Health and fitness professionals are always quick to dismiss the old cliché ‘New Year, New You’.
They argue that part of the reason people struggle to get and stay healthy is because of ‘fads’ like this, but I happen to take a very different view.
When it comes to waist trainers and meal replacement shakes, I’m in full agreement that the fitness fad is a recipe for unrealistic expectations and eventual failure.
Chloe Madeley, 28, pictured working in the gym, found that sticking to her exercise and food goals started to pay off after three weeks – although she admits those first weeks were the hardest
Toned: The TV presenter and model is also a qualified personal trainer and nutritionist. ‘Your body is not going to change if you keep having the weekends off your diet,’ she warns
But when it comes to timelines that spark motivation? I am all for these.
The downside is that ‘fresh starts’, ‘clean slates’ and ‘New Year’s resolutions’ tend to get ditched after few months, weeks or even days.
What started as a committed promise to oneself ends up being a burden, because change is not easy, and on top of that, change takes time.
It’s a funny thing having a goal. It requires constant projection. When the present gets tough, you have to battle through it by imagining an outcome that is weeks, potentially even months, ahead.
It requires mental strength and serious patience, but there is good news.
Studies have shown that it takes us humans around three weeks to force a new habit into existence.
In other words, you only have to be strong for three weeks.
If you start working out a few days a week, if you start eating better, it DOES become easy and habitual eventually.
Motivated: Chloe, 28, puts some tunes on her iPhone to work out to. ‘Change is not easy, and on top of that, change takes time,’ she says
Personal trainers and fitness professionals are all in total agreement on this – if you stay 100 per cent on point with a healthy diet and training, you will start to see results around the four week mark. In other words, you only have to be patient for four weeks.
It took me about three weeks to see my body change, but the only reason it happened in the first place was because I was 100 per cent consistent. Which brings me to my next point.
You must remember the reason that so many people fail to change their body is because they give up or half ass it.
Your body is not going to change if you keep having the weekends off your diet.
It won’t change if you skip workouts.
It won’t change if you have a chocolate bar here or a bottle of wine there.
YOU HAVE TO STAY CONSISTENT.
Chloe pictured with her mum and dad, TV personalities Judy Finnigan and Richard Madeley, in 2007. ‘The reason that so many people fail to change their body is because they give up,’ Chloe argues
Chloe pictured with her England Rugby ace boyfriend James Haskill, 30. ‘Fitness fads are a recipe for unrealistic expectations and eventual failure,’ Chloe writes
Chloe recommends swapping veg for carbs and protein powders for wheat. ‘All your favourite meals can be made healthier’
WANT SOME TRICKS?
If you have a sweet tooth, add some Agave Syrup to things like porridge in the morning, Greek yoghurt as a snack or hot drinks throughout the day.
You can also have a few squares of dark chocolate as a snack, a tablespoon of nut butter or a tub of sugar free jelly!
Replace flour with protein powder and make pancakes, waffles or mugcakes.
If you are a carb fiend, make courgetti – shredded courgette that has the same consistency as spaghetti and is just as filling thanks to the fibre.
Also try cauliflower or broccoli rice – again, the texture is the same as couscous or rice but it tastes better and again, is very filling because it’s high in fibre.
Chloe has more than 57,000 followers on Instagram and posts shots of her workouts
Remember that all your favourite meals can be made healthier, because the simple fact is, you can never go wrong with protein and veg!
Stir frys, hearty soups, stews, chilli and healthy roast dinners are just some of the dinners I make.
And lastly, consider investing in some Tupperware boxes and preparing your food in advance.
Simply cook quadruple what you need for lunch and or dinner on a day off and voila, you have the next few days sorted.
It’s not as much of a nightmare as it sounds, I promise.
Be strong. Be patient. If you want it, you will do it.