My 10 Steps Method to starting your Weight Loss Journey without overwhelm!

My 10 Steps Method to starting your Weight Loss Journey without overwhelm!

10 step method to weight loss

 

Losing weight can be a daunting task, and there are countless diets and programs that promise quick results. However, sustainable weight loss is about making small, consistent changes to your lifestyle that you can maintain over time. Here are some simple steps you can take to start losing weight sustainably:

  1. Set realistic goals: The first step to sustainable weight loss is to set realistic goals. While it may be tempting to aim for rapid weight loss, studies show that slow and steady weight loss is more effective in the long term. Set a goal to lose 1-2 pounds per week, which is a safe and achievable rate of weight loss.

  2. Keep track of what you eat: One of the most effective ways to lose weight is to keep track of what you eat. This can help you identify areas where you can make changes to your diet and make healthier choices. You can use a food journal or a tracking app to record your meals and snacks, and track your calorie intake.

  3. Make healthier food choices: Making healthier food choices is essential for sustainable weight loss. Focus on incorporating more fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, and whole grains into your diet. Choose foods that are high in fibre and protein, as these can help you feel full and satisfied for longer.

  4. Avoid processed foods: Processed foods are often high in calories, sugar, and unhealthy fats, and can sabotage your weight loss efforts. Avoid foods that are high in added sugars, such as soda, candy, and baked goods, and limit your intake of processed foods like chips, frozen dinners, and fast food.

  5. Drink more water: Drinking more water can help you feel full and satisfied, and can also help you avoid sugary drinks like soda and juice. Aim to drink at least eight glasses of water a day, and carry a water bottle with you to stay hydrated throughout the day.

  6. Get moving: Exercise is an important component of sustainable weight loss. While it can be tempting to jump into a rigorous exercise program, it's important to start slowly and gradually build up your fitness level. Aim to get at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise most days of the week, such as brisk walking, cycling, or swimming.

  7. Get enough sleep: Getting enough sleep is essential for sustainable weight loss. Studies have shown that lack of sleep can disrupt hormones that regulate appetite and metabolism, and can also increase cravings for unhealthy foods. Aim to get at least 7-8 hours of sleep a night, and establish a regular sleep schedule to help regulate your body's natural sleep-wake cycle.

  8. Manage stress: Stress can be a major contributor to weight gain, as it can trigger emotional eating and disrupt healthy habits. Incorporate stress-reducing activities into your daily routine, such as meditation, yoga, or deep breathing exercises, to help manage stress and improve your overall well-being.

  9. Surround yourself with support: Losing weight can be challenging, but having a support system can make all the difference. Surround yourself with friends and family who support your weight loss goals, and consider joining a weight loss support group or working with a professional like a registered dietitian or personal trainer.

  10. Be patient: Sustainable weight loss is a journey, and it's important to be patient with yourself along the way. Focus on making small, consistent changes to your lifestyle, and celebrate your progress along the way. Remember that sustainable weight loss is about making healthy habits a part of your daily life, and that slow and steady progress is the key to long-term success.

In conclusion, sustainable weight loss is about making small, consistent changes to your lifestyle that you can maintain over time. By setting realistic goals, making healthier food choices, getting moving, and surrounding yourself with support, you can start losing weight in a way.

Here are my top 5 health and fitness tips you can start today!

You might be wondering what you can start doing TODAY to have an impact on your health and fitness ; well i've popped together my Top 5!

1.Eating a healthy and balanced diet:

Eating a diet that is high in fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, and whole grains can help to provide your body with the nutrients it needs to function properly and stay healthy.A balanced diet can help to maintain a healthy weight and reduce the risk of obesity and related health problems. It can also improve nutrient intake: A balanced diet can provide your body with the essential vitamins, minerals, and nutrients it needs to function properly.It also reduces the risk of chronic disease, improves digestion and improved mental health.

