I'm one of those weird personal trainers that won't blow you away with their massive biceps, and who believes training my clients to achieve them is an unexciting journey. I'm also a tad bizarre because I don't seek to train the Bondi beauties looking for abs, the perfect beach bum, and 500g of weight loss. And there's no doubting my peculiarity, because I don't sell pills and powders to my network and clients to pad my piggy bank.
I'm one of those personal trainers that loves one thing – lifestyle change. During my weight loss month in October, aptly titled Droptober, people around the world lost 2, 3 and up to 8kg the old-fashioned way – with food, fitness, and lifestyle change. That's what I love to see, and I want to see more wholesale change and fewer perfect abs and bums.
What if we all ignored the 'silly season' that's just around the corner and instead undertook a 31-day challenge – let's call it 'change season'. I'll help you change with 31 ways in 31 days of small, simple lifestyle changes. Choose an apple instead of a chocolate bar. Bring a healthy lunch to work instead of eating at the food court. Drink green juice instead of a dairy, fruit smoothie. Skip 200 jump ropes during every commercial break. Wear a pedometer and walk 10,000 steps per day. Take the stairs instead of the lift. 'Change season' has some simple gems that all of us can commit to.
Some of the bigger changes:
Avoid fizzy drinks
A Vanilla Coke (65g of sugar) and a Rockstar energy drink (83.5g of sugar) every day is a healthy diet's worst hydration-enemy, yet the soft drinks market in Australia is still growing more than $4 billion in revenue every year. Replace energy drinks with water - it's not only a healthy change, but a free one.
Make change permanent, and you could sidestep 54 kilograms of sugar per year (see the attached photo). That's the weight of my last date (she was not as sweet). Your body will be spared 217,000 calories per year with one simple change. First, though, aim for 31 days without fizzy drinks to kick off your change season.
Exercise outdoors with passion
Summer temperatures are here, and Mother Nature is giving us long, sunny days for outdoor exercise. I'm not going to challenge you with hardcore gym sessions. I challenge you to get outdoors to breathe and perform high-intensity bodyweight workouts. All of us can find the time for a weekend hike or a 30-minute bodyweight training circuit during the week. Join a boot camp or get back into tennis, golf, or swimming. Commit to exercise (four or five times per week is all I ask) during change season.
In October, a group of us committed to fasting – no, not the Monday/Thursday diet plan where you only consume 500 calories per day. That's not fasting. Sixteen-hour fasting consists of two times per week without food post-3pm until the next morning's breakfast. During fasting, you can only consume water or herbal tea. We all lost weight. Committing to intermittent fasting means commiting to missing nine meals during change season.
Enjoy silly season in moderation
You can still indulge, but processed party pies and fried spring rolls drowned in umpteen beers and/or champagne has to be tempered with health. Eat a healthy meal before the party, and cut back on a few drinks so you look after your body and don't become the drunken company fool and require fast food for the next day's hangover. Try to get through 31 days without processed, fried or fast food for change season.
Ultimately, it's your choice. Fully indulge in silly season and end up feeling the way you always do come January 1, or do change season and enjoy the health benefits. One small, healthy change per day can add up to a lot of weight loss.
I'd like to invite you all to my party because it's healthier than the one you're going to, and free. I am that type of weird personal trainer. Drop me an email and you'll receive your official Change Season calendar. It starts Monday, November 17.
What are you prepared to do to keep the silly season under control?