• Jacqueline Dower

Let's Get Back On Track Reset, Restart, Reprogramme

Sometimes life gets in the way, and you find you are starting to snack or grab and go unhealthy meals. This is not a signal for you to say, " Well, I have failed at dropping weight" you should take this as a sign that you need to Get Back On Track – Reset, Restart, Reprogramme.

Every day will be a new day and a fresh start; it's how you view yourself going forward that counts. Do you roll over and say, failed again or say, let's get back on track. We all have choices, and only you can make the right choice for you. Think about how you feel when you let others influence you in your life, whether it's eating or behaviours in a negative way. Do you wish you never listened to them in the first place or ate the food they encouraged you to eat?

I encourage all my clients to make sure they focus on themselves first. Some people find this challenging as they support others in family environments or work. They feel that this would make them selfish. I now ask you to revaluate that statement. If you are not strong mentally, how can you support others around you? Focusing on yourself will allow you to help others and focus on yourself in a positive way. This is important when you want to live a healthy lifestyle. Let others eat unhealthy food and bigger portion sizes because it's all about you now; you start to take back control.

Commit to one small change, simple things like not eating chocolate or crips. Did you know that if you ate a packet of crisps every day for a year, and these were excess to your body's requirements for calories, you would put a stone on in weight? It's that simple.

Getting back on track does not mean you have to be extreme with your choices; the all or nothing attitude can be an unrealistic goal. It becomes impossible to maintain or achieve, and you feel like you have failed.

Goal setting should be achievable but also makes you happy. It's no point in saying I remember when I was 'X' weight, but I was miserable and hungry all the time. Does that sound like a place you want to revisit? When you make small achievable goals, then your mindset changes. These are easier targets to aim for and live in the success of achievement. That is why you should set bit size goals. You then reset, restart and reprogramme with a new target.

A healthy lifestyle is not a sprint. Unfortunately, it's a marathon, and you should be looking at the long term with your health and weight, not the short term. It does not work when you do fad diets, and extreme changes to your eating it does not work. Your body starts to slow down your metabolic rate and store the few calories given. Then when those calories increase, you put on weight. Also, the older we get, the fewer calories we need; on average, we are told that women need 2000 calories a day and men 2200. However, when you consider our ages and how much we move, you will find that your weight would increase if you ate 2000 calories a day for women. And don't forget menopause; you could increase a pound a year over the ten years your body starts to change from perimenopause to postmenopause.

So what do you do now?

Set yourself achievable goals and start to make healthy choices. You can do this easily; it does not stop you from eating family meals or meeting with friends for nights out. For example, if you dropped a pound of fat every week for a year, you would be 52lb – 3st.7lb - less of the original version of you. A pound a week is achievable for most people just by making smaller changes. So you can see now that focusing on yourself helps you move forward for a healthy lifestyle.

Diets don't work, and that's a fact. Healthy eating does work. So stop counting calories and start putting colour, flavour, amora and textures on your plate. We eat with our eyes, and a plateful of colour is more inviting to eat than a beige, boring processed meal. The more colour, the more nutrients they contain. Mother nature made food bright and colour to encourage us to eat healthily; it's natural, not added with chemicals, colouring or preservatives; why would this not be your food of choice.

Weigh yourself every day; bad habits can occur over a week. Weighing yourself every day keeps you focused on the end result. Food is no more than energy. You need the right amount of energy to get you through the day. Let's think of this differently if your energy was petrol. You put too much fuel into the tank; it overspills and is not used. This would be laid down as fat cells; you topped up your reserve tank. If there were not enough petrol in the tank, the car would not complete the journey, causing it to stop. If we don't have enough energy, our body holds onto the energy we have and stops burning fat cells, thinking it needs to hold some back in case the journey is extended. We aim to have enough fuel to coast our way through to the end, so our body says, I will use the reserve tank now and put myself into eco-drive.

Every day should be viewed as a step near to your happy goal. Then, you reset, restart, reprogramme.

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