In shape after christmas

As we all know and experienced it, this time of the year is definitely the most popular time to go on diets and start new exercise routines. How about doing it right this time? How about starting something today that will put you into better shape and make you feel better about yourself for a long time to come?

Starting one more new diet or trying one more new training program hoping to get into your bikini shape in few weeks is just not going to make it happen. And, instead of feeling better about yourself, it is more likely that you will be left with a feeling of worthlessness after failing one more time to get into shape. In reality, the truth be told, the only way is understanding how your body works and how it burns fat.

As starters, we must understand that to loose 1 kg of fat you need to burn 7500 kcal. As an average woman burns 1500- 2200kcal a day, burning 7500 kcal is obviously something impossible to do over night. Technically, loosing more than 0.5-1kg a week you are not losing fat, you are just eating up your own muscle mass.

As muscles are metabolic active, reduced muscle mass will affect your metabolic rate in a negative way, and going on different diets is a sure way to put on more and more weight. In the end you will find that although you are hardly eating you are still putting on weight. To top it, dieting cannot only crash down your metabolism but can also leave you with a feeling of failure and depression.

So what’s the solution here? Is there an easy way to get into shape and stay in shape?

You can only get into shape and loose weight successfully when you accept the fact that it is not a matter of losing as much weight as possible in the shortest time possible. 

It must all start in your mind. Successful weight loss can only begin when you accept and learn to change your lifestyle; and to do that you need to change your habits that basically control the way you live your life. It is first when you understand that the most important factors for getting into shape and staying in shape are actually more psychological rather than physical, that you can expect a change for life.

Consistent choices lay the foundation for your habits and your habits play a major role

in  how your future unfolds. This includes the habits you display to the business world

every day as well as the variety of behaviors that show up in your personal life.

First you have to discover how habits really work. Then you have to learn how to

identify your bad habits and how to integrate new and better habits into your lifestyle.



What is a habit? Simply stated a habit is something you do so often it becomes easy.

In other words, it’s a behavior that you keep repeating. If you persist at developing a

new behavior eventually it becomes automatic.

The great news is that you can reprogram yourself any time you choose to do so. If

you’re struggling loosing weight check out your exercise and eating habits? Are you in

the habit of overeating, under-eating, eating irregularly or are you eating junk food.

The key word is consistent, that means every day you practice good

habit you commit to a better health now and in the future.

If you want to feel healthier, thinner and better about your self, happier and

more successful in your life, understand that your habits will determine your future.

Healthy and people in good shape don’t drift to the top. It takes focused action, personal

discipline and lots of energy every day to make things happen. The habits you develop from this day                     day forward will ultimately determine how your future works out. Healthy or unhealthy.

 Fulfilled or unfulfilled. Rich or poor. Happy or unhappy Its your choice, so choose wisely.

Negative habits breed negative consequences. Successful habits create positive rewards


Developing successful habits takes time. The most common answer to how long it

takes to integrate an habit is about three-four weeks. It depends though how

old and integrated the old habit is how long time it takes to change it. What is

fascinating is that after 30 experiences with a new habit its harder not to do it

than to do it. Before you can change a habit you need to first check how long you have

owned it. If you have been doing something repeatedly for thirty years you may not be

able to let go of it in a few short weeks. Acknowledge the fact that a deeply entrenched

habit has long roots. Another factor about changing habits is the potential for slipping

back into your old patterns. This can happen when stress levels rise or unexpected

crises occur. The new habit may not be strong enough to resist these circumstances and

more time energy and effort will be required. To ensure consistency astronauts use a

checklist for every single procedure to ensure the same results every time. You can

create a similar fail safe system. It just takes practice. And its well worth the effort.

Imagine if you only changed four habits every year Five years from now you would

have twenty positive new habits Now, here is the thing would twenty positive new habits make a difference

 in your results? Of course Twenty successful habits can bring you a healthier and more

energized physical body all the money you want or need, wonderful loving relationship

plus all sorts of new opportunities. And what if you created more than four new habits

every year. Think of the possibilities.

As mentioned earlier many of our daily activities are simply routines, From the time

you get up in the morning until you retire at night, there are hundreds of things you do

 the same way. These include what you eat, when and where, the way you dress,

getting ready for the day, reading the paper, brushing your teeth, driving to the office,

greeting people, arranging your disk, setting up appointments, working on projects,

attending meetings, answering the phone and so on. If you’ve been doing these same

activities for years you have a set firmly entrenched habits. They involve every area of

your life including your work family, income, health, relationships and many more.

The sum total of these habits determines how your life operates. Simply stated this is

your normal behavior. As creatures of habit we are very predictable.  In many ways

this is good because others may view us as reliable, dependable and consistent.

However with too much routine, complacence sets in and life becomes boring. We

settle for less than we are capable of. In fact many of the activities that make up our

everyday normal behavior are performed unconsciously without thinking. Here is the

point Your every day normal behavior has a lot to do with the results in your life. If

you are not happy with these results something has to change.


By systematically improving one behavior at the time you can dramatically

improveyour overall lifestyle. This includes your health, income, relationships and time off

for fun.


