Searching for the perfect healthy routine? James Anderson, our fitness expert explains how to integrate the best exercise and nutrition program (ever) into your life.
Sorry to burst your bubble, but the best diet and training program is (and always will be) the one that improves your health and can be maintained over a long period. Also, one that easily merges into your life without you feeling like it’s no longer your life.
Of course, there will be times in which you’ll overindulge a little too much and so you’ll be required to exercise a little bit more and maybe consume a lot less Nutella. but a good training and nutritional program shouldn’t see you jumping (or even needing to jump) from one body transformation to another, overdoing it a little bit more each time on the road back to what you believe is a “healthy” size, even though you continually feel like crap.
Now, before we begin, I think it’s important to mention that although I said that the best diet and training program is the one that works for you – there are still a few things that I feel I need to remind you of to stop you from reading between the lines and ending up in the wrong place.
So here’s some key points to remember as you search for the perfect program for you.
1. The thing that gets you there isn’t necessarily the same thing that will keep you there
If you’re overweight or would just like to lean out then there’s no question, you have to eat less calories than you burn. This means that you’ll lose weight.
But although you may think new regime is “your thing”, what you need to remember is that cutting out too many calories will most likely negatively affect your mood, energy levels, hormones and therefore your overall health.
A slow and gradual weight loss is always the best option. This means you’ll still feel full of energy - not like you’re one missed meal away from death. Once you’re at your goal weight you need to reassess your nutritional strategy to ensure that you’re not continuing to lose weight towards an unhealthy range.
This may mean slowing down on the exercise and/or increasing calories a little more to ensure your body restores and replenishes what you’ve been taking from it.
2. Actually try something before you buy into it
There’s a plethora or diet and training regimes out there, so which one’s best for you? Well, being that we are all individuals and are in different stages in our lives, could it be that there’s something for everyone? Of course there could be. Want to be a paleo yogi or a vegan cross-fitter? Well, if it works for you and your health, then why not?
I promise you that there’s always something for everyone. I suggest that you get to trying as many things are you want to before making a decision on what works best. But this means actually trying it! Not just a week here and there, commit to it for a minimum of 30 days.
It’s only when you truly commit to something that you can gain an honest insight for the program and whether or not it’s something that easily fits into your lifestyle without too much stress.
Remember, there’s elegance in simplicity.
3. Quit thinking in black and white
Life is not made up of black and white; it’s made up of colors. When we think in black and white, good and bad, happy or sad – we cut out so many amazing possibilities.
Read the below. Do you agree?
Kale = good.
Gluten = bad
Yoga = good.
Cardio = bad.
One of most frustrating things to deal with as a personal trainer are clients preconceived ideas as to what is good or bad without first giving any context.
Well, sorry to be the bearer of both good and bad news, but kale, yoga, gluten and cardio can be both good and bad – it ALL depends on the individual person. Which brings me onto my next point…
4. Be open to everything, attached to nothing
Buying into things so much that you cut off all other possibilities can often mean that you are missing something potentially better.
I have developed a mindset of being open to all things that could potentially improve my health and it has worked wonders. (And just to clear things up - no, it hasn’t worked every time).
It’s so easy to attach ourselves to our current model of training and nutrition. After all, if it ain’t broke don’t fix it, right? Well, not really. Let me tell you a personal story to explain why.
A few years ago I was training pretty hard when a friend of mine mentioned that I should come and give Yoga a try. After initially laughing it off I chose to commit myself to three practices per week for a month.
Wow, not only did it make me feel amazing, my performance in my other training improved dramatically from the increase in muscle elasticity and joint mobility. Had I not been open to trying something new then I would have missed out on being a better, healthier and happier me.
Just give it a go. You never know where it may lead. Even if that’s in a downward facing dog!
5. You’re not the same-same - you’re different
So many marketers try to fit your into a box, their box, but I promise you that you’re very much a unique snowflake when it comes to your own health. Just because [famous actor, TV personality, model, Instagram-star, celebrity trainer, your Mum] does it, that doesn’t mean that it’s right for you.
It’s about time that you take responsibility for your health and wellbeing by finding those things that make you feel healthy, happy and vibrant. Not just guilty, hungry and moody.
Don’t let anyone box you in.
6. Be honest with yourself. Cut the cord when you know that it’s wrong
Let’s be honest, it’s pretty easy to B.S ourselves these days. Swallowing the sugar-coated pill of irresponsibility and quickly following an exercise or nutritional program is easy to do, even though you know in your heart-of-hearts that it’s completely wrong for you.
I’ll let you in on a little secret, feeling and functioning like crap is not part of a good program and most certainly shouldn’t be a part of a healthy lifestyle.
Although there are often teething problems to your normal routine, these shouldn’t be long lasting. If you’re hating life and the things you’re doing then you have to make the executive decision to cut the cord and move on in your search for the perfect program for you.
I promise you that there’s something for everyone, it just needs to become a healthy part of your life and one that fits into your daily routine, not as a chore, but as an integral part of your day.
Because when things are working well, you should feel a positive flow-on effect from your your exercise and nutrition into all other areas of your life.
And that’s just it – it’s YOUR life!
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