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Get Ready for Quitters Day: Nutrition and Fitness Tips to keep you Motivated

  1. Set Realistic and Achievable Goals: Avoid setting drastic or unattainable goals and instead focus on small, specific, and measurable milestones.
  2. Find Your Motivation: Identify your intrinsic motivation, the internal drive that keeps you committed to your health and fitness resolutions.
  3. Create a Sustainable Nutrition Plan: Opt for a balanced and sustainable diet, avoiding extreme diets or calorie restrictions.
  4. Incorporate Variety in Your Workouts: Keep your exercise routine interesting by trying different types of exercises and activities that you enjoy.
  5. Master your mind: Cultivating a positive mindset to keep you motivated.
  6. Seek Professional Guidance: Don't hesitate to seek advice from professionals like sports nutrition experts or certified personal trainers when needed to personalize your fitness plan.

Introduction.

As January dawns, many individuals are filled with enthusiasm and determination to kickstart their New Year's resolutions, with health and fitness often taking the top spot on the list. However, there's a peculiar day that arrives every year, known as "Quitters Day," which falls around mid-January. It's the day when many people begin to lose steam and give up on their resolutions. But fear not! Our performance nutritionist, dedicated to helping you achieve your goals, is here to provide you with valuable insights and tips on how to stay committed to your nutrition and exercise resolutions throughout the year.

1. Set Realistic and Achievable Goals.

One of the main reasons people give up on their resolutions is setting unrealistic goals. Instead of aiming for drastic changes overnight, focus on setting small, achievable milestones. These goals should be specific, measurable, and time-bound (SMART). For example, rather than saying, "I want to lose 40 lbs in a month," set a goal like, "I will aim to lose 1 - 2 lbs per week by making healthier food choices and exercising regularly."

Research has shown that individuals who set realistic goals are more likely to stick with their resolutions. A study published in the American Journal of Health Promotion found that people who set specific, attainable goals were 10 times more likely to achieve them compared to those who didn't.

2. Find Your Motivation.

Motivation is the driving force behind your commitment to nutrition and exercise. Discover what truly motivates you and reminds yourself of it regularly. Whether it's improving your performance in sports, achieving a leaner physique, or enhancing your overall well-being, having a clear and personal motivation will keep you on track.

A study in the Journal of Obesity found that intrinsic motivation, which comes from within, is more effective in sustaining long-term exercise and dietary changes compared to extrinsic motivation (external rewards or pressures). So, identify your intrinsic motivation and use it as your fuel to overcome Quitters Day.

3. Build a Sustainable Nutrition Plan.

When striving towards your fitness goals, having a sustainable nutrition plan is crucial. It's not just about what you eat, but how you fuel your body. Avoid extreme diets or drastic calorie restrictions, as they can lead to burnout and increase the likelihood of quitting. Instead, focus on making gradual and lasting changes to your eating habits.  

Balance Your Macronutrients: Carbohydrates, proteins, and fats are vital as they are rich in essential nutrients, fibre, and antioxidants. They provide sustained energy and promote overall health. Try to incorporate a variety of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins into your diet. These foods will not only nourish your body but also keep you satisfied throughout the day.

Opt for Sustainable Nutrition Changes: Opting for gradual, small adjustments to your daily dietary habits can streamline the process of establishing a sustainable, healthier diet with long-term advantages. For instance, rather than eliminating foods from your diet, include foods, such as fruit and vegetables. Or give yourself a goal of hitting your daily protein intake and include protein rich foods, such as eggs, dairy, nuts, seeds, whey protein, in meals that may have previous been low in protein, such as breakfast or your snacks. 

This goes for indulgent treats like chocolate and cakes, also, rather than completely eliminating them in January, consider reducing their consumption. These small manageable changes will help your nutrition stay on track by allowing you to continue to enjoy the food choices you make.

Meal Prep for Success: Time can be a major barrier when it comes to maintaining a nutritious diet. However, with a little bit of planning, you can ensure that you always have healthy options available. Consider dedicating some time each week to plan and prepare your meals in advance. This will help you make healthier choices. However, when you are short on time or need something on-the-go choosing a high protein option, such as Gold Standard 100% Whey protein, can help to keep your nutrition on track.

