New Year Tips- Balance the Scales…

1- Eat Small Meals at Regular Intervals. Rather than eating 3 large meals try to eat 5-7 smaller meals and snacks throughout the day. This will help you regulate your hunger and provide a steady flow of energy meaning you will not be so tempted to start snacking.

2- Drink Water or Green Tea. Fruit juice and fizzy drinks are laden with calories which will promote fat storage, while they will provide you with a short term burst of energy, in the long term they will leave you feeling tired and lethargic. Keeping hydrated by consuming enough water helps prevent hunger pangs while consuming green tea is a low calorie option to water which has reported metabolism enhancing abilities.

3- Bodyweight Exercise Can Get Results. Squats, lunges and press ups are all great exercises for getting in to shape. Not only this- they are a great starting point for the inexperienced exerciser or if you are just getting back in to a routine.

4- Target the Process Not the Result. Set your goals on factors that you can control. A lot of the time our clients become fixed on a number such as “lose one stone” or “fit in to a size 8 dress”. This is the type of goal that over the long term is unsustainable as if you do not achieve the result it can be demotivating. Take charge of your goals by focussing on processes, good habits, regular exercise and things that you can achieve (like the performance of a certain exercise) are really the only place to go. Focussing on drinking 2 litres of water a day or consuming at least 5 portions of fruit a day or from an exercise perspective training 4 times a week is a realistic and motivating way of setting your goals.

5- Resistance Training, Movement Based Energy Systems and Some Form of Core Work Should Be The Mainstay of Your Programme. Training in one way generally will not get the best results. Combining different types of exercise such as core work, sprinting and weight training can help maximize your results. The individuals who get the best results train in a range of methods for a number of hours a day- generally they may credit one form of exercise but remember they may be doing up to 4 hours a day of training- it’s pretty hard not to get a result with that volume of exercise. Varying your type of training when you start out will test your body in a number of ways, not only this it allows you to see what forms of exercise you enjoy and what you could fit in to your routine in the long term.

6- Match Intentions With Action. How many people start a diet that is finished within 4 weeks? Refocusing your goals and achieving your ideal physique is something that most people want to do but very rarely put the effort in to achieving. Make the change this month and match your intentions with the right actions. If this means starting an exercise routine or cleaning up your diet then get focussed set your goals, make a plan and do it so you achieve the results that you talk about.

7- Low Fat Is Not Always The Way to Go. Many foods are marketed as being low fat, fat in itself is vital for a number of metabolic processes. Don’t preferentially buy low fat foods- often they are full of processed sugars. Focus on natural foods as well as healthy fats from foods such as fish and avocado.

8- Don’t Just Rely on Doing Cardio. After a period of adaptation the body becomes more efficient at using energy. For the beginner this is what you may consider as improvements in your fitness where you have to work at a higher intensity to feel the fatigue that you may have felt in your first session. Most exercisers looking to reduce their waist line make their biggest mistake at this point. Not only are their bodies better adapted to deal with the exercise also improvements in cardiovascular efficiency mean that the energy cost of pounding the roads or cross trainer is comparatively reduced. Add in at least two resistance training sessions a week to your weekly routine for optimum results.

9- Function Follows Form. Often we see new exercisers running inefficiently or performing weights training in bad form. We always emphasise good form in all training- if you can’t hold good form then you could be doing yourself more damage. Running in itself is one of the things that I see more clients getting injured if they are not initially strong enough. Get some proper advice from a qualified professional- in the long run it will pay you back.

10- Eat More Vegetables It always shocks me when people preferentially avoid certain food groups. A lot of the time though people do not eat enough fruit and vegetables. They provide a good base level of carbohydrates as well as supporting your body with a large amount of vitamins and minerals. If you are going to perform any type of exclusion based diet this year your vegetable intake should be increased.

Published by ianmellis

Ian Mellis MSc. CSCS is the co-founder of Results FAST ( in Ware, Hertfordshire. Specialising in athletic development, physique improvement and injury rehabilitation he provides personal training, strength and conditioning and nutrition coaching for motivated exercisers and those looking to make a long term change to their health, fitness and performance.

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