2. Getting regular exercise:

Regular exercise has numerous benefits for overall health and well-being. It can help to improve cardiovascular health by strengthening the heart and lungs, lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels, and reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke. It also helps to build and maintain muscle and bone mass, which can reduce the risk of osteoporosis and other age-related conditions. Exercise also improves overall fitness, including endurance, strength, and flexibility. It can also help with weight management, reduce stress, anxiety, and depression, promote better sleep, improve brain function and delay cognitive decline, increase energy levels, and improve mood. Regular exercise is an essential part of a healthy lifestyle and can have a positive impact on both physical and mental health

 

3.Getting enough sleep:

Getting enough sleep is crucial for overall health and well-being. Adequate sleep is necessary for the body to repair and rejuvenate itself. When we sleep, our body produces growth hormones that help repair muscles and tissues, and our brain consolidates and processes information from the day. Lack of sleep can lead to a variety of health issues such as weight gain, depression, weakened immune system, and an increased risk of chronic diseases. Additionally, lack of sleep can also affect physical fitness, as it can lead to decreased energy levels, slowed reaction time, and impaired coordination. To improve health and fitness, it is recommended to aim for at least 7-8 hours of sleep per night, establish a regular sleep schedule, avoid screens before bedtime, and create a relaxing bedtime routine.

 

4. Managing stress:

Managing stress is an important aspect of maintaining overall health and well-being. Chronic stress can have a negative impact on both physical and mental health, leading to a variety of health issues such as headaches, muscle tension, fatigue, and increased risk of chronic diseases. Stress can also affect your physical fitness, as it can lead to decreased motivation and energy levels, making it harder to stick to an exercise routine. To manage stress, it is important to find effective ways to cope with stressors, such as through exercise, meditation, yoga, deep breathing, or talking to a therapist. Additionally, setting realistic goals, learning time management, and developing a support system can also help in managing stress. Taking care of yourself physically and emotionally can greatly improve overall health and fitness.

 

5. Avoiding smoking and excessive alcohol consumption:

 

Limiting alcohol consumption and avoiding smoking are important steps to improve overall health and fitness. Both alcohol and smoking can have negative impacts on health and can increase the risk of certain cancers and other health problems. Alcohol consumption can lead to weight gain and an increased risk of liver disease, heart disease, and certain types of cancer. Smoking is a leading cause of lung cancer and can also increase the risk of heart disease, stroke, and respiratory problems. Limiting alcohol consumption and avoiding smoking can help improve cardiovascular health, reduce the risk of cancer and other diseases, and improve overall fitness and well-being. Quitting smoking is one of the best things you.

 

Remember,improving your health and fitness is a journey that requires dedication and consistency. By setting specific, measurable goals, creating a consistent workout routine, and making healthy dietary choices, you can achieve the results you desire. Remember to also take time to rest and recover, as well as to listen to your body and make adjustments as needed. Remember that it's not about perfection, it's about progress, and every small step you take towards your goals is a step in the right direction. With a positive mindset, perseverance, and commitment, you can improve your health and fitness and lead a happier, healthier life.

 

Nikki xx

Read THIS before setting January Resolutions: 5 Top tips from a womens weight loss coach.

January is often a time when people set new resolutions for the year ahead, and for many women, that includes a goal to lose weight.

While there are many different approaches to weight loss, here are a few tips that may be helpful for women looking to shed some pounds this from January:

  1. Start by setting a specific and achievable goal. Rather than setting a broad goal like "lose weight," try setting a specific goal, such as "lose 10 pounds by February 1st." Having a specific and achievable goal will make it easier to track your progress and stay motivated.
  2. Focus on healthy eating. Weight loss is largely about creating a calorie deficit, which means you need to burn more calories than you consume. While it's important to cut calories, it's also important to make sure you're still getting the nutrients your body needs. Focus on eating whole, unprocessed foods like fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, and healthy fats. Avoid sugary drinks and snacks, and try to limit your intake of refined grains and processed foods.
  3. Incorporate physical activity into your routine. In addition to cutting calories, increasing your physical activity can help you lose weight and improve your overall health. Aim for 1-2 session of moderate exercise per week of between 35-55 minutes. This can include activities like walking, running, dancing, swimming, or strength training.
  4. Consider seeking professional help. If you're having trouble losing weight on your own, or if you have a lot of weight to lose, it may be helpful to seek the guidance of a healthcare professional or a registered dietitian. They can help you create a personalised plan that takes into account your unique needs and goals.
  5. Stay consistent and be patient. Weight loss is a journey, and it's important to stay consistent and be patient. It may take time to see results, and there will likely be setbacks along the way. But if you stay focused on your goals and make healthy lifestyle changes, you can achieve your weight loss goals.

