Nobody ever gets in great shape, cleans up their food habits, exercises regularly and then a few months or years down the track regrets it! Nobody! 100% of the time the effort you put into being healthier makes you feel better, perform better, look better and it turns out to be something you are proud of. If you think those fit looking people on Instagram look too happy, it's probably because they are. So how do you make it happen?
Don't make December a blow out month!
It may be tempting to get a case of the 'screwits' and throw December down the drain, but it not only makes it psychologically tougher to get going in January, it also makes your body better at storing fat rather than burning it. My advise is have fun, don't restrict yourself but take your chances to eat well when you can. Eat a good protein rich breakfast, back down the carbs a bit during the day and only drink when you need to (not just because there is left over wine in the fridge)
Spend the time getting prepared.
In a very comprehensive book on will power by Kelly McGonigal, the author argues that we have a will power muscle that like all muscles, if it is made to work hard all day will get tired and give in. So save your will power for important decisions. Spending 3 hours on a Sunday buying, chopping and preparing food will seem like a lot, but when it saves you on average 45mins a day (5 hours a week) it is time well spent. The first step is to get some of your favourite cook books, websites and apps and go through and find a selection of about 3-7 breakfast ideas, 5-10 lunch ideas, 5-10 snack ideas and 10-15 dinner ideas. Then write out a sample week and work out how much of each you would need. For example my favourite breakfast is a Ham and Veg Omlette. I need 1 egg, 4 egg whites, 100g of ham, 50g of mushroom, 50g or capsicum, 5 cherry tomatoes, 50g or onion, 2 asparagus spears, 50g or zucchini. If I have that 5 mornings a week then I would purchase 5 eggs, a carton of egg whites, 500g of ham, 250g or mushrooms etc. Then chop that up on the Sunday so all i need to do is pour it in the pan and cook.
At Vision we have a great App (Vision Virtual Training) that you can plan your meals for the week, cut an paste meals over multiple days, get meal ideas from a database of over 1000 and then it prints your shopping list for the selected dates. This makes it super easy to have and stick to a plan.
Make Dinners easy.
To eat like royalty at dinner try this easy trick. Plan the protein serve you will use for the days of the week. Then in your veg drawer in your fridge clean it out, chop your salad up (all the lettuce, capsicum, cucumber, onion, mushroom etc) and place it in the draw with a wet tea towel over the top of it. Make sure every few days the tea towel is still wet and that salad will stay crispy and fresh for over a week!
Then at dinner time, cook your protein, serve it up and leave the huge salad bowl in the middle for everyone to pick at. This worked especially well with my kids who got curious about all the different veggies and discovered they loved cucumber (and started fighting over it!) - or the pro tip is make a Jamie Oliver like board and lay the cooked chicken or steak over the salad.
Know your weaknesses.
Understand and know where you are likely to struggle and plan around it. If you know a particular friend or place that presents with temptations do something to prepare for it. Eat beforehand, be the designated driver or if you are desperate pour yourself sparkling water with a splash of apple juice so they think you are having champaign! Anything!
Remind yourself of why you are doing it!
Have a reminder. A person, a picture, a phrase, a quote anything that will keep you focused on why you are doing it. Set up proximity reminders on your phone so when you go to certain locations you get the reminder, rename your alarm to your why, write it in a book every time you brush your teeth.
Remember… it will all be worth it!
*Disclaimer: Individual results vary based on agreed goals. Click here for details.