New Years Resolution
With New Year just around the corner, December’s bound to be full of plenty of indulgent meals and drinks! As we all start gaining that extra little Christmas coat we so eagerly wanted to lose for the summer, we’re always telling ourselves at the back of our minds we’ll get in shape next year. The final month of the year can be somewhat excessive in terms of ‘letting loose’ and enjoying the festivities of Christmas, Thanksgiving and of course New Year’s Eve. However, we shouldn’t worry ourselves and beat ourselves up over not sticking to our nutrition plans and exercise regimes as strictly… everyone needs to take their foot off the gas at some point!
We’re all familiar with that good old quote “fail to prepare, prepare to fail”; and with that in mind we should remember to plan ahead for the new year and make sure we know when to begin with our New Years Resolutions; as without setting a date in advance, we may over-indulge and let things get a little out of hand (I know I’m guilty of this!).
Alongside looking forward to next summer and hitting the beaches with our summer bodies, one of the most efficient ways to motivate yourself is to set goals and achieve them. That feeling of accomplishment after weeks, months or even years of working towards a goal is absolutely second to none. In order to achieve this goal though of course, you need to set it first! Grab your calendar out or simply open up your phone and get ready to set a reminder.
The year 2017 begins on a Sunday, which is pretty much perfect for us. When setting a start-date for a new goal (EG, your new training or nutrition plan), one of the most useful methods I’ve found is starting your nutrition plan for example on either the first of the month, or a Sunday/Monday (whichever you prefer to set as your beginning of the week). This way, it’s easy to keep track of your progress and look back at how long you’ve been working towards your goal for!
The first day of the Month in this New Year may be a peaking a tad too soon for some of us who will probably be shaking off a not so pleasant hangover from celebrating on NYE, however there’s no excuse for not starting on the 2nd of January which is rather coincidentally a Monday!
There’s no need to get worked up over creating an absolutely robust plan right now, and equally creating one now may not be the most suitable depending on how much your weight differs between now and the end of the year. Remember that as long as you’re in a deficit of calories, you’ll lose weight; and so, it’s probably best to wait until the first of January to weigh yourself so that you’ve got a truly accurate starting point. From there, simply decreasing your intake by 200-300 calories per day will allow you to drop weight comfortably.
Although, what we can do now is remind ourselves of how to effectively pursue our New Years Resolutions so that we don’t over-indulge into the new year!
1 – After you’ve found out your weight, use a Total Daily Energy Expenditure calculator to find out how many calories your body needs
2 – Use a sensible split of macronutrients (40% carbs, 40% protein and 20% fats is an easy place to start) – for those more advanced, adjust your protein intake to 1g of protein per 1lb of lean body weight, decide whether you want to use a lower or higher ratio of fats (15-30%), and fill the remaining calories with carbohydrates
3 – Pre-plan a few meals you enjoy to make the journey not seem like a chore and possibly prepare for bulk-cooking food to eat each day
4 – Use a macronutrient tracking app, such as MyFitnessPal, so that you can diet flexibly and fill in the foods you eat as you go about your day if you’re comfortable with weighing out food portions and eating intuitively
5 – Exercise regularly. You can reach your deficit of calories through using exercise or nutrition alone, however it’s most beneficial to make a combined effort with both (remember to include the calories you burn through exercise into your TDEE) and this will benefit your body composition further than either one alone
6 – After December, we’ll all most likely be feeling a little tender from drinking over the festive period, so it’s probably a good time to go on a little detox. Alcohol contains calories, and these calories aren’t valuable to our bodies, they simply mean we put on weight faster and easier due to the surplus of calories on top of the foods we’re eating. When wanting to lose weight, alcohol is tough to factor into a nutrition plan and certainly not advised, as the body simply has to sacrifice valuable macronutrients to make room for the empty alcoholic calories. So, it’s best to steer away from the booze and get involved in dry January!
Take Home Message
Remember to set a date for your New Years Resolution and stick to it! Committing to a nutrition or training plan can be very tough; and refraining from over-indulging, drinking alcohol and being in a deficit can be very daunting, however luckily there are millions of people around the world with similar ambitions who want to shed off their winter coats in the new year and put down the glass of wine or pint of ale, especially through January! Don’t feel alone, we’re all in this together!