Five Sunday Habits for Success

Everybody knows that most diet and exercise regimens start on a Monday, but when that busy working week sets in, nine out of ten times you will see your efforts slowly start to disperse into a heap of stress, disorganisation and interrupted will power. Use the 5 tips listed below to prepare for a week of success, despite your busy work schedule, client meals and limited workout time!

1. Schedule in Your Workouts

ScheduleLook through your weekly schedule and pencil in your workouts.By making a formal appointment with yourself, you accept that your scheduled workouts take priority over last minute event invites or any other progress-plummeting scenarios.

2. Plan your meals

asparagus-868584_960_720

More often than not, you will be aware of any upcoming meals out. Whether it’s a client dinner or a family occasion, take a look at the menu before visiting and plan your meal choice in advance. This will reduce the temptation to go crazy with your order when you arrive. It will also allow you to plan what to eat for the rest of the day to avoid going way over your caloric requirements!
TIP: ** Leave out the wine!**

3. Prepare your meals

tuppaware

Failing to Prepare is preparing to… Most diet’s fail at the office or away from home. Prepare your healthy meals for the week and store or Freeze them ready to take with you when you are out and about. Hunger sends temptation into overdrive, so if you don’t have a healthy meal or snack nearby you can wave goodbye to your will power!

4. Plan your workouts

dumbbells-293955_960_720

Don’t just arrive at the gym and expect to miraculously know what to do. Especially if you are hitting your workout at peak time, this is almost a surefire way to end up only getting on a cardio machine! Plan to do 6-8 different exercises for each of your self-scheduled workouts, and do 3-4 sets of each of them.

TIPs:
** if you are heading to the gym at peak times, do more sets of fewer exercises to combat endlessly waiting around for equipment!**
**If you are limited with time, choose bigger compound exercises such as Pull-ups, Squats, Deadlifts and Lunges to ramp up the calorie burn!**
**make sure you hit at least one exercise for each muscle group once per week**

5: Plan your cheat meal!

burger-307648_960_720

From a psychological point of view, planning your cheat meal in advance for a certain day of the week can reduce the urge to indulge for the rest of the week. Not only will you feel more motivated to stick to your plan, but you will also remove that food-related guilt that many dieters experience after eating a non-adhering meal.

Tip:
** remember the term ‘Cheat Meal’ and not ‘Cheat Day’. A Cheat Meal can not only improve your mood but it can also refuel your bodies energy stores and make for some killer workouts in the days after. A whole Cheat Day however, will likely backtrack your whole week of effort!**

If you struggle to plan your workouts and meals, or find it too difficult to stick to a routine and stay accountable, online coaching could be perfect for you! Check here for more details 🙂 http://jessicaabigail.co.uk/online%20coaching.html .

Motivation Reset!

MOTIVATION RESET!

When committing to the health and fitness lifestyle for the long term, there are a few things to remember. As much as we strive towards our goals, we can’t always control every aspect of the journey it takes to get there. Committing to a fitness-fueled, goal-orientated lifestyle can mentally take it’s toll and unfortunately, this is often the hurdle many choose not to face. Instead, they find themselves falling back into old habits, undoing hard-earned progress, and self-hating. If you are feeling a little unmotivated or know somebody who is, below is a few simple suggestions I use with myself and my clients to make sure negativity does not cut your fitness journey short!

 

1. MOTIVATION COMES IN WAVES

unmotivated scale

Just like the weather, motivation comes in seasonal waves. We would love to stay motivated all year round just as much as we would love 12 months of summer, but this is not realistic! Just as we adapt to the changes in the weather, you must learn to adapt to your own personal changes in motivation.
Some weeks you will hit your workout targets, your nutrition will be on point and you will feel absolutely amazing. Other weeks you may skip multiple workouts, give in to food cravings and overindulge, and that is OK! Do not let weeks like that drag you into a tunnel of negativity!

