It's this time of year that everyone starts going hell-for-leather with health - cutting out all alcohol, sugar, dairy and carbs all at once, signing up for half marathons and drinking a litre of green juice every day in a bid to rid our bodies of December's excess. But does going hard at health like this ever really work? The statistics say no. Only 8% of New Year's resolutions succeed and only 10% of diets actually work. If you are one of those lucky 10% who managed to fit into your jeans by March, sadly, only 5% of you are likely to keep the weight off for good. When it comes to exercise, nearly 40% of people who sign up to the gym at the beginning of January will have quit by the end of the month.
Why is the failure rate so high at the beginning of the year? In my opinion, cutting back on so many things at once is just a recipe for disaster. On a basic level it's just too darn difficult, too miserable, and we all know that when you cut back on food, all you can do is obsess about it, and as a result many people just end up eating more. Plus, it's just too depressing to undertake all this in January. January is the month of terrifying tax returns, hideous weather, lack of daylight, bad skin and frizzy hair - who needs no food, no alcohol and extreme exercise thrown into the mix? As for detoxing? Whilst I think there's a case for 'proper detoxing' i.e. under proper supervision at a good clinic (the Mayr springs to mind), I don't think 3 days on a juice fast is helpful, and our amazing bodies are designed to detox themselves every day anyway. There is also evidence to say that starving yourself makes you put on weight faster afterwards since your body goes into self preservation mode. A colleague of mine did a juice fast that messed up her metabolism and she ended up putting on a stone afterwards in a month.
So if we are not writing about diets and detoxing, then what, you may ask, are we going to write about this January? For us it's all about optimum, positive wellness - it's NOT about deprivation (although you will have to cut out junk food I'm afraid). It all starts with changing your mindset - healthy people think positively about healthy, tasty food, knowing that it nourishes every cell in their bodies. They don't think of exercise as a negative thing - they find a way of moving that they enjoy. This is essential for a successful health regime.
Next, eating fresh, nutritious home-made food and moving regularly is the only route to a strong, healthy body and better mindset, and it really is no more complicated than that. When it comes to losing weight, if you eat fresh food, free from additives and cut all the junk from your diet (you have to be honest with yourself about the sneaky treats) I promise you won't ever have to diet again - the weight will drop off.
To mark this fresh outlook, over the next 30 days, we are showcasing 30 Days of Wellness on Get The Gloss with the hashtag '#StartBetter' . We've asked our world-class experts for their best advice on kicking the year off with a positive body and mind. There'll be easy everyday nutritional tips, recipes for healthy lunches to take to work, as well as the 10 healthy ingredients everybody should have in their cupboards. We'll tell you how to make exercise fun and how to ignore the fitness gremlins in your head(we all have them), as well as practical advice on the basics such as how to choose the right trainers. Last but not least, we're going to discuss our minds and how to start the year with a positive mindset, from beating the January blues to ways in which you can successfully remove stress from your life for good.
Finally, I have one piece of personal advice - remember that it's the start that stops most people. It might seem like a huge hurdle right now, but just make one step in the right direction as you never know where that will lead. I started exercising three years ago from almost zero fitness. At first I would stop, half way down the lane gasping for breath, convinced I was dying. But slowly, very slowly, the more I exercised the better I wanted to eat, the better I ate, the greater the changes in my body and how I felt, and slowly, verrrry slowly I got very fit, losing 13% of my body fat in the process. Last year I ended up competing in two triathlons, running a 10k and cycling round Ibiza. It's been an incredible and often very tough journey but like I always say, it's the hard that makes it so damn great. I'm not saying anyone has to do a triathlon AT ALL, but please just start. Don't over complicate it - just move and eat well.
2015 is going to be about how to be the best version of yourself, and we are here to help. #StartBetter with us...