It’s great to be back on image.ie after a lovely sunny break in France. Like most people, I love the summer and beautiful days filled with endless opportunities to do absolutely nothing – a time to ditch the routine and do more of what I love.
Holidays are a time when healthy eating and exercise can take a backseat, especially when sunny rosé-filled evenings grace us with their presence, after all who can refuse a glass of rosé al fresco? It certainly beats a sweaty spin studio!
The truth is most people eat and drink more during the summer and tend to either gain weight and/or lose their fitness. Now that September is here- can you even believe it –we have a great excuse to “get back into it!” and get our self-care routine well and truly back on track before the dark days appear.
This is the first step in changing a routine. To set yourself up for success, ask yourself the three simple questions below and be sure to answer them honestly. Don’t forget to write your answers down on paper because if you mean business this really will help.
1. What do I want to achieve?
2. Why hasn’t it worked out before? Pinpoint the obstacles that have tripped you up in the past.
3. What can I do differently?
Be realistic and commit to really manageable, small daily changes that you can build on. Drastic changes or fad diets won’t work. Even the tiniest of changes can have a huge impact – believe me. Here are some ideas:
Swap one of your cappuccinos for an americano – you will save almost 200 calories!
Add protein to each meal e.g. eggs, chicken, nuts, avocado – protein helps you feel fuller for longer meaning you are less likely to overeat. Protein is also essential when trying to tone up. Resistance training exercises create tiny tears in your muscle fibers. These tears are then repaired from the amino acids found in the proteins you eat, and you grow stronger and leaner as a result.
Opt for brown or rye breads instead of white. Why? Simply because they’re better for you. Real brown bread is healthier than white because the wheat flour used to make brown bread is less processed. Where possible go with freshly baked brown/rye.
Exercise during your lunch hour at least once a week. When you increase your activity you feel better about yourself, you have more energy and are more inclined to make healthier choices throughout your life. Getting your workout in during the day also makes you more productive and you will feel refreshed and ready to tackle your afternoon to do list. Exercising at lunch means you have the evening to yourself to relax – this is a huge bonus when the darker evenings come along.
Organise to meet a friend once a week to exercise. Meeting someone is the best way to get motivated –sadly, we have no problem letting ourselves down but we think twice when it’s a friend. If you usually meet for dinner or drinks you are eliminating unwanted calories, too! Meet up, workout, have the chats and burn fat – everyone wins!
Start the day with warm water, fresh lemon and apple cider vinegar. This morning mix is a fabulous way to kick start your digestive system. It helps to balance and maintain a healthy alkaline ph level and it aids in detoxification.
One Week at a Time
The idea of doing one thing every day that contributes to your ultimate goal is really great but this can be tough if you have a long way to go. So why not commit to adding one healthy thing to your life per week. Think of it like this, you have seven full days to practice getting it right. Here are a couple of ideas:
Drink more water – bring a 1litre bottle to work every day and commit to finishing it.
Eat less dessert each week – have dark chocolate instead to help kick sugar cravings.
Commit to three exercises sessions per week.
Introduce more weights or cardio – whichever you don’t do enough of.
Go to bed 30 minutes earlier and meditate, this is a great way to prepare for the day ahead.
The idea is to just keep adding healthy habits bit by bit without making any heart-wrenching changes that seem impossible. Focus on improvements, not perfection. This is incredibly important. We all make mistakes – yes even the perfect life brigade on instagram. So give yourself a chance! Focus on the long term goal and just keep at it. The small changes really are key.