Crash diets and quick-fix weight loss programmes aren’t the key to beating the bulge in the New Year, according to a Larne fitness expert.
Many people traditionally embark on drastic diets and enrol in punishing classes in January a bid to kick-start their New Years resolution.
However, Larne Fit Factory owner Phil Barnhill says that the keys to success are starting gradually, finding something you enjoy and sticking to it.
Phil told The Times that the Fit Factory is currently experiencing a New Year influx as people vow to lead healthier lifestyles. He revealed: “There is a lot of interest between Christmas and New Year. Exercise can take a back seat as it doesn’t fit with the indulgence that goes with Christmas. We see some new people but more often it’s people who have come regularly in the past coming back to make their grand return.”
Rather than immediately embarking on an intensive exercise regime, Phil says that people should take the process gradually. He explained: “Especially at this time of year we make it relaxed, you don’t have to come in and leave on your knees! You don’t have to kill yourself coming back. A lot of people treat it as self-punishment for the indulgence, which we don’t recommend.”
Phil says that post-festive crash diets are doomed to failure. He continued: “Crash diets are not sustainable. If you want long-term results don’t look for a short-term fix. If you lose it quickly often it goes on quickly again. If you deprive yourself of something and starve yourself you put stress on your body and eventually crash and give in, binge-eating.
“In my opinion many eight to twelve week transformations take advantage of people’s desire for quick results. Extra weight doesn’t take a short time to go on and it takes a while to get off.”
Phil says that the best way to lose weight is to find a way to exercize that’s fun and easy to stick to. Regarding diet, he advises: “You need protein and carbs, you can’t deprive the body long-term of those micro-nutrients. It’s about taking a long-term approach and putting things in place to fix things gradually, so it is more likely to last and you don’t end up yo-yo dieting.
“Start gradually and be realistic. Gymns are not filled with super-fit people who look down their noses at new people; the opposite is true.”