You need constantly to refine your habits, develop the habit of changing your habits.



Its important that you really think about the future consequences of your bad habits. These may not show up tomorrow, next day or next year. The real impact could be years away. Example if you have bad eating habits you are not only risking obesity but also increasing the risk of having to face serious illnesses and symptoms later on. So when you examine your own bad habits consider the long term implications. Give yourself time to reflect. Reflective thinking allows you to pause so you can consider all of your options. Why do you want to change your habits??, What benefit will you gain from taking this course of action? What is the downside if it doesn’t work? How much time will it take? Be totally honest, your life and your health could be at stake.


Usually this is just the opposite of your bad habit. To motivate yourself think about all the benefits and rewards for adopting your new successful habit. This helps you create a clear picture of what this new habit will do for you. The more vividly you describe the benefits the more likely you are to take action. You can hang a picture of you in  your dream shape or even better, find a magazine cut out a body you like and glue on top of it your face. Every time you are about to open the fridge you will notice the picture and it will motivated not to fall into temptations.

You can also visualize the negative consequences if you don’t make a decision. Compare these with the positive benefits of moving forward. Then make a firm decision about what you are going to do. Making the decision is half the battle.


This is where the rubber meets the road. Make a plan how you are going to change each single habit. It you are thinking of changing your eating habits you really need to think through how you are going to do it.

Here are few tips.

1. Throw everything out of the cubed you have decided not to include in your daily diet. Ex sweets, biscuits, snacks etc. If you have kids and you want to keep sweets for them, try only to keep it in the house when you plan on giving it to them. Unhealthy food is certainly not good for your kids every day so use this as an opportunity to change their eating-habits as well.

2. Think of a substitute. If you are used to eat white bread, change it to brown bread. If you are used to eat butter try low fat spread cheese.  You will have suggestions from your nutritionist what you can substitute your favorite unhealthy food with.

3. Remember that excluding your favorite food (that is food that is high in fat or high in sugar or both) completely from your diet is not a good option. You should consider the changes you do in your diet as permanent changes, and except if you are willing to exclude your favorite food from your diet forever you should find a place for it sometimes during each week. A free day is a good option but its also possible to include your favorite food more often in small amount. Find appropriate solution with your nutritionist.

4. Sometimes detox diet can be highly beneficial, I don’t suggest that you start with it except if you are sick and it is crucial for your health. Starting detox diet right from the start will put you in a diet-mood which has usually the consequences of falling back into your old habits.

Don’t worry if you are not perfect all the time, nobody is. You will always have your ups and your downs, especially in the beginning. Be patient and don’t give up, keep trying.

Plan your diet in following way:

1. Make a shopping list of everything you need for the next week. Think of the habits you are working on and shop accordingly.

2. Sit down in the evening and write down what time you are going to have your meals and what you are going to eat. It is important that you concentrate on obtaining your goals for the week. For example if you are working on your breakfast be sure to try out the different alternatives that has been given to you. Also concentrate on your personal goals for the week

3. Prepare your food for the day and take it with you. If you plan to eat out make sure that you will find something suitable for you in the restaurant.

4. The most common reason for falling back into the old bad habits is disorganization. If you don’t plan ahead you will over and over again find your self in situations where you have no other option than eating unhealthy or eating nothing, and neither is good.

5. Do not attempt to change all your bad habits at once. Remember it has taken you many years to create these habits and you have repeated them so many times that they are now integrated into your whole system (your unconsciousness). Changing too many habits at once is going to take too much of your energy and before long you will find your self giving up. Choosing 1-3 habits for each week is more appropriate way and as you repeat your new habits over and over again they will soon become automatic.

6. Take action. Don’t wait until tomorrow because the risk is that tomorrow will never come. Throw away excuses like that you are invited to so many parties this month or that you have visitor coming. You will always be able to find excuses. 

7. Take action. Start with the habits that you really want to change. Focus on your immediate action steps and put them into practice. Do it now.

If you fail to plan, plan to fail!!!!!

Remember nothing will change until you do.


About healthmindbody

Helga Marin hails from Iceland and has over twenty years experience in fitness and health. She has been living in Dubai for the last 10 years where she conducted numerous workshops and seminars helping people to improve their health and general well being. She is the co founder of the successful weight loss programme “8 weeks to a new you” and she is also the founder of the New “Health Mind and Body” programmes that promote both Physical and mental Health through nutrition education, NLP/behavior modification and exercises. Prior to starting her own company, Helga worked for seven years at the GMC associated Clinics. Helga’s qualifications 1. Sport and Nutrition degree from the University of Sport in Stockholm, Sweden 2. BA in Psychology from University of Stockholm 3. NLP Master Practitioner certified by Paul McKenna and Richard Bandler (founder of NLP) 4. CTI Life coach level 1 5. Certified Personal Trainer 6. Certified Fitness and aerobics Instructor 7. Certified in Pilates lev.el 1 8. Certified Massage Therapist Contact details: Helga Marin Tel Dubai 050 8490198 Tel Iceland 050 8458174
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