On a mission to get clean and lean this January? Ahead of the launch of her new book, The Bikini Body Motivation & Habits Guide, we caught up with fitness sensation Kayla Itsines for her top tips on breaking bad habits – whether it’s scrimping on sleep or mindless snacking – for good...
Not Getting Enough Sleep
Trigger: Feeling anxious or overwhelmed, having a busy schedule or irregular working hours.
Break the habit: As well as finding ways to manage your stress (such as getting regular exercise and practicing meditation), try using an alarm for both going to bed and waking up to ensure you’re getting your eight hours. Where possible, follow a regular routine before bed to prepare your body for sleep and reduce screen time in the evening.
Trigger: Sleeping in and not having time to prepare and eat breakfast, or not feeling hungry when you wake.
Break the habit: While it’s okay not to feel hungry as soon as you wake up, try to make something healthy, such as overnight oats, to take with you to eat once you feel ready. It could also be worth setting your alarm for 20 minutes earlier – use this time to have breakfast at home and you’ll soon notice your energy levels are on a more even keel throughout the day.
Snacking On Unhealthy Foods
Trigger: Feeling stressed and reaching for comfort foods, not having enough time to prepare healthy snacks, or impulse buying.
Break the habit: If you make the effort to prep and eat healthy meals and snacks, you should find yourself feeling less hungry. If you still feel like grazing, pack healthy snacks to take with you to avoid temptation.
Too Tired To Workout
Trigger: Not allowing adequate rest time during the week, having a busy schedule, or feeling mentally tired due to stress.
Break the habit: You know your body best, and whether you’re actually physically tired or just using it as an excuse. Remember that exercise can also be good for managing stress and the rush of endorphins can make a big difference to your mood.
Overindulging When Eating Out
Trigger: Being distracted and not reviewing the menu for healthier options, or not wanting to be singled out for choosing something healthier.
Break the habit: Eating out doesn’t have to mean fast food – this can be a really good opportunity to try new healthy dishes you can learn to make at home. If dining out is your own form of indulging, then still make use of it for that purpose but don’t go over the top and try to keep it balanced with a good mix of protein, carbs and fats.
Not Resting Enough Between Workouts
Trigger: Feeling the need to make up on missed training sessions, or thinking you’ll get better results with more.
Break the habit: One of the fastest ways to get an injury or to slow down progress is to overtrain as it puts extra stress on the body. Use a weekly workout planner and allocate rest and recovery time into your schedule to give your body time to repair itself.