Here we are, well into the start of the new year and everywhere you go you see people detoxing on juice cleanses, healthy eating pledges, and new gym memberships hit an all time high. Of course all of these actions show a positive step to making our lives better, and it is great to see people taking responsibility for their health as a new year comes around.
If you go to the gym and spend an hour on the stepper because you feel a little self conscious trying something else it is perhaps time to re-assess your routine, gain some confidence, and build a better body.
If the efforts are too extreme and different to our normal routine however, there is no way the new habits are going to become part of lifestyle that continues throughout our life. Statistics show that by the end of January over a third of people cancel their gym memberships.1 I hear people make new years resolutions to go to the gym 5 nights a week. This is unlikely to remain a constant especially if you haven’t set foot in one for months. Not only is it unlikely I believe it is unnecessary, the more we can incorporate exercise without the need for serious motivation the better.
If you are going to join a gym in January I suggest investing in a personal trainer, I know it isn’t something everyone can afford but getting some basic techniques is vitally important. If you go to the gym and spend an hour on the stepper because you feel a little self conscious trying something else it is perhaps time to re-assess your routine, gain some confidence, and build a better body. I don’t mean this as a negative – I say this because the body is capable of so much more, building core strength is critical and you will only know how that feels when it is introduced to you by a professional. When you feel your body change I promise you will not look back.
I still think there is a mentality that you have to go hell for leather in the gym to achieve results. Phrases like ‘go hard, or go home…’ and ‘no pain, no gain…’ are thrown about a lot. Now there is certainly a time and a place to push yourself beyond what you think you are capable of, but that doesn’t mean deadlifting a ton of weight 5 nights a week. Muscles are built in recovery time, and hormones need the time to balance out after a shock to the system. Exercise is a stressors on the body, and we adapt well to it, but expose yourself to it too much and it will start to break down.
Moving on to juice cleanses or smoothies, this is real pet peeve of mine but I will try and remain diplomatic around the subject. I don’t think there is anything wrong with the odd green smoothie as long as it’s not loaded with fruit. However if you are having one of these for breakfast and lunch things are going to get boring fairly quickly. Of course you will probably shift some weight as you have cut out junk, but if you go back to eating exactly the way you used to as this isn’t and shouldn’t be maintainable, what was the real point. If it kicks starts you into eating real whole foods again then this is great. I don’t know about you but I love the sensation of eating, chewing, savouring the food and enjoying the flavours – drinking it just doesn’t satisfy me.
Doesn’t it sound like a better idea to create nutritious, wholesome foods that keep you full and energised, foods that will become part of a healthy balanced lifestyle. Try some eggs in the morning with avocado on the side or some smoked salmon.
Our bodies are amazing at detoxing all by themselves, they just need the correct tools to do so. If you eat your rainbows and remove foods that don’t agree with you as well as all processed foods the body will do the detox job just nicely. We don’t need a specific drink in the morning to get the process started. It’s when the “cleanse” goes on for weeks I think especially if we aren’t enjoying it cravings will kick in and we’ll be reaching for the donut. If you are going to have a green smoothie for breakfast I would make sure you cover you protein and fat base, these are the two macronutrients that will keep you full until lunch. So including foods like avocado, a few nuts, or full fat coconut milk bases are a good start. If you are hungry again by 11am, you have perhaps put too much fruit in there and your blood glucose rollercoaster is working on you.
I feel so strongly that the new year shouldn’t be about deprivation, struggle, and horrific changes that don’t suit you and your lifestyle. January was bad enough with poor weather and long awaited pay cheques. I want to inspire people to eat whole foods, keep things simple and reap the rewards. You deserve it!
Have you been detoxing this new year? Why not share you experience using the comments box below!
- (Anonymous). (n.d.). ‘New year, new you’? Brits quit the gym before the month is out!. In British Military Fitness. Retrieved 15 January, 2016 from https://www.britmilfit.com/about-bmf/bmf-news/new-year-new-you-brits-quit-the-gym-before-the-month-is-out/