This last few weeks I am sad to say I have fallen out of love with the fitness industry. Not only has January seen the usual annual bombardment of faddy diets, crazy exercise schemes and “magic wand” approaches to weight loss but so-called experts in the industry have lowered themselves to school yard tactics of “my way is better than yours”…. all of this makes me wonder what sort of impression members of the public make of our industry.
What’s more, having decided to make a lifestyle change and improve their health, are the conflicting messages portrayed by the health and fitness gurus merely causing confusion amongst the public and actually inadvertently promoting so-called “yo-yo dieting”?
Thinking over it all, I actually realised that my most influential health and fitness role model is…..my Granma! She took me along to a “Keep Fit” class at the age of about 8….and I’ve been hooked ever since. We’ve always done physical activities together and even now, in her 80s she is fit and agile. Her approach to nutrition is along the lines of “meat and 2 veg”, using real food, cooked from scratch. Mindful of her weight (and my Grandad’s!) she tailors their meals accordingly at different times of the year to make sure, as she says, their “clothes still fit”.
From this, my top tips for starting a “health kick” are simply:
– be mindful of what you eat and drink
– use natural produce and make from scratch wherever possible
– be active every day
– make one change at a time
– be consistent
Science is amazing and can provide some vital evidence on how to get the most out of your body, tailoring nutrition and exercise to trim body fat to the bare minimum, but my advice at the outset is: keep it simple. Start with the basics.
At the point where you hit a plateau and your training gains or fat loss stall, look at incorporating a well proven tool that’s supported by science into your regime. It is important to be honest with yourself here too – have your improvements really stopped or have you been less consistent in sticking to your lifestyle change?
Slipping back into old habits does not have to signal a failure of your best intentions. Pause, think about why the old habit(s) have crept back in or why you have not been able to stick to new habits and plan a way to work around this. Then start again – straight away.
My passion for health and fitness is as high as it has ever been and I continue to find the right solutions for my clients based on their specific goals, lifestyles and abilities rather than relying on the latest great fad the industry wants to rave about.
Read very carefully into any scheme that promises rapid weight loss or massive muscle gains and question whether it will suit you and your lifestyle – not just for the duration of the marketed product but for the rest of your life.