Why your health and fitness resolution never works out (and how to make it happen)

Not everyone looks forward to the looming summer months, but one thing is for sure: many of us wish we’d stuck to our pledge of diligently visiting the gym and following a healthy diet so as to look better in our sunny outfits.

“The answer is obvious,” says Ivana Buchanan, group training specialist at Zone Fitness. “We don’t work out and don’t eat healthy because it doesn’t suit us.”

The solution? Closer than you think.

“Just turn to the internet,” Buchanan says. “There’s a barrage of folks not all that different to the rest of us who have managed to turn the pursuit of their passions into full-time occupations. Believe it or not, the fact that so many people have made viable careers by becoming Youtube celebs, Insta-famous or lauded bloggers can teach us a lot about how we can reach our own goals; especially those we have set for our bodies.”

Figure out what it is that you’re into   

“I have way too many clients who don’t take into account how much the body they desire has to do with the image they’d like to project, or the activities they’d like to partake in,” says Ivana. “Although being healthy should be your first priority when you step into the gym, figuring out what it is you’d like to attain for your other interests is just as important.”

What this means for you is that, if you’re focused more on getting fitter so as to keep up with your fellow weekend warriors, then high-calorie diets and a regime that focuses exclusively on lifting weights won’t do it for you; that’s for those of us who are after defined physiques instead of workouts that let us do more outdoors.

“The reason many folks go to gym in the week is because they have to find a mechanism that enables them to pursue a career or study full time while still finding the time to stay in shape. Don’t make the mistake of thinking the gym is only for bodybuilders or fitness models; for many, it’s simply a practical approach to physical maintenance.”

You absolutely are what you eat

“This one is slightly tougher,” Buchanan says. “Many experts argue that getting fit and transforming your body is more down to nutrition than exercise.”

We’re all familiar with the six-small-meals-a-day mantra, paired with a side of protein shakes and low sugar and refined carbs. But how do we effectively put a healthy diet in practice?

“Look. If getting super shredded abs is what you’re after, then by all means get a nutritionist to set up a strict eating plan, and stick to it religiously,” says Ivana. “But, if you just want to be in good shape with a relatively low percentage of body fat, a low heart rate and a respectable amount of muscle, then going to these extremes is a bit unrealistic.”

That doesn’t mean you get to eat what you like, though. A diet that consists of lots of leafy greens, whole grains, lean proteins and good fats and oils is still your ally for a rockin’, functional bod. And portion control is not at all beneath you. “But the difference is that how much and what goes into your body doesn’t have to be measured with the same stringency as for, say, a professional sprinter,” contends Ivana.

Now get on with your life, darn it

Reward your efforts by buying clothes that flatter the body you are working hard for, attend popular events in your area, engage more on your Instagram account, follow your passion at every possible minute, and look good while doing so!

“I guess the message that I’m trying to convey here is that, for a foodie who just wants to look better on their social media accounts when they visit the latest fancy eatery in town, cutting out their passion for the culinary side of life in exchange for a chiseled physique makes no sense. Once we view exercise and conscientious eating as a balanced component of our bigger mission, rather than an all-encompassing, life changing decision, we’re much more likely to stick to it and see the results we really want and deserve,” Ivana Buchanan concludes.

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