When it comes to food and drink, the list of 'give ups' normally consist of:
Alcohol, chocolate, bread, cakes, crisps, takeaways, cheese, biscuits etc...
So after spending a month enjoying ourselves in the lead up to Christmas and New Year we are now going to spend the next month denying ourselves, during the most depressing month of the year.
Over the years, I have lost over 8 stone. That didn't happen in a month, 6 months or even a year. It took time, hard work and plenty of will power. There was no magic diet, just adopting the simple 'move more, eat less' philosophy. I now love learning more about the foods we are putting into our body and what foods I should be eating to give me fuel for my lifestyle.
I think where many people go wrong is the simple fact of putting too much focus on the food that you shouldn't eat instead of the foods that you can eat. If you're going to suddenly deny your body and mind of little treats, you're only going to want them more.
When I want to get back on track with my healthy eating, I move away from the brown foods and bring back some colour. Less of the pastas, breads, pastries, cereals, potatoes and more veg, fruits, pulses and salads. Your plate should resemble a rainbow rather than a muddy puddle.
Just remember not to completely deny yourself of any food group, just eat less of them. You will feel better physically and mentally in the long run if you bring a bit of balance into your life. And a little bit of what you fancy doesn't hurt.
I will let you into a secret.... I went out with my gym friends for dinner this week and we had a naughty main and a naughty dessert. Lots of burgers and sundaes filled the table along with a glass of wine or two, and we all really enjoyed indulging. None of us felt any guilt just very full! We work hard at the gym so we can have our moments of indulgence and it was a treat... Treats definitely keep you motivated. Just remember not to eat burgers and sundaes every day, and you will be fine!
And speaking of the gym, how about we put some focus onto the fun, sporty activities you could take up to get the much-needed endorphins pumping round our bodies during this miserable time of year. Your mind will thank you for it! With the dark nights and an empty bank account, it can be far too easy to slump in front of the TV. Getting into sport doesn't have to be expensive... Get some friends together and go out running and do some boot camp style exercises in the park together - 'Give me 50 squats!' You get the idea... Get your bike out and go for a cycle; go out for a power walk first thing in the morning; and if you do have money to spare, sign up to a gym and join some classes.
A healthy lifestyle doesn't have to feel like a prison sentence. The most important thing is to enjoy yourself in the process. Discover what you enjoy doing and have fun - I feel motivated and energised by going to my early morning gym classes, whereas others might prefer an early morning jog or swim instead. Or a lie in!
Discover the healthy foods that you enjoy and find some delicious recipes. This time of year we crave comforting dishes such as spaghetti bolognaise... Try this healthy alternative - make spaghetti out of courgettes and a sauce out of turkey mince to cut down on the fat content and processed carbs.
Try a baked sweet potato filled with roasted vegetables instead of your usual jacket potato, beans and cheese.
If you are struggling, please get in touch for more ideas.