How not to fail in achieving your fitness goals – Tips & Tricks

The first step to avoid failure in achieving your fitness goals is….drumroll please! These 5 tips that I’m about to share.

These 5 tips will simply help you sail through your fitness journey and will have you looking fit and gorgeous in no time at all!

Wait…

That’s a whole bunch on BS…

It doesn’t work that way.

And the reason why a bunch of tips can’t help you stay on track with your fitness goals, is because you need to define your own goals. Which means, you need to first sit down and think….what is success and what is ‘failure’ in that sense.

Here I’m going to tell you a little story about myself to help explain what I mean, 5 years ago, I weighed 82 kilos. Felt and looked my worst. I was eating clean and healthy food, but for some reason my body wasn’t showing any results. I got a personal trainer with whom I trained 3-4 days a week for 3 months. At the end of 3 months, I gained a kilo so I was 83 kilos.

Listening to this, many of you would right away jump to the conclusion that engaging this personal trainer was a ‘failure’ since I didn’t lose any weight. Yes, that’s one way of looking at it.

At my heaviest at 83-84 kgs while on personal training

However, here was my take on things that changed for me:

  • I started waking up early. Because I knew my trainer is waiting for me.
  • Whenever I was travelling during this period and carrying luggage, I felt better and less pain in my joints
  • My skin was starting to glow again
  • My blood circulation and sleep improved – I had sleep apnea and the poor breathing would cause cramps while sleeping at night
  • I felt I was doing something to regain control of my health. That is the most important feeling ever – to feel like you have control over your own body and health. It is a really powerful feeling.

So at the end of 3 months when I gained a kilo, sure I felt slightly disappointed. My trainer was disappointed too, but by then I had figured something out. That I won’t let a stupid kilo on the weighing scale decide my failure or success. Just as I’ve listed above, it can be decided by so many other things.

Still the same weight but in slightly better health

What you focus on, you can expand. So I decided that I will focus on that good feeling I get from exercise. I will listen to songs that motivate me and get me feeling happy and upbeat. I will wear bright colours to the gym that make me feel like I’m worth dressing up for.

So yes, if I had set a target of losing 20 kilos in 6 months, I would have been miserable because I would’ve had to starve myself, workout much harder to lose the weight – which would have strained my 83 kilo frame.

Which brings me to another point, if you are heavy, then you need to start slow and gentle. In the beginning we just need to get our body introduced to working out and sweating – which helps get rid of a lot of stored up toxins.

The only way you’re going to be gentle and patient with yourself is when you KNOW that you’re going to stick to this for life.

Me at present. Still have a long way to go but sticking to it.

Understand this, athletes who eat clean, who are shredded and have amazing flexibility and stamina built it over a period of time. Think of good habits in the same way, make one little change and stick to it diligently – till it becomes ingrained in your mind and till your body gets used to it. Then add another habit and so on.

This is how you will build long lasting results and will achieve your fitness goals.

By crash dieting and working out furiously, you are just doing enough to fit into that dress or look good for an occasion – and that is not fitness or health. It’s self-sabotage. The side effects of constant weight gain and loss include loose flabby skin caused by lack of muscle mass.

You have one life, make fitness the top priority and fit in everything else around that. Hope this helped someone who needed to read it and figure out their goals.

Cheers! Stay fit!

Fitness | How to get started: Eating Clean

Every one of us is different. We are at different ages and stages of our lives. Our health conditions vary, our levels of fitness or fat also vary. Therefore, you should always approach your own fitness journey without comparisons. It is your own path. Don’t set yourself up for failure from the beginning. What works for you may not work for someone else. As long as you’re in tune with yourself, you will find what works best for you. Having said that, here are some tips that will help you figure out clean eating for yourself:

  1. Drink more water. This is applicable for most people who don’t move around enough and even for athletes who need to be reminded about basics from time to time. Drinking water helps you feel full, it regulates your digestion, helps with blood circulation and its zero calories. Drinking more water also helps reset your taste buds. So if you’re someone who’s always craving flavoured beverages, then water will help ‘re-set’ your cravings for something more natural.
  2. Reduce processed foods. Processed foods are foods that come in cans, foods that have been artificially preserved and can last a long time on your shelves. Things such as potato chips, processed meats like ham and salami, ready to eat frozen foods such as samosas and paranthas. The amount of chemical additives in such foods is much higher than the nutritional value of these foods (which is almost nil). So basically, you’re making yourself sick by eating these foods – therefore, avoid.
  3. Avoid foods that raise your blood sugar levels really fast. This is because such foods, lead to insulin imbalances in your blood and increase your cravings a lot more. These are mostly sugar based foods such as ketchup, dhokla (which is doused with sugar syrup), tamarind sauce, Indian sweets, caramel, butterscotch, all sugared aerated drinks, cakes and desserts sold at pastry shops, any type of white bread.
  4. Eat more of foods that are filling and help regulate your metabolism. Eating healthy fats such as those found in nuts, coconut oil, olive oil, ghee. Don’t shy away from fats as long as you don’t overdo your consumption of these. Fats help you stay full longer and actually aid in fat burning.
  5. Eat more proteins. Proteins are the building blocks of our muscles, hair, nails and our skin. Proteins also help you stay full for longer and help burn fat while being digested. Proteins are found in pulses (dals) and beans such as chickpeas and kidney beans (choley and rajma) and for non-vegetarians in meat and seafood. However, since a lot of poultry these days is injected with antibiotics which in turn causes hormonal issues in humans, it is best to consume poultry from organic sources or limit the overall intake. I personally choose fish over chicken (but one can never be sure of the contaminants in either).

Health food for fitness concept with fresh fruit, vegetables, pulses, herbs, spices, nuts, grains and pulses. High in anthocyanins, antioxidants,smart carbohydrates, omega 3 fatty acids, minerals and vitamins

6. Eat more greens: yes, your mother was right! More green leafy stuff, more spinach (palak), broccoli, celery, snow peas, green beans, avocado and rocket lettuce – just add these into your meals to make them more nutritious. Green leafy vegetables are rich in fibre, antioxidants and minerals and vitamins. If you can source more organic vegetables then that’s even better. A great way to cook these veggies is to simply stir fry them with garlic, sea salt, sesame oil and a dash of light soy sauce. Add in your proteins to make it a complete meal.

7. Consume more healthy fibre. A lot of times eating extremely clean (no carbs, high fat and high protein diets) can play havoc with our systems. We need to balance it out from time to time and give our systems a rest from excessive protein and fat. Thats when fibre – both water soluble and insoluble help clean up your system. Water soluble fibre such as oats or brown rice are a great way to get some energy in and keep your tummy happy. Insoluble fibre such as isabgol are great for cleaning or regulating your digestive system. However, when consuming more fibre, make sure you increase your intake of water and probiotics to make sure there’s enough good bacteria hanging out in your system.

These are broadly my guiding principles of clean eating. As long as you imbibe them, you should be able to stay on track with your health goals (of which exercise & weight training is a major aspect). The idea is to eat right for life. As long as you follow this 80% of the time, and 20% of the time you struggle, that’s fine too. Each time you’ve had a bad week, bad hour or even a bad month, just turn it around. Get up, get a good workout in, Eat clean, sleep well, drink more water and repeat. Repeat till one day you’re not struggling anymore and this is second nature. Good luck!