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New year resolutions – here’s what you shouldn’t be doing!

It’s the 29th December and I have already seen numerous emails and posts about the best diets for 2017, how to stay motivated and which workouts to do. Our minds are turning towards 2017 and what we want to achieve.

But if you’re planning to lose weight and/or get fit in 2017, it’s important that you avoid some very common new year resolution pitfalls.  If you do you stand a much better chance of success:

  1. If you’re embarking on a plan because you hate yourself or your body you’ll struggle – healthy eating and exercise plans will only work if you do them because you like yourself, and want to nurture and nourish your body.  If you do anything in a spirit of hate, anger or guilt you’re starting out with an unhappy mind set, and who wants that for the New Year?  This year do it because you care about your own wellbeing.
  2. If you think you’re going to fix a bad diet using exercise, you’re turning your workouts into a punishment or at the very least a chore.  You’ll never learn to love punishment and chores, and if you don’t at least like the exercise it will always be a struggle.  Fixing your diet might be a less appealing option, but it’s much more important than exercise for weight loss.
  3. If you’re planning on counting calories make sure you’re not doing it just to give yourself permission to eat rubbish, because you can eat anything as long as you count the calories.  If you eat rubbish you’ll always be at the mercy of blood sugar fluctuations and poor nutrition which will lead to a lack of energy which will lead to ….yes…eating more rubbish.  This year, eat right, not just less.
  4. And less really isn’t better where food is concerned.  Don’t think starving yourself will achieve anything other than an eventual binge and the associated guilt and regained weight. To function properly and to lose the fat it doesn’t need, your body needs nutrients.
  5. Still speaking of less, are you planning on doing a detox?  Have a read of this article.  What are you trying to rid yourself of? Most people I know who’ve done a detox have actually done it because it functions as a crash diet or a kick-start to a longer term weight loss plan, which is OK if it gives you a boost and a quick initial win, but it will also leave you hungry – not a good state in which to start a longer term weight loss plan.  And don’t be surprised if when you go back to a more normal diet you put some of the ‘quick win’ weight straight back on, as some of what you lost will have been water.
  6. You can’t put your life on hold for long.  So any diet which involves giving up alcohol, preparing complicated recipes, cutting out sugar or spending all day on Sunday filling Tupperware containers with food for the week ahead (which you probably won’t fancy come Tuesday) will only last as long as you put your life on hold to accommodate it.  If you can’t make something permanent, don’t do it, it’s not for you.  Make some small changes which you can maintain and add a few more when you’re ready.
  7. And finally, if you’re saying to yourself “this year will be different”, it won’t if you don’t do something different.  What didn’t work in 2014, 2015 and 2016 will not work for 2017. Try a new approach.

If any of those truths resonated with you, please do have a think about whether you need to change your approach. Be honest with yourself, be kind to yourself and don’t set yourself up to fail.

For more practical, supportive advice on weight loss, healthy eating and getting fit, take a look at my books.