Before January had even begun, many of us had already committed to getting back on the fitness wagon in the new year. Spending time with friends and family over the festive season, it was easy to take our feet off the gas and let our usual fitness routines slip. Now the new year has come around, we feel compelled to detox away some of that booze and rich food. But that doesn’t mean we have to rip everything up and start again.

New year’s resolutions aside, we all want to better ourselves, but we shouldn’t get hung up on our festive excesses. After all, guilt is a weak motivator. Instead we should play to our individual strengths.

If you really want to get in shape in 2023, you need a more positive purpose. So accept the Christmas calories – you enjoyed them, after all – and move on with positive proactivity.

To help people refine their fitness this year, Constantinos Yiallouros, expert personal trainer at Anytime Fitness UK, says these – along with pressing the panic button and going too hard, too soon – are the weight-loss mistakes you need to avoid.

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1. Expecting significant progress every week

People often assume that when they start a new healthy routine, the weight should fall off every week. When it doesn’t, they become disheartened and give up prematurely. The main thing I try to get across is that weight loss is a journey and something that takes time.

By considering more metrics than just the weight on the scales – such as increased energy levels, healthier moods or an ability to exercise harder and for longer – you can appreciate the numerous changes that are taking place in your body and the great progress you’re making.

Before too long, you’ll see those changes in the mirror and be motivated to continue.

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2. Training too much

You don’t need to be going to the gym five days a week; even many professional athletes don’t strength train that much. Four times a week is the most I’d recommend, and two times a week is the least.

You should also balance it with more non-exercise activity, like for a walk in the fresh air, or taking the stairs more often. All these little things add up to make a big difference.

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3. Turning to supplements straight away

When I put together a health plan for clients, supplements are one of the last things to consider. To supplement is to ‘add to’ – they should compliment your existing diet, not replace it.

If you have a poor diet, your body will not benefit from any supplements. Eat healthily and improve your metabolism by exercise and correct hydration, as well as improving your sleep and reducing stress.

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4. Not committing to lifestyle changes

Before you start any weight-loss journey, you need to evaluate the time that you’re able to commit to it. You will need to make lifestyle changes to make time for exercise, as well as establish a better eating, cooking and planning routine. Take away these changes and your exercise won’t have the same impact.

You should also try to keep track of your progress so you can celebrate your achievements, however big or small they may be. That could be how many times you exercised, the healthy meals you’ve cooked, or how long you slept for the previous night. Keeping a track of these is not only incredibly useful, but a way to ensure you give yourself credit for all the positive changes that you’re making in your life.

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5. Going it alone

I always recommend involving as many people as you can on your weight-loss journey. Rally a support network around you and use their encouragement to inspire you.

I’d also recommend seeking out a qualified health and fitness coach that can assess your wellbeing and give you a structure to follow. While it comes at a cost, having a qualified professional’s expertise will provide guidance and encouragement to adapt to your new lifestyle.

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