Losing weight in January (or any month) is all about making healthy lifestyle changes and being consistent.

By focusing on healthy eating, increasing physical activity, and seeking professional help when needed, you can set yourself up for success in your weight loss journey.

A few more helpful tips for weight loss anytime of year:
  1. Keep track of your food intake. One of the easiest ways to cut calories is to be mindful of what you're eating and how much you're eating. Keeping a food diary or using a calorie-tracking app to help you stay on track. This can help you identify any areas where you may be able to cut back on calories, such as by skipping sugary drinks or snacking on healthier options.
  2. Don't skip meals. While it may seem like a good idea to skip meals in an effort to cut calories, this can actually backfire. Skipping meals can lead to overeating later on and may cause your body to go into "starvation mode," which can slow down your metabolism and make it harder to lose weight. Instead of skipping meals, try to eat regular, balanced meals and snacks throughout the day.
  3. Stay hydrated. Drinking enough water is important for overall health, and it can also help with weight loss. Aim to drink at least 1-2 litres ounces of water per day, and more if you're exercising or it's hot outside. Water can help fill you up and keep you hydrated, which can make it easier to stick to your healthy eating plan.
  4. Find a support system. Losing weight can be challenging, and it can be helpful to have a support system to help you stay motivated and on track. Consider finding a friend or family member who can be your accountability partner, or join a support group or online forum for people working towards similar goals.
  5. Don't get discouraged. It's important to remember that weight loss is a journey, and it may take time to see results. It's normal to have setbacks and challenges along the way, and it's important to stay positive and keep moving forward. If you hit a roadblock, try to refocus on your goals and remind yourself of why you're working to lose weight.

I hope these additional tips are helpful! Remember to focus on making healthy lifestyle changes that you can sustain over the long term, rather than trying to follow a quick fix or fad diet.

Nikki xx

The Simple 5 Step Process Will Help You Lose Weight With Your Morning Routine

How to harness the power of your morning routine for weight loss in 5 simple steps!

Firstly what is a morning routine, and whats the big deal when it comes to weight loss?

Lots of my new clients look at me with a quizzical look when i explain to them initially that we're going to take a look at their morning routine;

But WHY Nikki?

How is THAT going to help me lose weight?

Allow me to explain...

What is a morning routine?

It's a set of habits or motions that you go through when you wake up.

It helps to set your day up in the right way and can have some drastic effects on your focus and productivity.

You could do anything from exercising and journaling to reading and meditating.

 

Whats the benefits of creating a bulletproof process for a morning routine?

The morning routine helps us set the tone for the day, better allowing us to control our emotions, schedules and lives rather than our day controlling us.

As we start each day fresh, we can better focus on what is in front of us, where to prioritise our energy, time, and, ultimately, increase our productivity and feeling of fulfilment

 

The simplest way to think about the benefits it to imagine the...

COFFEE CUP analogy:

 

Coffee Cup process

 

Are you struggling with your weight?

Waking feeling harassed?

Stressed before you even begin the day?

Irritable from the get go?

These are common complaints from new Coaching clients.

And not being a 'morning' person isnt to blame! Find out why!

 

Imagine yourself like a coffee cup every morning:

Do you wake up every day full to the brim with worries, self doubt, stress, anxiety, busyness?

Your imaginary coffee cup is full, so the smallest thing means you dont feel you have space to deal with it, and its starts to overflow!

Now Imagine, How it would feel to wake with an empty coffee cup every morning....

What are Micros Stress Doses?

