Wednesday, 19 December 2018

Top tips to help you stick at the new year plan

TRY to incorporate these good habits into your New Year plan to add years to your life — and life

TRY to incorporate these good habits into your New Year plan to add years to your life — and life to your years.

Give it a chance. In today’s world we want things to happen instantly and if it doesn’t it’s just another excuse to go back to the old ways. Give your new eating and exercise plan at least four weeks, enough time to get set in your new routine.

Go vegetarian. People are always telling me they are getting their five a day. I say what’s wrong with 10? Instead of having a bowl of sugar-ridden cereal, have some protein and a full bowl of greens with every meal. It will strengthen your immune system, increase your levels of potassium and calcium, and is a great detox for your body.

Eat more fish or take a fish oil supplement. My mother always told me to eat fish because it was good for my brain. I was sceptical when I was 12 but now I have it daily. Omega 3 fatty acids found in fish contain anti-inflammatory properties for your cells and can also assist in getting rid of unwanted fat.

Get connected. Surround yourself with friends and family and tell them your new approach to life. Studies show that being part of a group is a great way to stay motivated and keep on track.

Get outside. I know it’s cold but embrace our beautiful area and walk. Your body burns more calories to keep itself warm, thus increasing your metabolism.

Stop keeping yourself awake. I am a regular coffee drinker, but it’s important to limit yourself to one medium or two small cups per day — preferably black, as having milk adds unnecessary calories. Keep the caffeine towards the start of the day rather at the end or after an evening meal. Sleep studies have proved that alcohol also interrupts sleep patterns, getting in the way of our recovery process.

Move! You have to pump your body to get it going otherwise you will become lethargic. I tell clients to move every hour from their chair if they are at work, or to always be on the move at home. Never sit still for more than an hour. It’s great for your posture — and for your back, too.

Anti-oxidise. There are many foods you can turn to when looking to enhance your mood or combat the stresses of daily life. Try a small glass of red wine, a handful of fresh or frozen berries, a few squares of dark chocolate, fish, or vegetables.

Go sugar-free. Sugar creates an atomic effect on insulin levels, allowing it to get into your fat cells. This, in turn, can make you a bit softer around the edges. There are some great alternatives like organic honey or stevia (a plant extract), but have small doses.

Treat yourself. It’s important to treat yourself, but not all the time. Look forward to a nice meal at a favourite restaurant. The most important thing is to eat well. Go to a restaurant where you know it’s quality — don’t waste your treat on sugary bars and venti lattes.

Your body and mind will love you for it.

lRichard Hawkins is a personal trainer at Expert Fitness Studio on Bell Street. Contact (01491) 413416 or go to

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