You can’t outrun your fork. Making the wellness lifestyle stick

The new year has dawned, and with it, the common slew of resolutions to overcome the binge of festive season. However, no amount of exercise is going to change an overall unhealthy lifestyle. But how do you go about building a healthy lifestyle that is more than just joining the many crowded gyms in January? All chasing the same resolution, to get fit and healthy.

How many times have you heard the statement ‘you are what you eat’? How many of us take account of this statement? Sarah’s biggest goal entering the new year is to lose weight, after lockdown she developed a mostly sedentary lifestyle, pivoting to a remote work environment. This came with adding extra to her waistline, which soon got out of control. She knew she needed to get moving and resorted to a vigorous exercise regime. However, she couldn’t figure out why the weight didn’t start dropping off? The reality soon dawned, that no matter how hard you work, you can’t out exercise a bad lifestyle.

If exercise is a pillar of a healthy lifestyle, what are the holistic elements to build and develop a wellness lifestyle you can maintain. Like anything in life to achieve a goal, you need to build on a foundation, this includes wellness goals. If you are like Sarah and wanting to lose weight, or you have other wellness goals in mind; to reduce stress, move more, have better sleep or committing to a positive attitude, you need to build a foundation of habits to make your wellness lifestyle stick.

Practice healthy eating throughout the day

The biggest change to implementing a healthy lifestyle is nutrition, the way you fuel your body will determine how you perform throughout your day. Think of it like this, if you own a sportscar, you don’t really want to put low-quality fuel in the tank, we already know it won’t run optimally or efficiently, and in the long run will break down the vehicle. The body works in the same way. Avoid the sugar in the vending machine, and rather reach for the salad and lean protein in the lunch queue.

Think colourful, avoid the beige

A colourful plate is built up of leafy greens, fruits, nuts and lean meats, with a plate like this you will hit your 3 macro nutrient groups, carbs, proteins and fats. Avoid the beige, have you ever looked at all the greasy fast food and realised it has a colour scheme? Grey, beige and dull, reflecting the lack of nutrient you’d be getting from it. Rather go for the bright, colourful and lean chicken as you prepare for your workweek.

Eat breakfast

There is a lot of controversy out there surrounding breakfast, however the short answer is yes, breakfast is important. As it benefits muscle health and supports weight loss, kick starting your metabolism, ensuring you are energised and satiated for your day, and further helping your body with glucose regulation.

Portion control

Portion control is key, as the amount of food you consume can change the amount of energy or kilojoules/calories consumed. Even when selecting the healthy options. Larger portions of leafy greens, fruits, and vegetables will give you the vitamins, minerals, and fiber your body needs, while satiating your appetite, and not breaking the calorie bank.

Stay hydrated

Water is extremely important for every organ, muscle, tissue, and cell in the body. Aim to drink 8 glasses of water per day. If you know your bad at it, consider getting a water bottle with markers to remind you, or set an alert on your phone, an app or smart watch.


Often when under stress and pressure, the first thing we sacrifice is sleep. But what if this decision reaches far beyond managing your deadlines. Lack of sleep is a leading factor to stress and weight gain. Common effects of a lack of sleep include fatigue, drowsiness, a lack of focus and productivity. Sleep is a critical part of wellbeing; it clears the brains debris and moves short term memory over to long term memory. It basically resets the brain for the following day, not only does healthy sleep have a positive impact on the brain, but it also aids in muscle recovery, healthy metabolism regulation and weight loss.


Even though you can’t outrun a bad lifestyle, exercise is a critical factor to building a wellness lifestyle. Regular exercise is not only good for the body, but for the mind. Exercise aids in weight management, the maintenance and development of healthy muscles, bones, and joints. It also reduces the risk of high blood pressure, heart disease, and diabetes. It further aids in mental wellbeing, as it regulates stress, and eases symptoms of depression and anxiety. Start small with 30 minutes of exercise in your day or a 10–15-minute walk during your lunch break and build from there.

Life is about living and enjoying the journey. We all get stuck in the rut of doing the same thing everyday living in a comfort zone. But step out to challenge yourself, to work towards a goal, from doing a 5km run, a cycle race or being able to complete an ironman, the possibilities are endless once you build a foundation of a wellness lifestyle that sticks.