Micro stress doses (or MSDs) are little hits of stress which can from the growing list of emails that we still need to respond to, notifications about payments due on the energy bill, or guilt we may feel for not checking in with our elderly parents.

These all add to our coffee cup overflowing each morning.

Why is this relevant?!

Multiple studies show how stress and lack of sleep can lead to an increase in your cortisol levels.

Increased cortisol and constantly being in a fight/flight or freeze response leads to higher higher levels, less emotional resilience and willpower and ultimately weight gain!

Ok Nikki, so how do i empty the coffee cup?

 

Your morning routine is one of the best places to start!

And by implementing a few of the following tips into your daily life it can dramatically reduce your stress and anxiety levels and lead to a calmer more fulfilled and productive day!

Theres some simple steps to creating a morning routine that will stick!

Step 1:

Decide what you want to acheive....

Before deciding on a highly demanding morning ritual, consider what you need to achieve and work backwards from there. If you have to make it to work on time, clean, well-dressed, and fully caffeinated, start with building a routine that allows you to do that—and then you can add in some weight training or meditation.

On the other hand, if you struggle to get focused in the mornings, maybe a bit of physical activity or mindfulness practice is exactly what you’re after.

 

Step 2:

Don’t go overboard all at once...

Like with any self-improvement plan, it’s easy to go from zero to 100 and back to zero again with your morning routine.

The easiest way to build new morning habits is to piggyback them onto your existing routines. You can easily use the time you wait for your coffee to cool—which you probably spend scrolling through social media—journaling, if that’s what you want.

If you want to work on meditation, start with five minutes as soon as you get out of bed, or even 10 mindful breaths in the shower.

 

Step 3:

Morning routines start the night before

Consider the ideal ritual you’re trying to build and look for both trouble points and opportunities to do more the night before. If there’s a way to head off a predictable potential problem with a bit of preparation, take it.

While most of the focus is on what you do after you wake up, what you do before you even go to bed can determine how successful your morning routine will be.

If you want to get to the gym, don’t start your day digging through your laundry—take the time to get your washing done and leave your bag packed and ready before bed

 

Step 4:

 

Stick with it

Once the initial flush of excitement fades, sticking with new routines is hard work.

Obviously, everyone will miss a day from time to time, but it’s important to not let skipping your routine become the routine. If life gets in the way, don’t overthink it and just continue where you left off.

 

Step 5:

Adapt and thrive

There is no perfect morning routine—only the one that’s perfect for you. And it is perfect because it gets what you need done, and therefore, you can stick to it.

If your morning routine still isn’t coming together despite your best intentions, then take a step back and reconsider what you’re doing. Change a few things, iron out any trouble points, and try again

 

I hope thats given you some insight on how to harness the power of your morning routine for weight loss in 5 simple steps

 

Your Future Coach

 

Nikki x

 

 

SOS! Scales Fluctuations

SOS! Scales Fluctuations!

I wanted to explain something to you today that KEEPS COMING UP! I'm sure you can relate to feeling stressed AF over the scales and their fluctuations at some point? I'm going to explain the REASONS behind WHY they fluctuate & why you don't need to FREAK OUT every time they do!

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This is genuinely one of the BIGGEST and MOST COMMON issues ladies I work with encounter throughout their fitness journey. We've been programmed to be absolutely horrified when we see the scales go up. We've been conditioned to think of ANY gain as a bad thing. We're so used to being scales focused as females, it's extremely difficult to be 'ok' with seeing them either not change, or go in the opposite direction.
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I feel lots of head nods happening right now...I've been there too! It was a big struggle for me to wrap my head around why the scales weren't dropping even though I'd been ticking all the boxes & working really hard...
THE SCALES FLUCTUATE FOR SO MANY DIFFERENT REASONS!
When a new client comes on board and has previously struggled with having a scales-focused mentality, as a coach, it's my duty to educate them as to WHY these fluctuations happen and lessen the stress they are feeling around weighing themselves. As I always say; when you UNDERSTAND something, it becomes much less daunting!So, let's take a look at some of the reasons you may see the scales fluctuate....

