I had a great holiday and it shows, now what?

Stick to realistic fitness resolutions in 2017!

Ivana Buchanan is the group training specialist at Zone Fitness, a nationwide gym chain with 22 gyms across South Africa.

The festive season is at an end and, unfortunately, so is our careless bliss regarding what we eat and how much we exercise. Most people return home after a brief vacation just to find all the winter flab they had originally lost (to fit into their swimming costumes in the first place) is right back where it once was. 

The truth is, we usually gain weight a lot quicker than we lose it and we resort to unrealistic New Year’s resolutions in the hope of shedding the guilt and those few extra pounds – only to give up after a week. 

Here is a guide to choosing realistic resolutions that you wouldn’t mind sticking with. 

The moment of truth 

We can’t all look like models on a fitness magazine because that’s a combination of rare genetics, strict discipline and the magic of Photoshop. Despite this we are all beautiful in our own way, and we should do our best to bring that beauty to the forefront. 

“You can start by avoiding exercises and eating plans that aim to achieve unrealistic weight goals. Instead, we should aim to be healthy versions of ourselves,” says Ivana Buchanan, group training specialist at Zone Fitness. “Gyms are equipped with machinery that offer a wide range of exercises to choose from. Focus on strength training as well as attaining cardiovascular fitness. It is important to maintain a healthy balance between the two.” 

What you put in is what you get out. 

Something about diets just makes people want to dig into a tub of ice-cream. Diets are probably loathed more than most things, especially because it seems so hard to just go through with it. But what if it could actually be liberating? 

As soon as we stop perceiving diets as a restriction, we might not be so tempted to cheat before we’ve even begun. “Healthy eating should be viewed as a lifestyle shift and not a strict regime. If you can adopt a lifestyle where the only goal is to eat as healthy as possible, there will be room for a day where you can still eat your favourite chocolate,” says Buchanan. 

 Again, balance is key.

You are not alone 

We often feel like our situations are completely unique (“no one gets what I’m going through!”). Nothing is further from the truth. It is highly likely that people are so involved with their own insecurities that they don’t even notice that extra roll on your tummy. 

Talk about the insecurities you have with your partner and your friends. You might be surprised to find that they feel the same and end up with a gym partner. Buchanan states that: “gym partnerships lead to enjoyment and an increased sense of commitment towards our partner and the exercise involved.” 

There is no secret to happiness and a perfect body. There is, however, a very simple recipe to achieve a healthy lifestyle and it starts with a healthy mind. Food nourishes our bodies, but it is also there to enjoy. Enjoy food and enjoy your body. And in the end, find the balance between the two.

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