Thursday 18 July 2019

Karl Henry: Five things to do when you fall off the wagon

School of Health Week 6: This week, our fitness expert says put pen to paper

By writing down your daily food intake, you can see where you are going wrong
By writing down your daily food intake, you can see where you are going wrong
Karl Henry

Karl Henry

Only two weeks left of our School of Health! Last week was a really important lesson. Having the ability to reflect and take stock is crucial, yet it's something that many people fail to do. Now that you have fixed what didn't work for you, you will be flying. This week, I want to discuss two key things - the first is positivity and the second is the five simple ways to get back on track after falling off the wagon.

Positivity is important to have yourself and to surround yourself with. It can improve your day, your relationships, your mood, your sleep... basically everything around you. It helps you to deal with all of those situations that come up during the day that so often derail your health. I know what you're thinking - that you're a glass half empty person and that's the end of it. Well, the good news is that you can change your ways.

Firstly, you should try to surround yourself with positive people, people who it feels good to be around. It's the easiest way to instantly feel better yourself and to learn from them in terms of how they view both life and situations.

Secondly, one of the reasons pessimists seem to spiral into a negative mess is that they don't allow themselves to step back from a situation, to take a moment and put together a plan to fix it. Just like we did last week in School of Health, stepping back and reflecting, and then building a plan, helps you to be more positive about the situation.

Finally, realise that life is tough. It's hard. There will be times that you will be tested and by choosing to deal with it better, choosing to be more positive from here on in, will make a big difference to your health.

With that in mind, when it comes to health, remember you will fall off the wagon at some stage - it's normal to do so. It's how you deal with such a situation that keeps you healthy. Put it behind you, don't dwell and get back to being healthy. Here are my five quick tips to help you get back on track quicker:

1. Night-time is usually the time when we have a slip-up, so ensure that the first meal the next day is a healthy one.

2. Don't feel guilty about going off track, just move on - forget what happened and start again.

3. If the same person causes you to fall off the wagon, or the same situation, then you possibly need to look at changing that.

4. Was your food too strict or your exercise over the top? Were you setting yourself up for failure? Either of those mean that you will more than likely fail, so make some changes.

5. Finally, if you feel you can't do it yourself then think about training with someone else. Set up a WhatsApp group of friends - sometimes that group support is all you need.

Finally, one other crucial tip that works so well for all of our clients is the holy grail of eating better and healthier - the food diary.

To regain some control over what you eat and drink, writing it down, either on paper or on notes on your phone, will get you back in control and back on track.

For some people it also serves as a reality check, as you never remember everything that you eat! When it's written down, you have nowhere to hide.

Homework: A new workout and less time

* Food — Six weeks in, you have learnt lots of new skills when it comes to food and cooking, realising just how easy it is to cook and have meals in the freezer. This week, let’s push the boat out: I want to you cook three new meals that you haven’t cooked before. Try some new recipes.


* Exercise — In another week of new things, let’s do the same with exercise. Try this workout and see how you go:

Jumping jacks, running on the spot, squats, lunges, press ups, tricep dips and plank. Try 60 seconds of each and five sets! Take it at your own pace and see how you get on.


* Motivation — This week’s motivation is to help someone else. I want you to bring someone out for a run, walk or workout — someone who you know could really do with the help. Helping others is one of the best things about being fit yourself.


* Lifestyle — Watch less TV! Aim to watch one hour less television per night this week. Try that as a challenge and fill your time with other things.

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