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Common mistakes people when starting a diet and exercise program?

Simba Chikona (NIALA News Write Up):

I am not quite a fan of the “starting a diet” or “going on a diet” concept, in my experience that is always a short term and often times quite an extreme - quick fix solution people seek.

A positive lifestyle transformation is more of a commitment to replace all the bad habits with more positive ones, for your improved health and wellness. Here are some of the most common issues I have come across when people want to change their nutritional habits and become more active;

No clear goals

If it is reducing body fat % or getting fitter, it should always be your goal, not your friend’s or sister’s goal. YOURS!!! Make sure you know your goal and its clear, why it’s important to you and what you are willing to do to reach that goal, when and where… take it SERIOUSLY!!! Your goal should be Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Timely.


Always have a plan, make sure you know what steps you have/willing to take to reach that goal. Do your research or ask for guidance, if not sure of what course of action to take. Start cooking healthier meals and less take outs, go to bed early so you can wake up and go for an early run before work.

Follow through

Take action, NOW!!! I often hear people who have some amazing health and fitness goals and know exactly what they need to do, have a great plan of action. But no follow through or the plan keeps getting postponed. If you do not take any action, that goal will just remain a dream.

Accountability (be honest with yourself)

Always be honest with yourself, this is part of the discipline that’s required in making any positive lifestyle changes. Bragging on facebook about your healthy meals and your gym workout will not count for much if it never happened. Make sure you always do what you said you were going to do even long after the emotional state you said it in has gone, that’s discipline. Do what you need to do, even when no one is watching…because it’s YOUR GOAL to achieve. Stick to your plan and stay true to yourself.

Lack of consistency (It’s a Lifestyle Change)

Why would anyone want to change the way they eat or start exercising, only to stop after a week? Not much if anything at all can be accomplished by such short term changes. It is always about incorporating all the positive habits into your daily routine, wake up on time, brush your teeth, eat your fruits, exercise, eat your vegetables, go to work, etc… and sticking to it. Make it a lifestyle transformation, and make it last.

Look for excuses

Lastly is my all-time favourite, EXCUSES!!! I have heard them all, when everyone wants to reduce size, decrease body fat, get fitter, but will let anything get in the way of putting in the required effort. I am too busy, it’s too hot, my children, too old, my dog, my genes like chocolate, it’s just not my thing… Plan your life well and make sure you are willing to put in the necessary effort, do not let excuses run your life. In this respect, I am glad I have amazing clients that are focussed and despite facing all of life’s daily challenges…they do not let anything get in their way.


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