Happy New Year from the Get Results Team!
I hope you had a great festive season and survived without too much collateral damage to your health and fitness goals. I am guessing by now you have probably been bombarded by emails from all sorts of ‘experts’ in the fitness industry and from companies proclaiming the amazing results you will get from their latest product (shakes, pills, ab machines, Slendertone etc.). Well don’t worry, we’re not trying to sell you the miracle cure today; we are writing this to help you identify what is the best plan of action for you and to help you make your health and fitness resolutions last beyond February when most of these hair-brained schemes have dwindled away.
Don’t Fall For BS
First things first; I have done this pretty much since I left school (17 years ago) and in that time I have seen so many fads come and go and I can say without any shred of doubt there is no miracle cure for being fit and healthy. I have seen lots of people achieve short term results from the newest diets and trends, but it is very, very rare to see these results stick. If your goal is to lose weight for a special event in, say, 4 weeks’ time and you are not too bothered about piling weight back on, then it might be worthwhile exploring a radical diet or extreme exercise program (but be warned you may get injured and develop some unhealthy attitudes and beliefs around food along the way).
If, however, your goal is to be fitter and healthier for life, nothing beats small consistent changes that you know are sustainable. So here is what we recommend doing to achieve a great body and brilliant health for years to come:
Build good foundation with the 5 Pillars to Health
Before I discuss this section, it should be said that I am not recommending that you do all at once which many people mistakenly do in January. However, if you can aspire to work your way through these then you are certainly increasing your chances of living a healthier and happier life for a long time to come. Pick one and focus on it until you feel confident in it, then move on to something else (pillar one is a good place to start):
- Pillar one – create a good sleeping habit, a consistent 7-8 hours’ quality sleep each night will make being lean and healthier so much easier. People who are sleep deprived are much more likely to be overweight, have mental health issues and suffer from poor health. Getting a good sleep routine is not sold as heavily as exercise regimes or diets because you can’t make money from people sleeping (unless you own a bed shop!), but it is the cornerstone from which any good health and fitness plan should be built from!
- Pillar two – be active every day. This can be literally anything that gets you breathing a little heavier – walking, gardening, cycling, taking the stairs. For your health this is so important and if you are looking to lose weight, the calories burned doing this can be pretty useful in helping create a calorie deficit as well. The health guidelines state 20-30 minutes 5 days per week.
- Pillar three – manage your stressors! In my opinion there are two simple ways to make sure that stress is not slowly killing you (and your weight loss goals). You could try and reduce/eliminate the things that are stressing you out too much whether it be overcommitting yourself, bad relationships, overthinking, working too much… or you can find ways to help you cope with the stress be it relaxation techniques, yoga, regularly enjoying hobbies and exercising, taking regular holidays/short breaks, or all of the above!
- Pillar four – lift weights. This keeps you younger, helps you maintain muscle mass and promotes fat loss, as well as improves/preserves bone density and makes you perform better at daily task and sport. Everyone should lift weights 2-3 times per week.
- Pillar Five – create a healthy relationship with food. Food is not the enemy (though it can be if you don’t have it under control). If you can learn how to make healthy and tasty food, you will be much more likely to stick with it (the number one factor in long term fat loss is consistency). Then it is all about creating good habits around food. Consider those around you who are lean and healthy; I would bet that by sheer habit, they plan their meals in advance, go food shopping regularly, track food intake, don’t make any food totally off limit (you will only want it more) and make their environment conducive to healthy eating (don’t stock biscuits, sweets, chocolate etc.) Willpower will inevitably wane at times and by not having have bad foods close at hand, they are less likely to go back out and buy rubbish.
So there you have it; it’s is not sexy or headlining grabbing, but I can tell you from years of experience that these 5 pillars work. There is no magic pill, but by making gradual changes over the next twelve months you will be amazed at how good you feel next new year when all the ‘newest’ miracle cures bombard you again! (and you can sit back smugly knowing your way works best!)
One last thing before I sign off – at this time of year so many people view getting healthy as a terrible chore that they need to do. Let me suggest that you view it differently this year. Try viewing it as a positive thing, think of how much energy you will have, how great you will feel and look and how much more fun you can have because you actually have the energy to get moving again… and remember eating healthy and exercising should be fun in itself if done properly.
Happy New Year from Paul Murphy The Creator of the 50 Year Body Plan!
(My cheeky dig at the 5-minutes-ab-amazing-body-in-just-10-minutes-lot!)