So many people set themselves up for failure when they start a new health and fitness routine. At Recreate we want you to succeed, so read on for my advice on what not to do...
1. Don't start a fad diet
Wherever you look, there is a different diet that claims to offer a quick weight-loss solution to help you achieve your goals. However, most fad diets are based on quick-fix theories and short-term results. These diets will work over a short period, as they are mostly low-kilojoule diets. This means that the energy intake they prescribe is often substantially lower than a person's general daily requirements. As a result, these diets are hard to keep up over a long period. Your best option is to increase your exercise while getting a nutritional balance of carbohydrates, fats and proteins into your body every day.
2. Don't look for a quick fix
The classic example of a quick fix is the 1 month gym membership. Setting short term goals and only wanting to work hard for a month can be a recipe for disaster. You may see loads of 4-8 week challenges around, and don't get me wrong these are awesome programmes that work extremely well, however they must be used as a kick-start to build a routine and not a 4-week answer to lose 5kgs and then go on your merry way. If you don't make it a routine, that magical 5kgs will be straight back on in no time!
3. Don't expect too much too soon
Consistency gets results. Anyone in the gym you look up to, or any sportsperson, will have been training for months, years and even decades. So if you think that after 8 weeks that nothing's working for you, try giving it a decent crack. Everybody is different and everybody will react differently to training depending on genetics, muscle fibre type and body shape. So stick at it, keep trying to improve and remember the only person you are trying to beat is yourself.
4. Don't use Google for advice
There are many different opinions within the fitness industry. You may read things on Google but don't take everything you read as black and white. Try using Google Scholar next time you want to look something up, and take note that what works for Jimmy down the road might not work for you. It's an ever better idea to talk to a personal trainer and/or a nutritionist to get a programme tailored for you.
5. Don't get stuck in a negative mindset
One aspect that people often overlook when getting into a fitness routine is their mindset. You need to believe in yourself and to believe in your goals. According to Carol Dweck, a US leading psychologist and author of the book 'Mindset', there are two different categories:
- Fixed mindset - the belief your qualities are carved in stone.
- Growth mindset - the belief that your basic qualities are things you can cultivate through effort.
A common example of this in the gym is someone trying to do a chin up (we all want to do a chin up). A person with a fixed mindset will say 'I can't do chin ups and I'm not going to do well on this workout.' Where as person with a growth mindset would say 'I have never done a chin up but that's one aspect I can work on to help me improve for the future.'
The brilliant thing is that your mindset is up to you! So which one do you want?
- Nik #noexcuses