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THE NEW YEAR FITNESS DUPE.

With the holiday season drawing to a close, the new year fitness resolutions are becoming high on our priority list. If you indulged, drank too much and spent far more time on the couch than in the gym, then you’ll know what I’m talking about.

‘That’s it. On January 1st I’ll get back into the gym and start my diet’.

Sound Familiar?

For years now it has been societal convention to begin the new year with a ‘resolution’, and for obvious reasons our fitness is the primary focus.

Lose weight, eat healthier, exercise more and so the list goes on.

However, what many of you don’t realise, as consumers, is that this is the time of the year when then fitness industry cashes in on your holiday gluttony by selling you gimmicks, quick fixes and other bulls*** diet plans.

This repetitive cycle of Indulge –> Guilt –> Resolution, is something that the fitness industry is aware of and seeks to capitalise on in what is a time of vulnerability and high motivation to make a quick buck.

It’s time to get your BS detector out and ensure that your new year fitness plan is built on solid foundations, and this article will help you determine what you should and should not be doing.

1.  Spot The Detox

To quote nutrition expert Alan Aragon directly:

‘With the holidays & new year’s celebrations in full-swing, people tend to over-eat, over-drink, and over-do everything. What follows the “season to be jolly” is the inevitable deluge of “detox” programs & scams that hucksters (and sometimes well-meaning people) shove in everyone’s face. Do yourself a favor and don’t buy into any of it.’

The research does not support their efficacy either:

‘At present, there is no compelling evidence to support the use of detox diets for weight management or toxin elimination’. Considering the financial costs to consumers, unsubstantiated claims and potential health risks of detox products, they should be discouraged by health professionals and subject to independent regulatory review and monitoring

Drinking alcohol is not the problem nor is eating chocolate pudding. Eating & drinking too much of the aforementioned is what causes excessive fat gain. Elimination and radical protocols such as ‘detoxing’ is not going to solve your body composition problems.

Oh, and don’t forget that the function of the liver is to detox your body. Provided you drink adequate water; it can detox your body just fine!

2. Identify Lifestyle Overhauls

The new year overhauls can be somewhat tricky to identify. However, if you’re like me and want to make some real gains in the new year, then whatever plan that you may be looking to follow MUST be sustainable. Nobody ever got lean or jacked in 7 days or even a month!

An important question to ask yourself before embarking on any program is:

‘Can I sustain this exercise & nutritional protocol for 3 months, 6 months or for one year?’

If the answer to the above question is a resounding no, then the plan must be quickly tossed to the side.

Further considerations include:

  1. Will the program/nutrition protocol be enjoyable?
  2. Will the program/nutrition protocol be flexible enough to allow for changes in motivation, work, life etc?

If the training or nutrition plan does not meet the aforementioned requirements, it is not sustainable long term and will yield short term results only. If you’re like me, you want your results to stick around for a while.

3. Evade Fitness FAD’s & Gimmicks

The unfortunate reality is that there is no magic or quick fix to losing weight or gaining muscle, strength or fitness. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

Fitness equipment.

Workout plans.

Exercise DVDs.

Nutrition books.

Online Fat loss plans; and

Weird looking objects that typically end up stored under your bed in a few weeks…

These are just a few of the gimmicks that are massive hits with new years resolution-ers.

To lose any weight you may have gained over the break you don’t need a new fancy machine or workout program.

Fat loss and weight management is a function of our net energy balance over time:

Calories IN vs Calorie OUT

The problem with the festive season is that typically there is a large shift in one direction.

Can you guess which one?

So, it is therefore imperative that we get that balance of energy (Calories) back in favour of a lean, healthy physique.

Here is a short list of what you should be doing in the new year to lose those Christmas kilo’s:

  1. Establish consistent eating behaviours leading to a calorie deficit
  2. Drink more water
  3. Eat more vegetables
  4. Avoid restriction and elimination
  5. Exercise moderation & balance
  6. Engrain positive exercise habits to assist creating a calorie deficit

The best plans are the ones which you can follow for the longest period of time, which the new year dupe’s typically are not. So the only new year resolution you must make to yourself is to avoid unsustainable plans, detoxes, lifestyle overhauls and fitness FAD’s & gimmicks.

Jacob Schepis

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