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Can a S.M.A.R.T dog learn new tricks?

dogPicture this… Its January 1st. This year you want to lose weight! In fact you have
already started to cut out the cake at lunch, park your car further away from work and have joined the local  yoga class. You have been weighing yourself daily and watching the numbers on the scales decrease. You have started off strong…

But then the weekend hits, you have that important birthday and you become discouraged. This weight loss thing doesn’t seem so fun anymore and you may have just convinced yourself you just don’t have self discipline! You have already resigned to the fact that any further weight loss is in fact impossible and you might was well start eating the cake at lunch time again. You begin to put that weight back on and focus your energy on something else. This vicious cycle continues again and again. Does this sound familiar?

How do we break out of the vicious cycle?

Goal setting helps quantify and clarify the ‘how,’ the ‘what,’ the ‘why’ and the ‘when’ behind these statements.  The aptly named S.M.A.R.T goals provide you with direction, structure, accountability and give you a deadline to meet. The SMART criteria is as follows:

Specific:

  • Identifies exactly what you want to achieve.
  • Studies have shown that task specific and challenging goals lead to higher performance than ‘do your best’ or no goals at all.
  • Feedback or reward has been shown to increase task performance

Measurable:

  • Places a measurable value on the task for example; centimetres; dress; minutes;
  • It allows for re-evaluation to objectively review a goal

Achievable/Actionable:

  • Do you really believe you can do this?
  • Your goal must challenge you enough to be outside of your comfort zone, however should be within your reach.

Relevant/realistic:

  • Are both the goal and the timeframe you set to complete the goal realistic?
  • Going from sedentary to running marathon distances may be realistic but doing this in 2 weeks may not be.

Timely:

  • Set a time frame to achieve this goal by. When do you plan to achieve this goal?
  • Not only does writing down your goals increase success rate, but it has also been shown to improve happiness, satisfaction levels and also creates a sense of achievement.

A goal without a date is just a vision

Tips:

  1. Try and limit the amount of goals you have at one time and prioritise them
  2. Follow the SMART goals principle and write them down
  3. Re -evaluate: goals are there to be adaptable and flexible to your current situations and change, a review of your goals with change of circumstances or a period of time is essential to the goal setting process.
  4. Share them with the people who will help you achieve them; choose wisely!

If you currently do not have any clear goals written down, I encourage you to set some time aside or book in for a review with your trainer to nut out what you want to achieve. Goal setting is something which most of us recognise the importance of to achieve success, so lets be SMART about it!

Paleo Diet vs Dietary Guidelines: What are we missing out on?

In our previous blog we looked at the evidence supporting the Paleo diet. While promising, these few studies were very short in duration, had relatively small numbers, and were targeted mainly at people with metabolic conditions.bread-group

What is still unknown though is the long term ramifications of eating the Paleo way as there are no studies that go beyond 3 months.

This makes it hard for us to predict.

However, there are many studies that look at the effects of dairy and grains on our health, the very foods that are excluded with the Paleo Diet. We only need to go to the NHMRC report on the Australian Dietary Guidelines to see the evidence.1 (more…)

The evolution of Paleo diets: Hunting the roots of this food movement

It seems everyone has an opinion on the Paleo diet. Some herald it as the the saviour to the human race while others warn of its potential dangers.hunter gatherer

It is a topic that polarises many people, and it certainly has created many misconceptions.

But who do we believe?

Many groups and individuals have vested interests. From celebrity chefs that have benefited from the paleo way by creating an empire of cookbooks and programs, to large organisations that receive funding from the food industry who may be feeling the pinch of decreased sales. (more…)

Surviving Easter: tips to successfully crossing over from summer to winter health!

Surviving Easter: tips to successfully crossing over from summer to winter health!

11039285_832310790150206_2860156579541884039_nI have learned over the last decade+ of being not just a PT, nor just an Exercise Physiologist, but a lifestyle coach, that we are about to enter into a dark time for healthy exercise behaviours:

Those that stuck to their NY resolutions may be in full swing and kicking some serious goals (hopefully this is you!), or perhaps starting to struggle with their choices… and I tend to find that Easter, with all its temptations, can be a good habit breaking time. Lets face it, the time changes making dark earlier, its getting a bit cooler, we get a few sleep ins, a few meals with friends, and yes… those sin provoking hot-cross buns!!! arghhh… who can resist them??!! We just had our first soup for the year at the Martins for dinner tonight… we are starting to cross over into winter behaviours, and these are never great for our body composition and associated health, right??

So here are a few tips to ensure that you keep going right through Easter into a healthy winter:

  • No behaviours are inevitable. They are choices. make some good ones!
  • Winter need not be the time to create a warmth layer out of body fat. That’s what clothes are for!
  • Think of winter as your pre-season. Use it to get an advantage. Start today.
  • Have a hot-cross bun. I will. But exchange your normal grains serve for it. Don’t have your normal toast for breakfast, and then have the buns as extras on top of your normal calorie intake.
  • Include more play time. You have an extra long weekend. Spend some of that extra time playing with your kids, friends, even neighbours! great time to get to know them…. now, now, don’t be TOO competitive!
  • Follow Tim Ferris’ advice and have a cheat day. You are going to be surrounded by chocolates, buns and other delicious and tempting foods. So give yourself a 24hr window to treat yourself. then get back on the band-wagon.

Ok, see how you go with that, and we’ll touch base on the other side of Easter and explore winter health in a bit more detail.

Enjoy!

 

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