Christmas has been and gone. I’m sure, like me, you are significantly poorer and feeling heavier. It’s the New Year and we are all full of good intentions, this is it “New Year, New Me”. I thought I’d give some ideas as to how to shift that festive weight quickly, safely, and long term!

1.Set yourself a goal. Not the usual two week diet before a holiday but set yourself something a real challenge.

If a marathon is on your bucket list, I can recommend the World famous Virgin Money London Marathon on 23 April or the flat and fast Berlin Marathon on 24 September. The only way to get entry into these races is via a charity, and why not help a fantastic cause all while getting fit?!

I am the Marathon trainer for Sense. Sense is a national charity that supports people whoare deafblind, have sensory impairments or complex needs, to enjoy more independent lives.

They have places in both races, but be quick, as the deadline for entering is coming up soon. I’m happy to advise you on all aspects of training for a marathon. Do something amazing, set yourself a goal, and have a fantastic 2017. To apply for a place or get more information, go to www.sense.org.uk/running

 

2.Start your day with the right way. Stop reaching for your phone and getting stressed with emails & mindless social media scrolling, or forcing yourself out of bed at 6am to get your HIIT session in (particularly with the colder, darker mornings upon us). You don’t need to.

Instead use the opportunity to get up work your core muscles on an empty stomach. There’s a huge benefit to do doing this.

– You will be able to engage you muscles more efficiently, building a deeper & stronger core.

– Working your core requires you to focus on your breathing. Not only will you notice improvements with your physical development, but relaxed breathing will get you mentally switched on for the day.

You don’t need to do thousands of sit-ups either. Choose 5 or 6 core & ab exercises (dependant on experience level), and combine them into super or giant sets. Breathe throughout and focus on tension throughout your core. Do this 3 times per week for a month and you will notice significant improvements to your posture & physique. You’ll have a 6-pack looking back at you in the mirror and you’re going to need a new wardrobe.

 

3. It’s often said that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. That, and you should eat like a King first thing, then like a Queen for lunch, and a Pauper for dinner. In my opinion, this is backwards.

What you are about to read I think is one of the biggest bang for your buck protocols that can influence your fat loss & calorie control. There has been a lot of buzz around intermittent fasting and, whilst I think it’s a great protocol for some, the majority of people will struggle long term with it.

What you need to consider, is calorie buffering. Swap your big breakfasts for something small. What I would suggest is a whey protein shake and a piece of fruit. That will give you 25-30g protein 10-15g carbohydrates, and less than 200 calories. This is enough to sustain you, along with a little tea & coffee, in the morning. I know you may lose points on Instagram posts with #foodporn, but what you do get is all those lovely calories to play with throughout the afternoon and evening.

Don’t be a Pauper before bed. Eat & then sleep like a satisfied King!

 

4. The key to results, whether shot or long term, is consistency. What I mean is, what can you comfortably work into your lifestyle which is manageable, realistic & wont impact other areas of your life. But at the same time can deliver unbelievable results.

This tip is simple. Just get moving! Another big buzz within the fitness world is HIIT. Whilst you can burn a lot of calories in a short amount of time, I don’t think it necessarily fits in with most people’s lives or it’s a long term protocol for results. I think there is an increased chance of injury, and also an increased chance of not doing the session as they generally hurt or are pretty uncomfortable.

I think a much better programme would be to stick with your 3-5 resistance based sessions per week, and to make a conscious effort working on your NEAT (Non-Exercise Activity Thermogenesis). Your NEAT basically consists of your daily movement levels which don’t count towards your exercise expenditure. Research has shown that increasing your NEAT can significantly impact fat loss. There are loads of activity trackers out there which will help you monitor your movement. Don’t underestimate the power of less is more (when it comes to training intensity).

Walk more, take the stairs, and get some fresh air. To be honest, if you follow these tips you’ll be getting more NEAT in the bedroom too.

Phil Roberton

Twitter: @philroberton

Instagram: proberton

Fitness; Personal Lifestyle Coach