Happy New Year everyone! I hope you all had a fantastic festive period and didn’t overindulge too much like I did. Traditional Boxing Day trifle went down a treat this year, just like every other year before it, and the wine carafe was always full, just like every weekend before it since 2005.
I bet my right arm (and you can keep it, because I hate my bingo wings) that everyone is having a health kick this January. Are you weighing your Special K and counting the calories in your morning coffee? Yeah, you’re on a health kick. It’s either one of your New Years resolutions or you’re just trying to ease back into the way life was before buy one get one free mince pies in Asda. And I’m no different. I too am on a health kick, but a different kind of health kick than usual.
Pushing yourself too hard can reverse the desired outcome.
Studies have shown that most people break their healthy New Years resolutions by January 5th. Any diet resolution which forces you to eat peanut butter out the jar at 1am on a Thursday morning is not a great resolution, and the reason why most people are forced to break their resolutions is because they are unrealistic. If you set yourself a booze free January then you’re just going to end up sucking chocolate liquers and crying into your cranberry juice. A better way to ensure you are becoming healthier is to make it gradual. Instead of a booze free month, go for four booze free days a week, or only drink at weekends. Immediately the goal is achievable and it is still bringing you a little bit closer to good health.
Another resolution which is high on most people’s charts is the ‘I’m going to the gym every day after work and I’m gonna be so buff’. So you sign up on a £50 a month contract for a year and jog to the gym in your new lycra ready to sweat. But come the end of your second week, you’re exhausted, malnutritioned and you’ve gained 3lbs. Oh, did you hear that? It was the sound of a cork popping on a bottle of wine. Bang! Two resolutions broken in week two. Common knowledge with us humans is that if we over exert ourselves into something then we soon bore ourselves of it and lose interest completely. If you’re going to join a gym, then start by going three times a week for about an hour and eating a good diet to justify the gym. If you overdo it, you’ll quit. And the weight gain will be because you’ve gained muscle, your body thinks you’re starving because you’re over working it and not eating enough, you’re retaining water, you’re menstruating or you haven’t pooped since Christmas Eve. Three times a week, that’s all you need to do to make a difference to your physical health.
And the same goes for your diet. Don’t restrict your calories too much, because most likely you’ll be cutting your intake from the past two weeks by over two thirds which will instantly tell your body it’s starving and your body will instantly try to store everything you eat. Be sensible. Instead of eating cabbage soup for a month, which lets face it, will only last until Monday lunchtime, just cut the crap. Sweets, desserts, starchy carbs like bread and white pasta and fizzy drinks, or even one or two of these will make a difference to your health and you’re much more likely to stick to the plan.
So although I’m sitting here sipping on a small glass of Chianti, it’s all part of my eating plan for the month, which I have been sticking to. If you want to know about said eating plan then you’ll need to read my next post. Until then, stay healthy.