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So, as you can see, there are quite a few reasons why the scales can fluctuate, even day to day! 

Heavy leg day? Hello inflammation!Time of the month? Hello bloating & water retention! Hormones have a huge impact on the scales.Eat a heavy-carb meal last night? You're full of glycogen & pulling more water into your muscles! A high sodium meal will also mean excess water retention in the body.Digestive issues/feeling blocked up? Then it makes sense that the scales reflect the fact you have lots of food sitting in your gut! Dehydrated? Fluid loss = drop on scales (not the good kind)!Bad sleep? Feeling super stressed? Yup, you guessed it, scales will be up due to elevated cortisol levels.Eating different meals one day to the next? With differing food volume going in, the scales will be much more likely to go up & down, if meals are more consistent / stay the same day to day, there will be less fluctuations. Taking medication? Many medications can interact with the scales, so if you notice a spike when you've started a new pill, anti-biotic, or any other kind of medication, don't fret!

The scales don't tell us everything, but they're a useful tool!
Other things you may want to consider when weighing yourself is the time & frequency you weigh yourself. Weighing daily = accurate & allows you to monitor fluctuations. Weighing weekly = much more inaccurate & doesn't show you a weekly picture. If you weigh yourself at 6am with no food or drink in you, vs 6pm when you've trained, eaten, drank, been to work and whatever else, then you're going to be a completely different weight - a few kilos is very normal to gain throughout the day. 

I hope this email helped you Nikki. And please, if you have any questions about scale fluctuations & why they might be happening to you, just reach out by replying to this email! 
Until next time, Love and Light,
Nikki xx

Have you Lost your Health and Fitness Mojo since the Summer has ended?

Have you Lost your Health and Fitness Mojo since the Summer has ended?

Summer nights where healthy grilled BBQ meats are plentiful, you grab a nice fresh salad throw it together with some chicken and a jacket potato.
Or you sit outside to dinner in the evening watching the sun go down.
It’s only natural that when the nights draw in earlier and there’s less natural sunshine and daylight most of us find find ourselves reaching for the comfort food.
Grabbing a biscuit or two with a warm cup of tea or coffee, or reaching for another square of chocolate after dinner.
There’s no surprise at all when natural daylight diminishes the likelihood of us choosing foods we seasonally and habitually chose more of in summer months also declines.
Many of the population today find themselves struggling through the winter months with lacking motivation and a general lack lustre for day to today.
Your Best Version Yet slowly seems to be slipping through your fingers?
Did you know that many people begin to suffer with SAD (seasonal affective disorder) at this time of year. The symptoms usually start in the early autumn or winter and improve in the spring.
It's thought the winter blues, or seasonal affective disorder (SAD), affects around 2 million people in the UK and more than 12 million people across northern Europe. It can affect people of any age, including children.
The nature and severity of SAD varies from person to person.
Some people just find the condition a bit irritating, while for others it can be severe and have a significant impact on their day-to-day life.
The NHS give guidelines on suggested symptoms for SAD
Other symptoms include
These symptoms may make every day activities increasingly difficult.
Two relatively simple method to assist with the symptoms SAD or just that winter slump as recommended by NICE ( National Institute for Health Care Excellence) are
Lower levels of vitamin D (the type you get from natural sunlight) can result in the thinning or brittle bones, osteoporosis, or frequent bone fractures. muscle weakness, particularly if there is an unexplained change in muscle strength. changes in mood, with people who have low vitamin D experience anxiety or depression.
And I think we’d all agree that we’d rather keep those things at bay.
In recent government studies it showed a whopping 1 in 5 of us are deficient in vitamin D during winter and autumn months which can be lined to our choices of food and the sources we get our daily dose of vitamin D from.
In spring and summer, most of us get enough vitamin D from sunlight on our skin and a healthy, balanced diet.
During autumn and winter the sun isn't strong enough in the UK to produce vitamin D. That means we have to rely on getting it just from the food we eat.
Because it's difficult to get enough vitamin D from food alone, many of us risk not getting enough.
Taking a supplement helps to keep levels of the vitamin topped up during the colder months.
Some suggestions for foods high in Vitamin D include
Top 10 Foods rich in Vitamin D
1. Salmon
2. Tinned Tuna
3. Mushrooms
4. Fortified Milk
5. Tofu
6. Yoghurt
7. Eggs
8. Pork Chops
9. Nuts
10. Beans
During the autumn and winter, you need to get vitamin D from your diet because the sun is not strong enough for the body to make vitamin D.

