It’s that time of year when the holiday season is starting to wind down and our minds begin turning to the New Year.
There’s no denying that most of us have probably indulged a little more than we should have, so in this article we’re going to lay the smackdown on this festive feasting and get 2015 off to a great start!
Suck it Up, Buttercup!
Look, you probably haven’t been on point with your diet or exercise otherwise you wouldn’t be reading this article right now.
The most important thing you can do at this point is accept what is done and remember that you have it in you to very quickly get back on track.
Accept that you may have gotten a bit doughy around your mid-region and that your workouts have probably been few and far between – it’s ok!
No New Year’s Resolutions!
Forget New Year’s resolutions and making promises to yourself; you have no idea what the future holds in store and whether or not you’ll actually be able to keep to your resolutions.
Instead, understand that this is all part of the ebb and flow of life.
There will be times where you’re 100% on top of your game, but during the holiday period, winter months, stressful times, and other periods there are often more important things than being completely regimented with your diet.
This leads us onto our next point.
Set Realistic Goals
Having a balanced outlook on the past and present helps us to take a more realistic look at the future.
If you’ve spent the past month or more slacking then don’t expect to miraculously undo it all within a few days or a week.
It takes time to stoke your metabolism and get back into the swing of things with your workouts, so start slow and accept that you probably won’t be having any absolutely stellar workouts for the first week or two.
Who knows, it might even take you the entire month of January to get back up to speed with your mental focus, consistency, and energy levels; just enough time for the “New Year’s resolutioners” at your gym to quit and leave the weights room empty for you to use!
Have a Plan
Before you try to be consistent with your diet and exercise, have some kind of plan set in your mind.
Spend a few days thinking about what kind of training program you’d like to use as this will somewhat determine your nutritional requirements.
This will be far more effective than walking into the gym thinking “Oh, I guess I’ll do chest and biceps today” with absolutely no idea of which exercises, sets, reps, and so on you’re going to perform.
Practice the 90% Rule
As an extension of setting realistic goals it is important to also have realistic expectations of yourself.
A lot of people set a New Year’s resolution and as soon as they falter even a little bit they throw their hands up and call it good.
If you eat four times a day, that’s 28 meals per week. Ensuring 80 – 90% of those meals are in line with your goals means that you can have 2 – 3 meals and one snack that aren’t part of your plan.
Whether or not you choose to use structured refeeds or cheat meals is up to you but at the very least you’ll be able to reconcile yourself with having an unexpected slice of pizza or a candy bar without freaking out and giving up on your efforts entirely!