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Monday, December 31, 2012

New Year, New Start

How fabulous is the feeling that a brand shiny New Year is on its way? An opportunity to start afresh, with clear diaries and with the potential to build and work towards a successful, fulfilling 2013. Whether you are looking for the year ahead to be better than the last; or wanting it is signify change and different life directions or simply just to cement and enjoy what you have already created, there are few people who do not begin a new year without some hopes, dreams and wishes for the next 12 months. When it comes to diets and weight control, a New Year also means magazine covers packed with new diet tips and tricks to drop a few kg quickly; specials on weight loss products and programs that are heavily promoted to compliment the number one New Year’s Resolution for weight loss.

Unfortunately, come January 1st, and the accompanying hangover or general lethargy from a previous 4 week period spent overeating and under exercising, few of us run with the momentum of a New Year when  it comes to taking control of our diets. So, if you are really serious about taking control of your weight and dropping a few kg in early 2013 here are the steps you need to take.

1) Get organised after Boxing Day
None of this waiting until January 1st, then January 8th to get your diet on track – if you are really serious this time around, you need to set the wheels in motion straight after Christmas. This means throwing away your high calorie Christmas leftovers, starting to exercise immediately and committing some time while you have time on holidays to make a plan of attack for a fit and healthy 2013.

2) Make a plan
While it may sound like the obvious thing to do, you would be surprised how many people who claim to want to lose weight, have no idea about how they are going to do it. Spend some time considering what will be the best exercise program for you and the best way to approach your diet. Identify which days of the week you will exercise, how you will balance your calorie intake and what support structures you will need to help you keep focused and on track. Most importantly, spend time writing these strategies down – goals are significantly more likely to be achieved when they are documented and reviewed on a regular basis.

3) Start calorie counting
Individuals who want to lose weight lose more weight when they keep a log of their calories compared to dieters who do not. The week post-Christmas is the perfect time to start to reflect on how many calories you are having on a daily basis, and identify the key times you may need to cut back. As a general rule of thumb, adult women will need 1200-1500 calories a day for weight loss, and adult males 1600-1800 calories each day, although naturally this may differ depending on age, activity levels and hormonal issues.

4) Rally support
Human beings are naturally social creatures and also become like those people who they spend their time with. This means that if the people that you spend the most time with are fit and healthy, chances are, you will too. On the other hand, if your family, friends or even work colleagues are an unhealthy bunch, and you are trying to lose weight, it may prove a little more challenging. For this reason, if one of your goals for 2013 is to lose weight and keep it off, you need to identify and recruit your support team. Whether it is your partner, bestie, adult child or neighbor, seek out someone to help keep you on track, to exercise and eat well with and your weight control journey will become a whole lot easier.

5) Adopt ‘acceptance’ as an attitude
Often clients will come and claim to be lacking ‘motivation’, and then use this motivation deficit as the excuse as to why they have not achieved the diet and exercise targets that will help them to lose weight. So, here is the key – the sooner you stop looking for the ever elusive motivation to take control of your weight, and rather accept that eating well and exercising regularly most of the time for the rest of your life is what you need to do to take control of your weight, for good, the sooner you will do so. It is safe to say that if you are one of the many who struggle with your weight, you are not a naturally motivated person when it comes to your diet and exercise. There is no issue with this, we are all different and have our own strengths and weaknesses but simply accept that you are not a celebrity trainer and get on with it. The sooner the better and lets move into a fit, healthy and most importantly happy 2013.