Firstly celebrate who you are right now, dress with confidence and start believing in the person you want to be. The mind doesn't know the difference between the present and the future, by having a positive focus on who you want to become will help with the process.
Then it's important to start with your reason why. Not the 'I just want to lose a few pounds and I'll be happy'. You need to go a little deeper and ask yourself the question again with 'how will it make me feel'. Then you dig a little further and ask yourself 'with feeling like that what will it then enable me to do'. You can keep going until you hit the sweet spot of your reason why. This could be that you want to feel more confident in the office, less anxious when in a room full of people or you want to be a good role model for your children.
Knowing your reason why is like the 'golden ticket' and will help you through the days when your resolve isn't as strong!
Then follow these 9 simple steps to achieve your goal.
Remember it is not the destination but the journey that matters the most. You will start to see the qualities of consistency, discipline, commitment and resolve, all of which are powerful in both your personal and professional life.
1. Reduce or eliminate processed foods
These are high in saturated fat, sugar and salt all of which are contributory factors to the risk of type 2 diabetes, strokes and coronary heart disease.
2. Improve your Sleep
Lack of sleep activates the sympathetic nervous system causing an increase in heart rate, vasoconstriction (blood pressure), cortisol (stress hormone), atherosclerosis (blocking of the coronary arteries), bad LDL cholesterol and a reduction in the good HDL cholesterol.
3. Eat your 5 a day of fruits and vegetables
UK guidelines recommend eating around 30g of fibre per day, which will not only help you feel fuller but will increase the health of your gut microbiota and help boost your immunity.
4. Aim to drink 3 litres of water per day
Our bodies are made up of between 40-70% water depending on how much fat mass we hold. It helps lubricate the joints, allows the body cells to grow, reproduce and survive, keeps mucosal membranes moist, is essential for the brain to manufacture hormones and neurotransmitters as well as transporting nutrients through the body and flushing out body waste.
5. Do cardio exercise at least 3 times a week
UK guidelines recommend that we should do medium intensity activity for 150 mins or 75 mins of vigorous activity per week. Aim to get your 10k steps in daily and increase your non exercise activity thermogenesis (NEAT) e.g. fidgeting, housework, taking the stairs etc.
6. Lift weights at least twice a week
Muscle strengthening exercises help with the ability to perform everyday tasks and slow down the rate of muscle and bone loss associated with ageing. They can also help with your posture (if the exercises are performed correctly), reduce aches and pains and lower your risk of injury.
7. Take time to relax
Practise deep breathing and being mindful to help calm the sympathetic nervous system. High levels of stress are damaging to the body and over time will contribute to disease
(as the body is at dis-ease).
8. Increase your weights when training to induce progressive overload
To elicit muscle growth (and no that's not to become a body builder but is important for actually holding on to what you have got) you need to challenge your muscles. This can be achieved either by time under tension (TUT) or increasing the load both until failure is reached. Failure is when you cannot complete any more reps with good and correct form. Failure needs to be repeated continually to stimulate growth.
9. Rinse and Repeat
Consistency is key and will win the day. You need to have a diet that you feel you can stick to and a simple workout plan that you will enjoy. Keep going regardless and relish the process. This will hard wire good habits into the brain that will make it all become easier and part of your daily routine.
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