But since it's difficult for people to get enough vitamin D from food alone, everyone (including pregnant and breastfeeding women) should consider taking a daily supplement containing 10 micrograms of vitamin D during the autumn and winter.

Between late March/early April to the end of September, most people can make all the vitamin D they need through sunlight on their skin and from a balanced diet.

You may choose not to take a vitamin D supplement during these months.

The recommended daily amount of vitamin D is 400 international units (IU) for children up to age 12 months, 600 IU for people ages 1 to 70 years, and 800 IU for people over 70 years.

You cannot overdose on vitamin D through exposure to sunlight. But always remember to cover up or protect your skin if you're out in the sun for long periods to reduce the risk of skin damage and skin cancer.
Love and Light,
Nikki xx

Consistency.. and why its the 1 skill you need to progress and lose weight

What is Consistency, how do you achieve it and what has it got to do with weight loss exactly?consistency, person, woman

How do you guarantee results in a world where everything is designed for immediate validation and at the tips of our fingers?
It’s a difficult question to answer in our modern era: we want business results fast, we wa

nt immediate growth; validation of our efforts instantly, we want weight loss yesterday! and unfortunately the modern world is designed to give us that…

We can order food at a click and have it delivered within 15 mins!

We can order a film online and watch it immediately!

Same day Amazon prime delivery….

We’ve created a society where we expect things instantly. Is there any wonder we expect weight loss to be the same?

This instant gratification therefore rubs off on multiple areas of our personal life : take weight loss or muscle tone for example; after living in a society that glamourises the quick, the fast the hustle; weight loss isn’t sexy or convenient because it… takes…time. Time that we dont feel we have, time we feel we're stripped from with our busy hustle lives, family commitment, children and social circles.

But what if you flipped the script on weight loss and our expectations?

What if you started to embrace the process and find a solution that felt as good as it looks instead of the the next quick fix shake detox?

The truth be told; anything worth having takes time, diligence and consistency. But that doesn’t have to mean it’s arduous and hard.
Truth be told; the only strategy that will work with your health and fitness goals is the one you can stick to consistently.

 

So How do you create consistency?

Its something I teach my clients directly inside Best Version Yet; my online programme to help busy women lose weight, rediscover unstoppable self confidence and build better habits for the rest of their lives by bridging the gap between self- mastery, personal development and cutting edge nutrition coaching.

Check out some of the transformations here

So... tips to create consistency:

1- Create an environment of growth mindset- Things dont have to be 'perfect' straight away. Small manageable steps and chunks to make lasting changes are much more realistic.

2- Expect your results to take longer than you anticipated; This isnt a quick fix, this is a lifestyle change, be compassionate enough to yourself that you change your timeline on your results to become process driven; the outcome will be a natural bi-product of those changes.

3- Get some help; Arguably you've been rattling around not knowing what to do for the best for some time; get some personalised help from a coach or mentor who can look objectively where you are and create a strategised plan to move you forwards.

4- Work on stacking new habits with current ones; want to walk more? Chose to park your car further away at the train station you already drive to every day. Want to eat healthier at lunch, create a portion big enough to take with you when you make dinner the night before.

5- Create a routine which you can stick to! No use telling yourself you have to go to the gym 5 nights per week when you know its likely 3- create an environment for success and you'll feel more inclined to keep doing it- thats what counts in the long term after-all.

Some food for thought… pardon the pun!

