1. Trust the professional
Modern day media is full of quick fix trends that companies have often paid influencers to post on their channels. This mentality of chasing the pound has made our lives as professionals a lot harder. Please only take exercise advice from a qualified personal trainer or nutritional plans from a qualified nutritionist/dietician. Our job is to put your interests at the centre and to create lifestyles that are sustainable.
2. Be honest with yourself
When looking to change your current lifestyle, you need to be honest with yourself. I’ve worked with many people in the past who on first meet say their lifestyle is healthy. We then set a task of taking a photo of everything you eat and drink in a week and 7/10 times, it’s not as healthy as they first thought. There is a lot of subconscious snacking, lack of water or hangover meals that could feed a family, not one person! By taking photos, there is nowhere to hide.
3. Extremes never work
The key about lifestyle choices, are the fact they are sustainable…for life. They should start with small changes and then build over time as your behaviors change. To go from years of overeating, or doing no exercise, to a highly restrictive diet and the gym five times a week, will end in disaster. You’ll probably do well for maybe a couple of weeks and then fall off the wagon. Ease yourself in gently with the help of professionals who can tailor plans to your level.
4. Habits never die
For me, it’s so important for people to start building habits that lead to a healthy lifestyle. You can never completely eradicate habits. The key is to look at cognitively substituting a bad habit with one which is less bad. If you’re someone who goes out every weekend, the idea of becoming a hermit and never going out again is doomed to fail before you’ve even started. Instead of looking at the extremes, change that vodka Red Bull for vodka soda and fresh lime. You’ve instantly turned a 250kcal drink into a 70kcal drink alternative and you won’t be outcast by your friends.
5. Getting enough sleep
Getting enough sleep is such a key factor to keeping your body operating at 100 per cent. Personally, I think the hours needed for sleep really depends on the person but what’s more important is getting the same amount each night and at the same time. This allows your body to create habits and start the production of melatonin, the hormone that regulates your sleep cycle.
6. Water, water, water
Most of us don’t drink enough water every day. With water being essential to carry out body functions, remove waste, and carry nutrients and oxygen around our body, we need to keep ourselves topped up. You can also mistake thirst for hungry which means we run the risk of over eating when we under drink.
7. Creating morning and evening rituals.
Rituals can be as simple as planning your food choices the night before or putting a ban on using your phone the hour after you wake up and the hour before you go to bed. These rituals are repeated actions and even small ones like these, grow and accumulate to help you reach the wider goals.
8. Don’t be afraid to say no
Say no to drinking or nights out if you don’t feel like doing them. It happens all too often that you wake up from a night out, hungover and think – was that really worth it? Why not use that money from a night out and treat yourself to some self-care. Go get a massage, manicure, buy that book you’ve been wanting to read for ages and decide on the type of night you want to have.
9. Choose your friend group wisely
It’s a well known fact that your personality is defined by the circle of close friends you spend most of your time with. This becomes very apparent when there is someone constantly complaining or pulling you into unhealthy situations. It might be hard to make the break, but by distancing yourself from toxic people, your attitude may completely change.
10. If you’re not happy, change it
As someone who completely changed their career and outlook at the age of 27, there is never a point in your professional life that you should ‘settle’. If there is something you’re not happy with, whether that’s in relationships or work, you have the power to change it. Waking up with a clear conscience and the drive to tackle the day will mean all your tasks including exercise will not feel like a chore.