In a world full of pizza, chips and cola, it’s not easy to eat clean. Throw in cozy winter mornings and it becomes doubly difficult to wake up early and hit the gym. We get it. To help overcome some of these hurdles, we decided to call in the experts. No matter what your track record, this easy-to-follow guide will keep you consistent and accountable. Pilates trainer Namrata Purohit, who’s responsible for the fabulous physiques of Malaika Arora, Kareena Kapoor Khan and Sonakshi Sinha, says, “When making your resolution, the most important thing to bear in mind is that it has to be sustainable through the year.”
Start small, train smart
If the monotony of a gym bores you, shake things up. Sign up for trial classes for a few different things like Pilates, Zumba and power yoga to see which one works for you. “Find what you enjoy so that you don’t give up mid-way,” Namrata says.
A fresh year brings new opportunities and while you may be raring to go, don’t make any drastic changes to your life just yet. “Make sure your goal is realistic and time efficient. You don’t want to spend hours at the gym — 40 minutes of exercise, four to five times a week is enough. Eat healthy but don’t eat less. And lastly, get a good eight hours of sleep. These are the three main aspects of fitness,” Namrata says. And if you’ve been binging on desserts through the party season, hitting the treadmill with a vengeance to make up for it is a bad idea.
Tracking progress and seeing the difference in your body and energy levels can keep you motivated to see your resolution through. “Weight loss depends on a number of factors like metabolism, hormones and body type. Losing anywhere between 0.5 to 1 kg a week is healthy, although it’s better to measure progress by recording inch loss and BMI,” she recommends.
Mind over body
As anybody who’s ever tried following a workout plan knows, there *will* be days when you just can’t push yourself to hit the gym, or when you decide to skip Pilates class to Netflix (and chill). And that’s okay. “You may feel discouraged but you need to bounce back. You may slip a few times but your attitude should be that of never giving up. It’s like a math sum — eventually you’ll get it right,” says clinical psychologist Seema Hingorrany.
Seema also recommends factoring in mental health while setting and tracking resolutions. For instance, if you’ve committed to mindful eating this year, go easy on yourself when PMS makes an unwelcome appearance. “Similarly, if you have anxiety or depression, you may not be able to always eat healthy or get up early in the morning [to exercise],” she says.
When zeroing in on fitness goals, give yourself monthly or quarterly targets so that frustration doesn’t set in. Maintaining a journal is a super useful technique that helps you stay on track and chart your progress. “Transformation takes time and willpower. Keeping a record gives it structure. Also, I often see people getting obsessive about their resolutions. The whole idea is to use resolutions as reminders,” Seema says.
So, go ahead and smash 2019. You’ve got this.
Featured photograph: Getty Images