Escape This Trap and Change Your Life Now!
As Manchester personal trainers, we know the life has never been more hectic, and finding time to look, feel, and perform better has never been harder.
Even worse, many lifestyle habits creep in over time that, while seeming relaxing at the time, only serve to take you further away from a better version of yourself.
A better you
So what does a truly better you really mean?
It goes far beyond the absence of chronic illness and lack of basic physical capability for a start!
For many of the people our Manchester personal trainers work with, becoming a truly better version of their current self means:
We call this ‘getting Optimised’.
Getting Optimised is a state of being where your body, biochemistry, health status, and lifestyle habits are in sync so you’re looking, feeling, and performing at your best all of the time.
The coffee - sugar - wine - sleep trap
The coffee-sugar-wine-sleep trap is the enemy of all of that.
In our Manchester personal training gym, we often work with high stress, time limited Manchester city centre professionals.
One of the recurring stories we hear is that of the coffee-sugar-wine-sleep cycle. So easy to fall into and so hard to break!
And I’d say that the coffee-sugar-wine-sleep trap is a factor for at least 90% of the people who come to us for help in becoming a better version of themselves.
It goes like this...
You wake up with less than optimal energy. To get yourself up and on point for the day, you make a bee line straight for the nearest caffeinated product – often the stronger the better.
Then you feel as though you need more caffeine and sugar during the day to keep that high, and as caffeine suppresses appetite, you don’t feel much like eating whole food anyhow.
After a busy and stressful day at work, with a commute thrown in for good measure, you arrive home and head straight for the nearest wine or beer bottle to take the edge off your day.
After your evening meal (and more alcohol than you’d intended – remember a medium glass of wine or pint of lager contains about 190 calories!), you deserve something sweet while you get a bit of hard earned downtime in front of the TV.
Often that means chocolate, or – many people’s favourite – Haribo.
The alcohol, sugar, and bright screen from going on your phone before bed lower the quality of your sleep.
So you wake up feeling – you guessed it – tired, and the cycle gets a fresh start pretty much every day.
You just need to see the line at Costa, Starbucks of Nero between 8 and 9am any weekday in the city centre to know this is true.
Escaping the Trap!
Getting out of this trap is one of the most important things you can do; here are some tips we use with our personal training clients:
1/ Switch to green tea (especially in the morning)
(my personal favourites are Dragonfly Moroccan Mint Organic Green Tea, and Heath & Heather Coconut GreenTea).
It’s also worth remembering that caffeine is not energy.
Food is energy.
Caffeine is like taking a hammer to your stress hormones, literally beating your adrenal glands to make them give up more stress hormones.
Caffeine can work well in certain situations, and when necessary, but chronic, long term use rarely ends well, and usually ends up taking more than it gives in my experience working with hundreds of clients over more than 12 years.
2/ Make a conscious effort to eat whole food for breakfast...
A NutriBullet with some frozen berries, spinach, nuts and whey protein is a great start if you’re time-limited.
Leftovers from the night before, packed to eat at your desk, can also work really well if you’re usually sprinting out of the door in the morning.
One thing to remember as well; when you’re on top of your energy and sleep, getting up just a bit earlier in the morning becomes much, much easier, and breakfast at home becomes a real possibility instead of a distant dream!
3/ Save left overs from the night before
Bang it in a lunchbox with some avocado and olives for a great packed lunch option – and make sure you have access to healthy snacks like raw nuts and fruit during the day so you don’t get too hungry.
Make it look like this if you can:
1 – Protein
2 – Green leaves
3 – Fats
4 – Carbs depending on where you’re at with those
5 – Remember to make it tasty :o))
If your fridge and cupboards are full of great, tasty, ready-to-go food that you just need to throw in a lunchbox, you’re more likely to eat well, feel full, balance your blood sugar levels, and avoid gravitating towards poor food and drink choices throughout the day.
4/ Save alcohol for the weekend!
‘But alcohol helps me unwind’ you say!
‘And it’s fun and sociable at the weekend’ you say!
It can be tough to do, but you’ll quickly feel the difference in your personal performance and see the difference in your body.
Not only does alcohol contain loads of calories, which is horrible if you want to get lean, it:
Many people are doing this every. single. day.
A good tip for the reducing alcohol is to replace it with something non-alcoholic that you really enjoy.
I know, I know, you really enjoy alcohol.
But take some time to find something else you really enjoy that isn’t alcohol.
Heck, things like Kombucha can be delicious and good for you!
This is an essential part of actually changing your lifestyle and being a better you for the long term, re-orienting your life so looking great, feeling awesome and performing at your peak is *just part of how you live*, rather than a chore you have to do.
5/ Keep bright screens away from your eyes right before bed
It suppresses your main sleep hormone, melatonin, and results in a poorer quality nights sleep!
This is a sneaky one, because it’s not obvious that your sleep isn’t as good – it’s not like someone blasting AC/DC in your bedroom at 3am in the morning.
Lights mean that the quality of your sleep – and especially the quality of your deep sleep – is compromised.
And over weeks, months, and years, that all adds up, so you feel knackered even though you’re getting your 8 hours in.
If you’re stuck in the coffee-sugar-wine-sleep trap, or some version of it, escaping it is a fundamental aspect of changing your lifestyle.
By doing this, looking, feeling and performing at your best – becoming optimised – becomes an automatic side effect of your lifestyle, rather than:
Follow these tips and you’ll start to look, feel, and perform better in no time.
To your lean, healthy, optimised future,
Matt & the Optimised personal training team