For those who don’t know me, I’m Dom - a dietitian, nutritionist and personal trainer with a love for good food, fine wine and travel. I’m all about balance, and fitting achievable health into your lifestyle. No fads or extremes here!
I got started in the industry about ten years ago as I had been a regular gym-goer and nutrition nerd for some time, and wanted to become qualified to the highest level to help others achieve their best health.
My motivation comes intrinsically from knowing just how good I feel when I look after myself best. You only get one body to live in, prioritize it!
For anyone looking to improve their nutrition and fitness, it can feel like a long road ahead but you can use my top five tips on getting started:
Mindset. It doesn’t have to be all or nothing. People often put off starting because they think about all of the things they might miss out. The sooner you understand that any food can be enjoyed, and that you don’t have to run a marathon to be fit, then you can reduce the barriers to starting.
Set a plan. This should include your goal, and be broken down into the steps to get there. This reduces the overwhelm and stops you from unnecessarily overdoing it (which can be tempting!).
For example, is your goal quite general such as to improve your fitness? If so- any increase from what you’re currently doing is a win!
However, if it’s a more specific goal such as to be able to run 5km in two months time, you’ll need to break this down into how many runs per week and distance per run to be able to get there.
Action. Planning is necessary, but actioning it is the hard part. Prepare yourself to start changing your habits because when we’re tired, motivation goes out the window and we fall back on habits instead. This may look like carving out 3 x 45m time slots in your schedule three mornings a week for exercise time (non-negotiable) and setting your alarm in advance to wake you up those mornings. It may be taking time to prepare some healthy breakfast options on a Sunday for the upcoming work week to grab and go. Depending on your goals, you’ll have different actions to set into your habits.
Guidance. Seek help for planning and implementation if you have no idea what you’re doing! You wouldn’t try and re-plumb your house without the help of a qualified plumber, why do it to yourself with diet and exercise? Outsourcing at the initial stage of your journey allows you to get a bulletproof plan and can provide accountability to get those habits in motion. It takes about three-four weeks to cement a new habit so you’ll need all the help you can get for the first month!
Inclusion and reinforcement. Focus on how you can increase your healthy habits, and what you ‘get to do’ rather than just stopping the unhealthy habits or what you ‘have to do’. It’s a much more motivating way to frame your behaviors.
For example: ‘I get to walk before work today’, rather than ‘I have to walk before work today’. Or ‘I need to include more fruit in my day’, rather than ‘I have to stop eating *sugar/bread/dairy*’ (which are myths- but that’s a story for another day!).
All of these tips enforce different aspects of health and fitness to prepare you for action and change! You can do it. The best time to start is always now.
Dietitian, Nutritionist & Personal Trainer