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Setting up your January diet for success 💃

New year, new you?

How about same you, just different focus?

Because you are enough just as you are, remember that!

But I get it, January can be a time for many to consider their next goals, after having reflected at the end of the year and recognised what they'd like to achieve in the next 12 months. I do advocate and believe in goal setting, I think it's important, it allows us to create a vision of how we want our lives to look, it helps drive focus into actions in pursuit of things that are important to us in a very individual manner.

Dieting talk is rife though at the minute, and to an extent I do believe diet culture is making somewhat of a comeback, the stupidity of some methods genuinely is ludicrous. We have diets now having you manage your blood sugars the minute something smacks your lips, sending stool samples off to check for christ knows what, coaches advocating fasting to boost your metabolism and manage your hormones. It's scary if I am honest, and all I see is the praying on the vulnerable, marketing on insecurities, especially if you are like the majority of the population and you have overeaten a smidgen over the festive period and now feeling slight discomfort in yourself. These diets are literally targeting you, but in such an unhelpful and unhealthful way, they are packaged up disordered eating patterns and sold as solutions, like you need "fixing".

You don't need fixing.

Your metabolism works.

If you're considering your next diet, it's really important to consider how you approach your next diet as that will have a huge impact on the sustainability of your results.

Real fat loss is not losing 2 stone in January, real fat loss is losing 2 stone in January and keeping it off for many more Januarys to come, so much lies in the intent behind your actions.

Your success lies in your approach to your diet, in your intention, mindset and awareness.

No not calories, reps and steps like you've been led to believe.

Many fall into the trap of over restriction,

Dieting from a place of resentment,

Trying to guilt trip themselves into change,

Embarking on a 6 week ‘slog’ with the assumption they’ll feel better at the end, more confident,

Sure you may lose weight, however it isn’t sustained.

Actually that weight is regained & likely more,

Not because you’re broken,

Nor is it because you can’t diet,

Because the intent behind your actions was too restrictive and too aggressive, done so from a place of guilt, thus causing you to give up.

Example, if you’re in a fat loss phase and say you’re not having chocolate today, in one case you can acknowledge you’re choosing not to have chocolate today and opting for something more satiating, on the other hand you may say to yourself you categorically cannot have chocolate it’s bad and you’re dieting…

The later of the two will cause you to “throw the towel in” give up and likely binge on the food from scarcity implemented with thoughts.

The former however is allowing you a choice, complete autonomy on your actions.

Yet on the surface it’s just removing the chocolate for today.

A successful diet should be one done for health, one done from a place of nourishment and compassion with the view of sustaining a healthy lifestyle.

At the Thrive with Life method, our focus is on sustainability, built on core principles that take you through behaviour change, with mindset developments using evidence based strategies, factoring in your food and body relationship, in a compassionate and individual manner. We consider your commitments, beliefs, environment, values and have you align to your goals with an approach that adds value to your life, that you enjoy.

Because you know this is something you're on forever right?

Which is where the notion of fat loss and the extremisms isn't considered, in real terms the only difference between your fat loss and maintenance is the amount of calories you consume, the emphasis needs to be on behaviours, your mindset and intentions.

Having helped 00's of people heal their food and body relationship, sustainably lose weight and been through my own personal journey of 85kg weight loss, sustained for nearly a decade, there has been many lessons learnt, ones that will significantly change the outcome in a thriving manner to your next diet.

  • Instead of thinking “what do I need to remove from my diet” I’d consider “what can I include within my diet?” An inclusive approach is essential, if you want to avoid falling into heightened novelty and overeating certain foods you have to include these.

  • Eat 3 satiating and filling meals based around protein, veggies, carbs and fats.

  • Ensure your first meal of the day was adequate and eat at regular intervals throughout the day, banking calories until the evening is a big red flag if you’ve fallen into overeating previously. For a guide on overeating, you can get a freebie here.

  • Factor in daily movement, with 3 resistance training sessions a week, walking and exposure to the outdoors each day, start with 2 x 15 min walks and build from there. Resistance training can be anything from 10 mins to 60 mins, I have clients doing circuits at home because they are hella busy and cannot get to the gym. Movement for health. Example: 10 Squats, 10 Lunges p/leg, 10 kneeling push ups, 3 rounds.

  • Incorporate some sort of reflection or journalling each day, to help recognise wine, learn from setbacks and build on resilience. This will also aid in supporting emotional awareness and recognising triggers or situations that can lead to unhelpful behaviours, reframing failures as feedback and allowing yourself the opportunity to learn from setbacks. For initial prompts you can find some here

  • Use markers to measure progress including how my clothes felt, how my mood was, how my energy levels were, how my fitness was feeling, how my libido was, my confidence levels and perhaps some body measurements. Qualitative data is so useful and more so can help you explore how your fat loss journey is making you feel.

  • Play the long game, with a focus on behaviours, do not slam calories to “get in and out” as fast as possible, rather take an approach that adds value to your life.

  • Maintain my social life, learning the art of compromising and ensuring you are never sacrificing any aspect of your behaviours towards your values.

  • Ensure you are doing it for you, understand how your goal fits my life, how it aligns to your values, how it is going to positively impact you, I wouldn’t do it because diet culture tells you to get on it come 1st January. Knowing your values is so important to the continuous action. Example, you value family and you want to be able to run around after your children, therefore fat loss will positively impact you, it is true to you.

  • Nurture your food relationship and body image along the way, getting curious about anything that came up that previously presented as a red flag, ensuring these were taken care of first and foremost.

  • Ensure you start from a place of acceptance in your body, knowing you’re enough as you are and recognising the change you want to make. You cannot change from a place of guilt and shame.

  • Consider whether or not the approach you begin with is one you can sustain for the next 5+ years.

  • Get support from an Evidence Based Nutrition Coach, having a support network Having a support network around you is one of the most fundamental parts of a journey, it brings a sense of security. when participants were studied they researchers concluded we are more likely to be creative, take risks, pursue our dreams, when we feel safe, reassured, we can turn our attention to parts of our life that bring meaning.

It can feel daunting to begin with, especially when this work is far deeper than just tracking your syns and hitting your calories, but you’ve tried that for years, you’ve cycled through those motions and had no lasting results, real fat loss is sustaining your results 5 years later, not 5 weeks.

Don’t fall into another sunk cost this year and cycle through another method that will only impact your food and body relationship in a negative manner, instead, as Brene Brown teaches us, courage is fear walking, be courageous with the change you need, a steer in a new direction that is protective, supportive and sustainable in an individual and subjective way, sure there will be challenges along the way, but I argue those challenges are far better than remaining where you are fixated and preoccupied with food, yoyo dieting through life, you deserve more than that.

And if you want help with that change, our spaces are open for January, to take you out of the depths of dieting mishaps, heal your food relationship, end the battle with guilt, the all or nothing, the overeating and finally have a sustainable and enjoyable approach where you live your life simultaneously.


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