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Health and Wellbeing

08 Dec 2016

How to survive the Christmas eat-a-thon!

The Christmas period has the potential to stack on five or even 10 kilos. We resolve faithfully on January 1 to lose that weight as quickly as we can, and spend the rest of the year battling with it – with varied success.

So how do you get through Christmas without gaining weight? How do you Christmas-proof your diet?

Try looking at Christmas Day as an indulgent eating period that starts and finishes in a 24-hour period.

When December rolls around and the social engagements step up, the first thing off the must-do list is exercise. But prioritise your needs and keep to your scheduled exercise routine.

Just because Christmas is coming, there’s no need to eat, drink and make merry every moment of the day.

This is a pretty radical concept at this time of year, but remember you can say “no” politely and firmly to food, if you’re not hungry. There’s no rule that if it’s there, you have to eat it.

Learn to think like a boy scout and always be prepared. Be prepared with a line or two so you can refuse food you don’t want. Be prepared with how much you’re going to eat when you get to a social gathering, and stick to it. Decide how much you’re going to drink before you go to that party, and stick to it.

With a little bit of thought and preparation, Christmas doesn’t need to spell disaster for your waistline.

New Year’s resolutions – forget about them unless ….

Save yourself the trouble of setting a New Year’s resolution unless the resolution has been building in importance in recent times because otherwise you are setting yourself up for failure!

Statistics show that half-thoughts about something a person would “like” to achieve without being prepared to put in the required work or commitment are not enough.

I would like to share Prochaska’s behaviour-change model which has been adapted and adjusted over the years but remains essential to understanding what it takes to make a habit and ultimately change behaviour.

New Year’s resolution/s fail because people are not at the action stage and hence lack desire, commitment and ability to stick to the work required.

Stages of behaviour change

Pre-contemplation; Preparation; Contemplation; Action; Maintenance; and Termination.

So what does this all mean for you reading this? As a personal trainer who lives and breathes helping people change their behaviours and achieve their set goals, I urge you to sit down and be realistic about what it is you want to achieve.

I often get people come to me hoping, wanting and/or expecting to lose (for example) 10 kgs in two months and yet when I ask them how long it took them to put on that 10 kgs, they often say (for example) over the period of 10 years!

See the gap in reality? Put on 10 kgs in 10 years but expect to lose it in two months? We live in a society where almost everyone wants results now, yesterday, even last week!

Be realistic, write your goals down and better still, confide in someone your goals. By sharing a goal publicly with someone you then make a commitment and it means you have attached importance to your goal.

Announce it on Facebook if you have to. You will then get people that will ask how you are going, perhaps help motivate you on your way but you then become accountable to someone other than yourself.

I hope this helps you as you contemplate 2017 and have a safe and happy New Year!

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