old habits every now and again, but do not see this as a reason to give up, accept it and carry on moving forward.

Slip ups will happen just keep working forward after though!

6 – Bring a friend

It is a lot easier to succeed on a tough mission with someone else to support you and push you, there will be days when you don’t want to train or you want to go pig out but having a workout buddy will mean you have to hold yourself accountable.

It is also useful to help push you on those tough reps, especially when you have 3-4 squats left and your legs feel like jelly, it is all too easy to just give up and stop but by having a workout friend, they usually help you out and get you through those extra reps.

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