What to Do:
Instead remind yourself that you are human and no mental state is constant. Pick up a pen and paper and make a plan of action for the following week. Allow yourself to get excited about how amazing you will feel after another week of hitting your workout and nutrition targets. Credit yourself for being able to see past the tunnel of negativity and look forward to coming back stronger, and MORE MOTIVATED than your last motivational season!

 

2.ONE STEP AT A TIME


healthy food
When you are feeling a little unmotivated, you don’t want to overload yourself with a massive health kick to-do-list. The more tasks you set, the less chance you have to carry out each task to 100%. The Brain can only handle one small change at a time or it begins to feel overwhelmed and under-efficient. This is one of the main reasons ‘diets’ tend to fail after a short period of adherence, you have cut out everything you love and given your brain various other new tasks to contend with at the same time! It doesn’t take long for the cravings to kick in and your workouts to become sloppy and forced. Many people make this mistake when starting out, but it is also one of the main reasons it is so hard to get remotivated after a short break!

What to Do:
Don’t overwhelm yourself and expect to fall straight back in at the deep end. Set 2 small tasks every few days and stick to them, give yourself a chance to let the healthy habits form again. Keep going like that and before you know it, you will begin to enjoy your healthy lifestyle again!
Your tasks could look something like this:

Day 1:
*Drink more water
*Go for a 20-minute walk

Day 3:
*Continue day 1 tasks
*Eat 5 portions of fruit and veg

Day 5:
*Continue day 3 tasks
*Cut out junk food

Day 7:
*Continue day 5 tasks
* Do a full body workout

 

3.MONITOR YOUR SLEEP

sleep

With so many important things to fit into 24 hours, many people sacrifice sleep in order to get things done. However, even for Fit Pro’s, it is hard to stay motivated if you don’t have good quality sleep. Your appetite can increase due to elevated cortisol levels leaving you hungry, grumpy and generally low in mood. Since motivation is a state of mood, we can’t expect to be fully motivated if we are not getting enough good quality sleep!

What to Do:
Quality over Quantity! Many of us get by perfectly with 6-8 hours of sleep per night. The difference is not the quantity of sleep but the quality. Here are a few simple steps to getting a good quality sleep:

*Set all devices to night-mode (or dim the brightness)- The bright lights on most devices are thought to interrupt our circadian rhythms, making it harder to sleep!

*Eat a small snack 30 minutes before bed– Going to sleep when you are hungry is not a great idea, your body will want to stay awake until the hunger subsides, a small snack will take away the hunger pangs and allow a more comfortable sleep! Casein protein is a favorite of mine as it releases proteins slowly, keeping you and your muscles fed throughout the night.

*Take a hot shower or bath 1-2 hours before bed– This has a relaxing effect on the muscles allowing for a more comfortable drift-off.

*Prepare everything you need for tomorrow- If you go to bed unprepared for work/uni in the morning, your subconscious anxiety can increase with the thought of rushed tasks in the morning. Prepare everything you need for the day ahead and yourself and your subconscious can relax!

 

4.FIND SOMETHING ACTIVE THAT YOU ENJOY

trampoline(Action Shot Alert!..)

For whatever reason, you have lost the drive to get your workouts in, if you were still enjoying them your motivation would not have dipped. When training for a specific goal, workouts can become a little repetitive and at times monotonous (there are justified reasons for this, which calls for a separate blog post in itself). For obvious reasons, we do not want to be missing our structured workouts for too long but we also don’t want to be dragging ourselves to the gym for a half-baked attempt at our planned workout. What we need to do is reignite the ‘want’ to get back into the gym and get your workout in.

What to Do:
Forget your structured workout for a moment. Go and find something different to try out, it may be hiking, rock climbing, trampolining, ice-skating, rollerblading, netball or anything else that does not involve the gym! We are not aiming to replace  gym-based workouts by doing this but giving you the chance to enjoy something active without the connotation of reps, sets, goals, muscle groups, cardio, weights etc…. For myself and many of my clients all it took was 1 encounter of something different to reset our motivation and start smashing our workouts again!