Most of us feel compelled to get back on the fitness wagon and detox away at least some of the booze and beige food by the time January comes around. But that doesn’t mean ripping everything up and starting over.
Try to better yourself, yes, but also embrace who you are, play to your individual strengths and, crucially, don’t get hung up on festive excesses. After all, guilt is a weak motivator.
If you really want to get in shape in 2022, you need a more positive purpose. So take the Christmas hit – it’s the least you deserve after the past two years – and move on with positive proactivity.
To help people make a change this year, Constantinos Yiallouros, expert personal trainer at Anytime Fitness UK, says these – along with pressing the panic button and going too hard, too soon – are the weight-loss mistakes you need to avoid.
1. Expecting significant progress every week
People often assume that when they start a new healthy routine, the weight should fall off every week. When it doesn’t, they become disheartened and give up prematurely. The main thing I try to get across is that weight loss is a journey and something that takes time.
By considering more metrics than just the weight on the scales – such as increased energy levels, healthier moods or an ability to exercise harder and for longer – you can appreciate the numerous changes that are taking place in your body and the great progress you’re making.
Before too long, you’ll see those changes in the mirror and be motivated to continue.
2. Training too much
You don’t need to be going to the gym five days a week; even many professional athletes don’t strength train that much. Four times a week is the most I’d recommend, and two times a week is the least.
You should also balance it with more non-exercise activity, like for a walk in the fresh air, or taking the stairs more often. All these little things add up to make a big difference.
3. Turning to supplements straight away
When I put together a health plan for clients, supplements are one of the last things to consider. To supplement is to ‘add to’ – they should compliment your existing diet, not replace it.
If you have a poor diet, your body will not benefit from any supplements. Eat healthily and improve your metabolism by exercise and correct hydration, as well as improving your sleep and reducing stress.
4. Not committing to lifestyle changes
Before you start any weight-loss journey, you need to evaluate the time that you’re able to commit to it. You will need to make lifestyle changes to make time for exercise, as well as establish a better eating, cooking and planning routine. Take away these changes and your exercise won’t have the same impact.
You should also try to keep track of your progress so you can celebrate your achievements, however big or small they may be. That could be how many times you exercised, the healthy meals you’ve cooked, or how long you slept for the previous night. Keeping a track of these is not only incredibly useful, but a way to ensure you give yourself credit for all the positive changes that you’re making in your life.
All new Anytime Fitness members will receive a free health journal to track their progress.
5. Going it alone
I always recommend involving as many people as you can on your weight-loss journey. Rally a support network around you and use their encouragement to inspire you.
I’d also recommend seeking out a qualified health and fitness coach that can assess your wellbeing and give you a structure to follow. While it comes at a cost, having a qualified professional’s expertise will provide guidance and encouragement to adapt to your new lifestyle.
To find out more about Anytime Fitness and enjoy a free trial at one of the 185+ clubs across the UK and Ireland, visit anytimefitness.co.uk