A study published in the International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity found that meal prepping can positively influence dietary choices and improve weight management.

4. Incorporate Variety in Your Workouts.

Exercise should be enjoyable and not feel like a chore. To prevent boredom and maintain your commitment to working out, incorporate variety into your fitness routine. Try different types of exercises, such as strength training, cardio, yoga, or sports that you enjoy.

Research in the Journal of Sport and Health Science suggests that varying your exercise routine not only prevents monotony but also enhances overall fitness and reduces the risk of overuse injuries. Additionally, working out with a friend or joining a fitness class can provide social support and motivation.

5. Master Your Mind: The Role of Mindset and Self-Care Practices.

Cultivating a positive mindset is crucial for making lasting changes in your nutrition and fitness journey. When you approach it with a positive attitude, you are more likely to stay committed and motivated.

One way to cultivate a positive mindset is by setting realistic goals. As, already mentioned, start with small, achievable goals and celebrate each milestone along the way. This will keep you motivated and give you a sense of accomplishment.

Another important aspect is self-care. Taking care of yourself physically, mentally, and emotionally is key to maintaining healthy habits. Self-care practices can include getting enough sleep, practicing relaxation techniques like deep breathing or meditation, and engaging in activities that bring you joy and reduce stress.

Stress management is crucial for maintaining a healthy lifestyle. When stress levels are high, it can be challenging to stick to your nutrition and fitness routine. Find practical strategies that work for you, such as exercise, journaling, or talking to a friend or therapist. These strategies can help you manage stress and prevent it from derailing your progress.

6. Seek Professional Guidance.

If you're struggling to stay committed to your nutrition and exercise resolutions, don't hesitate to seek professional guidance. A sports nutrition expert or a certified personal trainer can provide personalized advice and help you create a tailored plan that aligns with your goals and preferences.

Numerous studies have highlighted the positive impact of working with professionals in the field. For instance, a review in the Journal of Obesity found that individuals who received guidance from nutrition professionals achieved greater improvements in dietary behaviors and weight loss.

Conclusion.

Quitters Day may be a common stumbling block for many, but with the right mindset and strategies, you can overcome it and stay committed to your nutrition and exercise goals throughout the year. Remember to set realistic goals, find your motivation, create a sustainable nutrition plan, incorporate variety into your workouts, and seek professional guidance when needed. By following these key principles, you'll be well on your way to unlocking your full potential and achieving your performance goals.

^Protein contributes to the growth and maintenance of muscle mass in conjunction with resistance exercise.

 

References.

  1. Norcross, J. C., et al (2002). Auld lang syne: success predictors, change processes, and self-reported outcomes of New Year's resolvers and nonresolvers. Journal of clinical psychology, 58(4), 397–405. https://doi.org/10.1002/jclp.1151
  2. Locke, E. A., & Latham, G. P. (2002). Building a practically useful theory of goal setting and task motivation: A 35-year odyssey. American Psychologist, 57(9), 705-717. https://doi.org/10.1037/0003-066X.57.9.705
  3. Deci, E. L., & Ryan, R. M. (1985). Intrinsic motivation and self-determination in human behavior. Plenum Press. https://link.springer.com/book/10.1007/978-1-4899-2271-7
  4. Teixeira, P. J., et al (2010). Mediators of weight loss and weight loss maintenance in middle-aged women. Obesity (Silver Spring, Md.), 18(4), 725–735. https://doi.org/10.1038/oby.2009.281
  5. Rossi, A., et al (2016). A systematic review of approaches to improve practice, dietary intake, weight or nutrition status in women during pregnancy in developed and developing countries. Journal of obstetrics and gynecology, 36(4), 365-372. https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s11695-023-06565-8
  6. Hogan, M. J., et al (2015). The effects of cardiorespiratory fitness and acute aerobic exercise on executive functioning and EEG entropy in adolescents. Frontiers in human neuroscience9, 538. https://doi.org/10.3389/fnhum.2015.00538
  7. Lin, J. S., O'Connor, et al (2014). Behavioral Counseling to Promote a Healthy Lifestyle for Cardiovascular Disease Prevention in Persons With Cardiovascular Risk Factors: An Updated Systematic Evidence Review for the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (US). https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/25232633/