Breaking Bad Habits
During our lives, we all pick up habits whether good or bad, we all have them. When working as a Personal Trainer we try to look at the lifestyle of the clients we are working with and much of our jobs is to help them change certain aspects of their lives that may be hindering the goals they try to achieve. This could be smoking cigarettes, eating too much processed food, drinking lots of alcohol during the weekends.
Ok how do I stop these unhealthy habits?
Certain habits may not need to be stopped exactly but just reduced, such as drinking. We all know that drinking too much alcohol is bad for you. It can make you put on weight, give you bad hangovers (which can stop you training) and make you dance in a rather embarrassing way.
But seriously, if you like a drink, that's fine
Just look at ways to reduce the amount you consume. This should be done in a slow controlled manner. You could also check the calories in the alcohol your drinking and you might find an alternative tipple that is lower in calories. I used to drink lager which is high in “empty calories” so I decided to switch to shorts or white wine. Many people like having a bottle of wine at home when they finish work and want to unwind. If you did this all week the calories will soon add up and so will the weight.
To cut down it would be hard to stop altogether in one day, it would be better if you gradually cut down.
Let's say you like four glasses of wine every day after work. You could make a small goal of drinking three glasses a night for two weeks…change the habit. If this is too much in one go, try three and a half glasses for a couple of weeks. Gradually cut down. You can try this method with many different habits such as eating chocolate, drinking sugar loaded fizzy drinks etc.
There is more good news.
Good habits are just as hard to break as unhealthy habits! We can use the same method to commit to good habits to our lifestyles in a positive way. An example could be going out for walk for five minutes a day for a couple of weeks and then increase it to ten minutes until you are going for a period that you will get a decent workout. Maybe you really enjoy walking and want to take it to the next level and you could take up running, join a running club, make new friends!
How long does it take to make new habits?
A school of thought tells us that it takes around 21 days to form new habits but it could be as long as 60 days. Look at it this way; what's a couple of months compared to a lifetime of change? Sometimes we must suck it up and start.
So, what I tell my clients
If there is something you are doing that is stopping you achieving your goals, then target the area and gradually reduce it over the days, weeks, months.
There is a world of advice out there on what to eat and how to lose weight. Just look at google and you get overloaded with an extraordinary amount of information that can be confusing and damn right contradictory.
Some many diets to choose from makes the mind explode and turn to jelly. No wonder 95% of diets fail! Yes that's, correct 95%.
Slimming World Weight Watchers
They all have one thing in common. They put your body in a calories deficit, sounds great, right? Yes, it would be if you can keep it up. Who wants to spend the next few months half starving yourself on a shake or not being able to eat chocolate because it's a "sin." We lose weight in the first few weeks but feel miserable because we cannot tackle the pack of Maltesers sitting on top of the kitchen cupboard beckoning you to open the packet and eat their contents.
What happens then?
You hit rock bottom because you cannot sustain this food restrictions anymore and you start to binge eat and feel bad about yourself. After a few weeks/months you start the whole cycle again...lose some weight, put more back on. We have all been there, but let's be clear. You don't fail the diet the diet fails you!
All you should try and do is:
Eat mostly healthy foods (unprocessed foods that come from the ground and leans meats) and have a small treat when you want to.
That’s basically it! Let’s break it down a little more.
Most of your food, around 80% should be from healthy choices of food you like. The other 20% can be foods that you may think of it as a treat.
My calories for the day are 2400kcals so 0.80x2400=1920. (0.80 is 80%) 2400-1920=480. So, my treat calories are around 480kcal. This is my calorie range and everyone is different. Women tend to have a lower calorie need. If you look online for a BMR (Basal Metabolic Rate) calculator, it will tell you how many calories you should be eating.
If you want to lose weight you should take the calories down by around 20% if the calculator does not account for this.
Example the BMR calculator says I should be eating 2700 to maintain my current weight. But I need to lose some weight so I do this calculation:
2700x0.20=540kcal (this is my daily calorie deficit)
We must remember that it takes 3500kcal to lose around a pound of fat. So, by this assumption we should lose around a pound a week!
So, to lose weight I need to be eating around 2160 a day to start losing weight.
Don’t trust the scales to tell you the complete story.
Our weight will fluctuate throughout the day. Just remember when you drink half a litre of water (just a large glass.) You will put on over a pound in weight instantly!
Does this mean you have piled on a pound of fat? Certainly not. If your drinking around two litres a day that is over four pounds of weight but not fat…water has no calories. Worrying about your weight using scales is a false measurement and needs to be taken in context with a healthy lifestyle.
If you’re in a calories deficit and doing moderate exercise you will lose weight!
Make weight loss simple by just having a healthy lifestyle but still having treats. This will help in your long-term goals to lose weight and more importantly...keep it off.
Just be consistent and trust the process. It WILL happen.
Just a shout out to people on behalf of Phoenix Fitness. Darren personally devised a fitness plan for me that I was able to incorporate into a busy lifestyle, (full time job and family) and his encouragement gave me motivation to make life changes. His knowledge regarding what foods to eat and how to exercise helped me shed a stone that had been "hanging around" unwanted for a year. With Darren's knowledge, patience and judgment, he encouraged and helped me put things into perspective. His straight talking and down to earth techniques can easily be included into our daily routines and has helped me achieve my goal and lose the weight.
Darren is easy to talk to, non judgemental and human - he understands that sometimes we stray from the path - but that's ok, tomorrow is another day.
I am happier, clothes fit (having dropped a whole dress size) and I have lots more energy.
Look him up, he'll have time for you.
So your thinking about changing your life, well don't think do it and with Phoenix fitness you will achieve this. My biggest regret is not starting sooner. I've been with Phoenix for 6 weeks and Im seeing the changes all ready and so are family and friends. Love my training and Darren is the best trainer I know. Free welcome pack and group chat support, and he is always ready to train and works around your needs. Don't miss this opportunity to change your life what you got to loose.
I have been training with Darren at Phoenix Fitness for the past 3 months and I cannot recommend him highly enough.
I have always enjoyed exercise, but over the last year or so I was finding it increasingly difficult to become motivated and get into a routine with my training. Since training with Darren, I am now back on track and I am already seeing results.
Darren is an outstanding trainer. He listens to what you want to get from your training sessions and then builds an individual programme based on your goals and aspirations. He challenges your personal expectations, without being forceful or too pushy. His carefully planned programs ensure quick progress, with no 2 sessions ever being the same.
Darren runs Phoenix Fitness from home and his home gym has a wide range of equipment, including free weights and machines. This means you never have to wait for or share equipment and you can guarantee that you will be able to access everything you need for your program.
If you need advice on nutrition or any aspect of healthy living a healthy lifestyle Darren can also offer you help and support with this too. He is extremely supportive and positive, allowing you to feel totally at ease when discussing personal issues such as weight.
Last but by no means least; Darren is an absolutely top bloke! He is never judgmental and he totally understands how hard it can be to stick to routines when you work full time and have a family. I now really look forward to my training sessions, and never see them as a chore. He makes training fun and since having him as my trainer I am now in a really good fitness routine and reaping the benefits.