 

Love and Light

Nikki x

Summer Holiday Survival Guide- 6 Weeks with the Kids to Keep Sane and Continue to Progress

In todays article I assigned client Abbi (who's also a teacher and mum) with putting together, from her perspective her Summer Holiday Survival Guide- 6 Weeks with the Kids to Keep Sane and Continue to Progress

After the most challenging 18-24 months of the majority of our lives; a lot of us have been on a countdown for the school holidays.
It is finally here –we now have six weeks of time to navigate through summer holidays abroad with little no restrictions -we have eager, excited children ready to be entertained.
In reality, after a couple of days in if you haven’t heard the words ‘I’m bored’ or ‘I’m hungry’ then you are doing well.
Whilst as lovely as it is having quality time with your children, it can be a stressful, expensive and chaotic time trying to juggle kids, work, social events –it can be hard to keep up your regular eating and exercise routine.
I am speaking as a single mum, a teacher and someone who suffers with anxiety. I strive on routine and structure; starting to work with Nikki has been life changing for me.
My life has always been putting my son and work first; I barely gave myself a second thought. She has guided me to be able to put myself first and ensure there is time in my day for me.
I now am learning to think, to be the best mum possible to my son, I need to be in the best place physically and mentally but more importantly, I am learning to think that I want to be the best version of me, for me.
I have been reflecting on how I can ensure that over the summer holidays, I don’t lose my focus and by September I look back and have amazing memories and have continued successfully on this journey.

Planning ahead

As a family, spend some time creating a mind map/lists of things you would like to do over the holidays.

Put these onto post it notes and create a six week calendar. Plan in the bigger, more expensive events.

Things to do at home and free or smaller activities can always been placed on the calendar each week or day.

Extra ideas:-Colour code the type of activity-Add chores onto the calendar-Teach children resilience, responsibility and consequences where they can earn being able to choose the activity to put on the calendar for the day.

Add meals onto the calendar

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Hitting your physical targets

Sit down for 10 minutes at the start of each week and plan in your daily exercise time.

Stick to it and be consistent.

Get your children involved in your targets.

See if they can come up with challenges for you all to complete to help you achieve them.

Keeping fit challengesScreenshot 2022 07 26 at 12.35.10

-Creating indoor obstacle course

-Holding a family sports day

-Who can do the most steps in a day?

Go Geocaching

Geocaching is a very fun, exciting and adventurous activity for all the family

. Download the geocaching app and find hidden treasure trails near you. There are lots of places to explore all over the UK.

Online activities

Joe Wicks, Go Noodle, Just Dance, Cosmic Kids Yoga –all of these are free online resources which are fun and promote fitness.

You can easily build one of these into part of your day.

Whilst they are aimed at children, there is nothing stopping you joining in as well.

6 weeks to Hit your nutritional targets

There are two things which are going to ensure this happens –planning and sticking to the plan.

Sit down as a family and come up with meals for the week.

Try and eat at the same time as the children, this will give you quality time and also stop you being tempted to pick at their left overs because you are hungry and haven’t prepared your own food yet.

With advanced meal preparation, your life can be made that little bit easier, especially during the school holiday chaos.

Try to be mindful of your snacking habits. If you find yourself munching just because there’s food around —and not because you’re hungry —think about having snacks in the house available which won’t ruin your hard work.

Have themed meals planned in. Example themes are: countries from around the world, giving the children the chance to plan, prep and cook new food and favourite restaurants or takeaways such as TGI Fridays or Pizza. Children can be involved by creating menus, posters or props etcScreenshot 2022 07 26 at 12.39.33Screenshot 2022 07 26 at 12.43.50 Screenshot 2022 07 26 at 12.44.01 Screenshot 2022 07 26 at 12.44.13

Have children in the kitchen helping with cooking at least once a week has lots of benefits. From an educational point of view –it includes maths skills (weighing, counting, timings); teaches responsibility, nutritional information and a really important life skill.

It also helps them understand more where food comes from, it will keep them actively occupied, and also help them to be a part of a healthy eating regime.

Where possible batch cook and freeze for future meals where you need sometime quick. It will mean you are sticking to plan.

Days out (all Summer worth)

The expectation of ‘big days out’ can be overwhelming for parents and become a stressful experience.

