Over the past year, there has been an ever-increasing amount of media coverage with regard to a nationwide lack of exercise, poor dietary habits and the subsequent impact on the NHS and its associated Health Services; yet the benefits of physical activity alone are so well documented that it is impossible to think of how we can dismiss them – reducing the risk of heart disease, stroke and diabetes as well as improving mental health.

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Further, this January, I would guarantee that a person’s main goal for 2018 (like every year) is to lose weight! Making New Year resolutions is something we seem to promise to ourselves but rarely adhere to, but why is that?

In essence we are talking about behaviour change, making small changes that ultimately lead to becoming a habit, then in time actually become a lifestyle change – something that we can stick to and becomes part of our normal routine.

At onePT we are extremely fortunate to have Professor Graeme Close as our Nutritional Consultant – Graeme works as the Nutritional Consultant to England Rugby as well as a number of Premier League Football Teams and other leading sports people. It is so important to realise that these sports people are ‘human beings’ who still have feelings, some may have families and still struggle with the pressures and challenges of everyday life. Therefore a large part of Graeme’s role is to engage with his athletes, build up the relationship and trust with them so they are willing to join him on a nutritional change journey. For me, these learnings are so important to take in to the fitness and personal training world.

Graeme highlights a great interview with Sir David Brailsford, General Manager of Team Sky and formerly Performance Director of British Cycling; where he described 3 things that are needed to result in change: –


You have to be suffering enough or the reward has to be great enough to engage with change and if one of these are not in place change is unlikely.

A good example of this is people losing weight for their wedding day – here the reward is great, people will stick to their exercise and nutritional plan, but then after the day, what is the reward to drive them?

Here is where a Fitness Professional or Personal Trainer can help to tease out other goals that may ‘incentivise’ someone to make that change.


If you don’t think you can change, then you won’t – again, this is where a Fitness Professional / Personal Trainer can be so important – to build up the trust with you, to help you believe you can make the change.


There has to be a commitment to change – in other words there has to be a desire to change and the goal must come from within rather than being imposed by anyone else.

When it comes to behaviour change, we are ultimately trying to take someone from their current practice and towards their ideal but in doing this we often have to break a cycle. Here honesty is really important, and a person may not be ready for change and hence it may take more time and further engagement with someone to gain their trust to make a break through.

In summary, when we talk about diet or nutrition we’re often talking about our habits surrounding food choices and so making small tweaks can often be the key to success as opposed to following the ‘ultimate diet plan’. For further information or advice, please do not hesitate to contact us here at onePT.

Dr Neil Fell PhD




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