James Haskell’s Body Blast: Reinvigorate your New Year’s Resolution
Let’s not be negative, but the New Year has been and gone. We are in March already (how has that happened by the way?!). It is funny how time flies when you are failing to deliver on your New Year’s resolutions! I personally hate making them because you always go too big, and never make them realistic or manageable.
Today I am writing about fitness, so I don’t want to delve too deeply into other areas of self-improvement just yet. I am just here to give you some positive tips and advice to get thing back on track, and heading in a positive direction.
Like most people, you probably set yourself some fitness goals for your resolutions. For the average person they normally centre round trying to shift some festive padding, to get yourself into shape, prepare for a marathon, do a triathlon or, if you are a red blooded male, put on some extra muscle. Whatever it might be, you have probably embarked on it, and let’s be honest, drifted away from the eager start you made. This won’t be the case for you all, so those of you who have stuck to your program deserve a big ‘congratulations’.
However, it is always good to share some tips that should help with your progress. For the vast majority who have fallen off the wagon, and succumbed to the little voice in your head, we can get you back on track. I mean we all know about the little voice that says, “Just give in and have that piece of cake,” or “it’s too cold outside, you can stay in bed”. Well I’m here to tell you, don’t do it! Don’t give into that voice whatever you do. Life is a better place when you don’t. We all get doubts, we all get voices that tell us to stop and take a rest. It takes a brave man or woman to stand up to them. So whether you have stopped and are looking for a reason to start over, or you need encouragement to get going again, then I’m here to give you some guidance over the coming days.
Little and often
My first tip is to keep things simple. Do not set yourself a mountainous task; set yourself one easy goal to start with. If you keep things fairly simple – like saying ‘I’m going to train 20 minutes every day’ – that’s a lot more obtainable than saying you’re going to do an hour or two every day. Its far better to say to yourself, right I’m going to do 20 minutes every two days, once a day, once a week, whatever it might be. It needs to be realistic, and something you can feasibly stick to. For people who have never trained, and who are in terrible shape, it would be best to set the goal of say 10mins of some form of exercise twice a week; try fast walking, jogging, star jumps or playing sport. It doesn’t matter; just make sure you do it. Then you can build from there, adding time and other goals. There is no better feeling than ticking off a goal, and no worse feeling than falling short. You need to feel good about yourself and training to reach those end targets.
Ditch the hardcore diet
The next thing is, do not embark on any ridiculous diets. Do not go into any huge calorie or nutrition deficient diets. If you’re eating soup all day then you’re an idiot. If you’re drinking juice all day then you’re an idiot. If you are following some highly restricted diet then you are probably going to regret it. What does that tell you? Whatever you do, you need to eat well; you need to fuel your training. You’re going to get the best results through clever training and making sure you eat properly. You will end up eating more food than you ever have, and be in the best shape you have ever been in. It doesn’t seem to add up to most people, but you need to put more of the good stuff into your body. All the fads you see promoted by celebs will have short-term gain and long-term pain. Starving your body is never the answer. In my opinion, taking slimming shakes, or powders that make your feel full are not sustainable. Good whole food is what you need.
When eating well, your meal composition is going to be essential. You should try and see your plate as a pie chart. The biggest slice of that pie needs to be a really good source of protein, chicken, meat, fish and game for example. The next biggest slice should be vegetables, always try and get a good rainbow of colors going on in this area. Now depending on what you are doing, the next section will vary in size. You do need carbs on your plate, things like butternut squash, sweet potatoes, potatoes, and brown rice. If you aren’t really training then this will be the smallest part. If you are hammering training and looking to put on size then this will be a big part of the pie. If your pie chart doesn’t look like the above then you are never going to be eating right. Next time you eat a meal, have a look at the plate and see if it’s healthy. If you are missing one part then you are doing it wrong.
A spring clean
My next tip is something you can add into your training and nutrition regime straight away, that will have results. It’s very simple: stay away from refined food and junk food. It’s easier said than done, but not impossible. The first place to start this cleansing process is at home. If it’s in your cupboard then you will eat it. So you need to have a purge and get rid of everything that isn’t part of your new plan. Give the food away! Whatever it might be, any junk food, try and get rid of it, even if you have to throw it away. You want to make sure that you remove temptation from around you. I know if I have chocolate in the cupboard, like a sirens call it lures me into eating it.
Be careful with treats
Another big tip is don’t treat yourself just because you have started working out. If you are going for weight loss goals and body performance goals especially, you need to be very well behaved. Don’t think that if you’re supposed to be eating 3000 calories per day, you can shoehorn in some ice cream and chocolate as it ‘fits into my macros, or calorie intake’. There are loads of trainers and body-comp stars on Instagram showing you all the junk food they can eat as well as all the good stuff. However, remember they have been training for years, eat clean all the time, their metabolisms are in great shape and some may even be taking a few naughty supplements. I suggest you wait until you have actually got to where you are going before you start rewarding yourself. This being said if you fall off the wagon it isn’t the end of the world. It does happen; just get back on track as quickly as you can. This whole intro to diet and training is about getting things right from the start.
Tomorrow: James Haskell’s March Body Blast continues with more helpful tips…