It is better to have a few well-planned out days out where you can plan and save funds ahead of time rather than feeling like the entire holiday needs to be full of expensive trips out.

Picnics are easy to stay on track as you plan and prep everything in advance. Using cool boxes means that where ever you are going for your day out,you do not need to worry about your nutritional targets.

Eating out at places you visit also tend to be expensive and there isn’t always many healthy options. Children can be involved in the process of shopping for and prepping the picnic food. There are plenty of free or cheap options for days out. Most of these will enable you to hit your step target for the day.

My go to place for finding places to go and visit is https://miltonkeyneskids.com/I can’t rate this site enough, it covers all areas within an hour of Milton Keynes near where I live. Your own area will have a similar site if you search online.Definitely worth having a look through.

Two more good websites which give you lots of vouchers, discounts and ideas for days out across the UK are :

https://www.dayoutwiththekids.co.uk/

https://www.kidspass.co.uk/(They are £1 to join as a 30 day trial).

Finally, if you are on Facebook there is a good private group called ‘Mum to Mum Northamptonshire’ which is worth joining to get ideas.

Things to do at home

There is nothing wrong with spending the day at home.

PJ days with a home cinema and games is a fantastic day.

Having time each day for all members of the family to have some downtime to relax and choose what they want to do is important.

Whether this is watching something, reading a book, colouring or having a bath –it is important it happens.

It allows the brain and body to recharge, school holidays tend to be an exhausting time.

Boredom isn’t bad. It gives children a chance to be creative, to explore, and to improve using their initiative, imagination and problem solving skills.

They’re also able to choose activities that match their mood. If your child's feeling energetic, they’ll be physically active; if they’re tired, they may find a restful thing to do.

Boredom also promotes resilience, as they learn to get through something that, to a child, can feel tough or stressful.

You sometimes have to think outside of the box with finding things to do at home. There are lots of websites you can look at to get ideas. Google is your friend!

Pressures of having various roles (survival time)

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Think about all of the roles you current hold within all the different parts of your life, for example: a mother, a partner, a teacher.

Each one of these is like a ball which we are constantly juggling to keep them up.

When we are in our usual routine it can be hard to keep all the balls in the air so when we then have to adapt to six weeks off schedule it can cause even more stress and anxiety for all.

Particularly  in the summer children can be dealing with anxiety around changing of routines, the changes at school and wondering what September will bring.

But there are ways to combat these stresses and worries.

For children, make sure you maintain healthy routines.

Keep them on a reasonable bedtime schedule and eating healthy foods.

If they are having worries, talk about those and come up with an action plan. While it’s tempting to stay out later in the school holidays —and the odd late night for a special occasion is unlikely to cause harm —try to stick to their normal bedtime routine and encourage your child to get enough sleep for their age:

Ages 0to 2: 12 to 14 hours

Ages 3 to 5: 10 to 13 hours

Ages 6 to 13: 9 to 11 hours

Ages 14 to 17: 8 to 10 hours

For adults, try not to overload yourself with pressures at home (and at work).

Schedule in some quiet times, and some time for yourself.

Stressed individuals commonly have high levels of cortisol, a hormone that’s released in response to stress.

Chronically high cortisol levels may causeweight gain.

Additionally, a stressful lifestyle may cause more cravings for junk food. For these reasons, it’s important to keep stress levels under control in general —but especially during the holidays, when you might be busy and surrounded by unhealthy foods.

It is important to schedule in some relaxing time for yourself as taking care of your own wellbeing and mindset.

Being able to have good mental health and a positive mindset is a very valuable tool to stay ahead on your health journey. The majority of this article has been about planning, planning, planning.

It is important to stay flexible however for when things pop up, (which they will –often!) This way you will never be caught off guard which may see you ditching yourhealthy lifestyleentirely. Be kind to yourself, go make some memories and have fun!

Abbi!

I hope Abbis experience and knowledge has helped you get some valuable ideas to survive the summer holidays, keep sane and continue to progress!

Love and Light

Nikki x