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Building the foundations of a healthier life

We as personal trainers are often talking about how to reach your fitness goals. A lot of you reached your fitness goals this weekend. Congratulations!

It may have been to get fit for carnival, a Tough Mudder or to be ready for your summer trip. But that's only half the battle. Goals must be maintained or you'll end up right where you started.

What are your plans to keep up your momentum? Did you gradually adjust your lifestyle and habits? This will be the easiest method to maintain because you've made healthy lifestyle changes. Did you go on a crash diet or cleanse? This method will be the most challenging and unhealthy to maintain.

Let's see how you can keep these results that you've worked so hard for.

It's important to remember that the more extreme the method, the more difficult it will be to retain the results.

You may even slip back a bit, but don't be angry or beat yourself up.

Beating yourself up will only make things more challenging in the future.

The effects of quick-fix diets often don't last, as many people fall back into old eating and activity habits after the weight is lost.

If you find your weight is going back up again, it's time to take action. If you've chosen a restrictive diet, estimate your new maintenance calorie intake, and slowly increase your intake closer to that target until your weight stabilises.

If you've been overexerting yourself or exercising more than normal, turn back the frequency and replace a few workouts with gentler exercises to avoid injury. Too much exercise can lead to injuries, exhaustion and depression.

It can also cause lasting physical harm.

They say that variety is the spice of life, so if you feel yourself slipping back into your old ways, mix things up a bit: buy a healthy cookbook, sign up for a healthy cooking course, or try a new activity.

I recently bought Ottolenghi, a great cookbook I learnt about in London.

Also, don't forget to scale back your calorie intake to compensate for those you aren't burning.

Lastly, be patient with your body.

Gradual changes need to be made, especially if you've chosen the crash diet or over-exercising method.

Strive to return to a healthy lifestyle plan.

No matter which route you chose, never stop just because you've reached your goal. True long-lasting fitness is about growth and constantly cultivating the desire to improve yourself and build a healthy lifestyle. Now that you've reached your carnival or other fitness goal, what's next?

Set new goals, build yourself up further and continue to strive for improvement! Stay successful and B-Active For Life!

• Betty Doyling is a certified fitness trainer and figure competitor with more than a decade of experience. Check her out on Facebook: www.facebook.com/B.ActiveForLife

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Published June 22, 2016 at 9:00 am (Updated June 22, 2016 at 9:21 am)

Building the foundations of a healthier life

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