Updated: Feb 5, 2021
I hope you have all had a wonderful festive season! That you relaxed, rested and enjoyed time with your loved ones.
I'm someone who loves New Years, January, and all of the positive feelings of change that might come with the start of the year. Although we can of course make positive changes throughout the year, it's great to have a time when we think 'oooo what can I achieve and do this year? What can I do even better than last?'
That said however, I think any new goals or changes we make should be realistic, and we should think of the 'why' behind them.
Here are five things that come to mind...especially in January, and especially after the festive season and all it had to offer (did I really consume that much cheese and wine!?).
Before we begin, please note that this is just me sharing some personal feelings, you may relate to what I write, you may not, but thanks for reading :)
TIP NUMBER ONE: DON’T FEEL GUILTY ABOUT CHRISTMAS...
It’s ok to enjoy the festive season, to eat foods that we might not usually eat and to spend some extra time on the sofa watching our favourite Christmas movies or Netflix series.
Saying that, I understand that come January, feelings of guilt might start creeping in….you might find you start telling yourself that you'll cut out sugar or never eat cheese again.
I think it’s great to enter the New Year with positive energy for change and wanting to lead a healthier lifestyle, but personally, making those kind of promises to myself would only set me up for failure.
Making extreme changes puts a lot of pressure on ourselves, and if we can't meet the high expectations we set, whatever they may be, we tend to give up. So not only might we have the post Christmas guilt, we might then feel bad because we have 'failed.'
So try to accept that you enjoyed Christmas and all of the yummy things that came with it, with no regrets. I know I did, and I know I’ll be doing the same next year too!
TIP TWO: IF YOU ARE FEELING SLUGGISH AND WANT TO GET MOVING...
If the New Year has left you feeling like you would like to get moving, that’s great!
My advice would be to find something that you like doing. I remember that I always used to start the new year going for a run, but the truth is, I personally just don’t enjoy running, I’d run for the first couple of weeks in January, then stop.
So if you do want to get moving or start an exercise programme, it’s important to find something that you look forward to doing, and something that doesn’t feel like a chore.
Time wise as well, you don’t have to commit to an hour of exercise every day throughout January. Think of the minimum you can commit to, even if that's 30 minutes once a week, and go from there. You might do the
30 minutes on Monday, then feel like doing it again on Wednesday, how does that feel? You've now not only achieved your goal, but passed it, woo!
Try not to put any pressure on yourself, but as Nike says, 'JUST DO IT.' I have personally always felt better getting a workout done, even if I had to battle with my brain making excuses beforehand.
TIP THREE: IF YOU’D LIKE TO LOSE FAT, SET REALISTIC AND LONG TERM GOALS, DON’T LOOK FOR THAT JANUARY QUICK FIX...
Put simply, scientifically, the only way to lose fat, is to be in a calorie deficit, that is, burning more calories than you are consuming. If we eat the same amount, we will stay the same weight, if we eat more, we will gain fat, if we eat less we will lose fat.
Now, I say long term goal, because suddenly decreasing your calorie intake too much can actually be counter productive. It can lead to muscle loss and actually slow down your metabolism. If we look for a quick fix it often leads to the yo-yo effect where you either put the fat back on, or actually end up gaining more.
This is definitely an in depth subject for another day, but if looking to lose fat is your goal, it’s important to understand the science behind it and that there are no quick fixes if you are looking for longterm and healthy results.
TIP FOUR: DON'T FEEL LIKE YOU HAVE TO COMPLETELY CUT OUT FOODS THAT YOU ENJOY...
Come January we might feel like we have to cut out all of the foods we enjoy, especially the ones we overindulged on over Christmas, but I'm an 'all things in moderation' kinda gal.
Whilst this may work for some, I personally find this approach too restrictive, and if you tell my brain it can’t have chocolate, it suddenly wants all of the chocolate and more.
In order to create healthy habits, we need to enjoy the food we eat. I personally love cheese, but will go back to eating it in moderation like before, rather than eating it for breakfast, lunch and dinner like I managed to do one (or was it two) days between Christmas and New Years.
I tend to use the 80/20 rule as a guide, where roughly 80% of what I eat is nutritious food, and the other 20% is not so nutritional treats. This helps me to create a feeling of balance, moderation and lets me enjoy particular foods or drinks without feeling guilty.
TIP FIVE: DRINK ENOUGH WATER...
A very short but sweet tip to finish, the classic, make sure you drink enough water!
This is important throughout the year, but if you are in a colder country like me, sometimes drinking enough water over the winter months does not come naturally, it does, however, have so many benefits. So whether you add some fruit, boil it and then drink it warmer or always keep a glass next to you, find a way to stay hydrated.
That's it for today's post, thanks so much for reading! I tried to make this into my first youtube video, check out the video below. It's by far the video I wanted it to be, but hey, you've got to start somewhere, and for me, it's all about learning and growing.
Until next time, take care and be kind :) x
The above information is for entertainment purposes only, and you should always seek the help of a registered dietitian or medical professional for your unique needs. This content should never be used as a substitute for direct medical advice.