What a year we have all had. Everyone's hoping that 2021 will look better for humanity at large. As you transition into the new year, as always, some tips and tricks to get you healthier and fitter relative to your current status. Happy almost New Year!
Disclaimer: I wrote this article for a magazine 6 years ago! Unsurprisingly enough, the strategies and tips are as applicable as you prep for 2021 as they were in 2015.
Yes, it’s that time of the year again. There’s vanity all around us and if my clients didn’t know me any better, I too would be getting badgering calls like most nutritionists next month pleading ways to magically fit a smaller dress size. Luckily for me, I don’t have to conceal scorn toward such ideologies.
And as you, my beloved reader, get past this month and onto the next year, you too will be faced with similar conundrums. Should you starve a few days? Should you do a ‘liver cleanse’ start of the year given how much you strained your liver New Year’s eve? Should you vow to make it to those slimming steam sessions? Before you make decisions, it is important that in your arsenal, at the very least, you have the right kind of information.
So in the interest of ensuring that you’re healthy all through 2021 and not just for the first 27 days, below are some tips to add to your toolkit:
*Spoiler alert: Liver cleanses, detoxes, starvation, restriction, limitation and other trendy but temporary fixes aren’t part of the list.*
1. Slow and steady - Alcohol and Food
If you really want to start the year with your forehead in your palms healing the queen mother of all hangovers, suit yourself. All I am saying is that if you sip your alcohol slowly through the night, you’ll have the last laugh (both at the party and the next day).
Along similar lines, eat small snacks which you space out through the night instead of overeating all at once. Trust me, your stomach will thank you the next day (well, it will thank you immediately but you’ll only really be able to appreciate it’s worth the next day).
2. Realistic goals
One of the non-negotiable rules I have with my clients is that he/she is not allowed to say, think or believe that he/she is ‘on a diet.’ The minute you say you’re on a diet, you automatically imply that this isn’t a long-term solution and that you intend to go ‘off the diet’ at some point.
Your goal is to be healthier and fitter than you were yesterday and find ways to make that happen for yourself, not to starve/limit/restrict and be miserable in the bargain.
“No one’s ever achieved financial fitness with a January resolution that’s abandoned by February.”–Suze Orman
We don’t abandon our financial fitness in a month because we never see that as an option. If we need to, we re-strategise and we constantly aspire to do better. There’s no reason why it should be any different with your health goals.
If you realise in a month that your goals may have been too unrealistic, you re-evaluate and tweak them as opposed to abandoning them completely.
4. Focus on doing, not being
You have control over what you can do and that is what you should seek to achieve.
‘Do X amount of workouts each week’ ✔️
‘Lose inches’ X
‘Eat 2 fruits a day’ ✔️
‘Be thin’ X
‘Eat homemade meals X times a week’ ✔️
‘Fit into X pair of clothing’ X
Resolve to be a doer, an executer and what you do will eventually impact who you are anyway.
5. Be smart
Many organisations will try and sell you gimmicks and quick-fixes under the pretext of New Year deals. Please be smarter and more evolved and above all of that. They are playing on your insecurities and if you haven’t seen that already, it’s time that you do.
6. Stop with the clichés
Stop being a cliché who says—I will wake up tomorrow morning for a workout and end up snoozing each day. Start with evening workouts if that’s the more plausible option for you and transition to mornings once you’ve experienced the endorphin release and happiness that comes post-workout. Re-living that each night should help you wake up the next day.
7. Seek professional help
There’s no shame in seeking professional help. In fact, it’s quite the trend now. Think of it as an investment toward your long-term good health. A trained exercise professional to monitor your form, to identify when to push you versus when to let you be and a qualified health professional to guide you with your meals and find foods which fit the parameters of your lifestyle might be just what you need to get your life back on track.
There’s a superstition which goes that how you commence your year is what you’ll end up doing all year. So set the right tone at the start of the year itself and at the end of next year, you won’t find yourself caught in the same rut all over again.
To your health,