Apparently the main reasons for this are that people either spend too much time thinking about them, rather than actually doing them or they take the advice of self-help gurus and rely on willpower alone. However, I suspect the main reason that people fail (specifically on the “lose weight / get in shape” resolution) is that they don’t really have any idea how to succeed in this area – and end up following bad advice.
One good example of this would be the frankly horrendous “My Big Fat Diet Show“, which aired for two weeks post Christmas. The premise of the show was that a bunch of slightly overweight “diet divas” would try to drop a dress size in 2 weeks. Having recently decided to go on a bit of a health kick myself, I thought I’d give it a watch to see if I could pick out any healthy eating tips from the supposedly “no gimmicks, no fads” show… Guess again! The gimmick of this diet is that you restrict yourself to eating just 1,200 calories for 2 weeks (it’s not a fad though. Honest). So, if you want to use up your calories by eating 6 bars of milk chocolate a day – go ahead! Fancy living off a couple of bags of crisps a day? Feel free – as long as you stick to that calorie limit, you’re on the road to weight loss success.
And to help the divas on their way, they were given access to a pop up “100 Club” supermarket, in which everything was packaged in 100 calorie portions. And what was the most surprising thing they learned from all this? That a pork pie has over 200 calories in – whereas a bag of vegetables has less than 100… Shocking. So, rather than inspiring me to carry on with my resolutions through giving me tips, it actually inspired me through giving me the confidence that in fact I already know an awful lot about food and healthy eating. And through combining that with our new exercise regime, we should be onto a winner!
We’re currently just over three weeks into our regime and, although it’s been tough at times (yes I mean you, 5.45am weekday starts!!) and we’ve had a couple of days where we’ve not done everything as planned, we’re still doing really well. Currently we’re doing about 45 mins core training every weekday morning, followed by 10 mins jogging. Then in the evening we’re doing another 10 min jog, followed by either weight training for arms, weight training for legs, weight training for backs, or more cardio (generally 20 mins cycling / cross-training). At the weekends we’re having one day off from both exercising and eating healthily, and the other day we’re following pretty much the same routine as we do in the week.
In terms of diet, we’re eating little and often (every four hours or so):
• Breakfast consists of a bowl of porridge (whole rolled oats), a boiled egg white and half a grapefruit
• Lunch is a healthy home-made meal with some carbs (a baked potato / small portion of rice or pasta), healthy protein (cottage cheese / tuna / grilled chicken / beans and pulses) and some veggies
• Afternoon snacks consist of a healthy yoghurt, and a selection on chopped carrots, celery and apple
• Dinner is carb-free, so we eat lots of protein and veg
On top of that I’m drinking at least 1.5 litres of water per day (top tip – keep a 1.5 litre bottle on your desk and re-fill it each day to keep track!), as well as a glass of fruit juice. And no fizzy drinks (I literally haven’t had one so far in 2010) or alcohol (with the occasional exception of a small glass of red wine) unless it’s a day off. And even on a day off, beer is limited. And to be honest, having pretty much given up drinking in the week, it’s often quite tough to get back in the mood at the weekend! Who’d have thought it?!
All in all, we’re gradually building muscle and strength, as well as slowly slimming down. We’ve still got a weight to go (do you see what I did there?), but fingers crossed by the time spring comes around, we should be fit as a pair of fiddles!