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“It is unrealistic to place huge demands on your body in January after a month (or more) of excess.

News release – November 22 2010

Why wait until January? Start your ‘new you’ regime in December

--Naturopathic nutritionist & MD of AOk Drinks explains why bingeing over Christmas and detoxing in January is not the long-term solution to a healthier, slimmer you--

“Why do so many of us wait until January to start our exercise and healthy eating regime?” asks Stuart Roberts, MD of AOk Drinks and naturopathic nutritionist and personal fitness trainer.

“It is a cultural phenomenon that results in us feeling guilty, lacking in motivation and failure, which can be mentally and emotionally damaging. Going from over-excess to a drastic detox will not last the distance. Instead, I recommend small but incremental steps that will make a lasting impact, help you lose weight, feel healthier and get you ahead of schedule by the New Year. Why put so much pressure on yourself before Christmas, over-indulge and then punish your body with a sudden change in lifestyle on January 1st that sends your body into shock?”

Have you considered any of the following common January ‘resolutions’?

• Joining a gym.
• Going running/jogging.
• Quitting alcohol for at least a month.
• Starting a new diet.
• Cutting out dairy/wheat/gluten.

If so, you’re not alone – however you’re also likely to be one of the many people who return to their old lifestyle and habits within just a few weeks. Stuart Roberts instead recommends that we make small steps towards a healthier lifestyle that is realistic and won’t make you feel like you’re missing out on the good things in life.

In the UK around 43% of men and 33% of women are overweight, and a further 22% of men and 23% of women fall into the obese category.

Should I join a gym in January?

AOk Drinks’ Stuart Roberts says: “Why not join before January when it is much quieter and you can take your time learning how to use all of the machines? You can fit in a few sessions before Christmas and even drop a pound or so in time for those Christmas parties, and still enjoy Christmas pudding and turkey, without gaining any extra weight. The gyms are so busy in January that they become a pain rather than a pleasure: waiting for the treadmill, busy changing room and no spare lockers: why bother? Instead, you could start your fitness regime in December and then be at a fitness level that means you could go for a jog or a bike ride in January, as well as the occasional gym visit”.


Why do New Year’s resolutions usually fail?
“It is unrealistic to place huge demands on your body in January after a month (or more) of excess. Your body will cope with and adapt better to small changes over time, rather than a short, sharp burst of dramatic transformations. This huge challenge becomes more and more difficult over time to the point where failure seems like the only option,” says Stuart Roberts, MD at AOk Drinks.

Less than a quarter of those asked for a university study conducted in 2009 had managed to stick to their resolutions. Richard Wiseman, a psychologist at the University of Hertfordshire in the UK, who led the analysis, said he and his team had asked 700 people about their strategies for achieving New Year resolutions. Their goals ranged from losing weight or giving up smoking to gaining a qualification or starting a better relationship.

Of the 78% who failed, many had focused on the downside of not achieving the goals; they had suppressed their cravings, fantasised about being successful, and adopted a role model or relied on willpower alone.

However, people who kept their resolutions tended to have broken their goal into smaller steps and rewarded themselves when they achieved one of these. They also told their friends about their goals, focused on the benefits of success and kept a diary of their progress. People who planned a series of smaller goals had an average success rate of 35%, while those who followed all five of the above strategies had a 50% chance of success, the study found (1).

One step at a time…

Stuart Roberts has compiled a list of small steps based on his experiences as a nutritionist and fitness trainer, which can, over time, result in a happier, healthier and more relaxed you, without the pressures or concerns of failure, and the likelihood of success being higher than failure.

1. Eat breakfast every day. Something as simple as a bottle of AOk red grape, cherry, aloe vera and ginger juice, alongside a warming bowl of porridge with dried fruit and seeds (or mix in a good protein powder such as those available at or baked beans on wholegrain toast, will fuel your body for the rest of the morning and help you avoid snacking or filling up on caffeine. One bottle of AOk provides your recommended daily amount of antioxidants at just 145 calories.

2. Introduce a more regular sleep pattern – aim for relaxation time before bed (a bath, reading a book, or even just five minutes of quiet time). Cutting back on sleep reduces the benefits of dieting, according to a study published October 5, 2010, in the Annals of Internal Medicine (2).

3. Start with half an hour of exercise (on top of what you previously did) each day. This can be a walk at a fast pace (pushing the pram, power walking around the local park, or even hitting the shops!). After a few weeks, try to make at least one session longer, and then another, until you are exercising for at least an hour three times each week.

4. Cut back rather than cut out. If you enjoy chocolate or crisps, you can still enjoy them as a treat and in moderation rather than an every day item. If you eliminate what you love in your diet you will feel hard done-by and quickly lack in motivation if you don’t see immediate results. Try swapping a chocolate bar for a high-quality square of chocolate instead – trade up but eat less.

5. Reduce the amount of caffeine you are consuming, while increasing the amount of water you drink. Try green tea, jasmine tea and other herbal varieties instead of instant coffee and black tea with milk.

6. Keep a food and drink diary – you’ll be amazed at what you snack on and it will help you identify when you are struggling most with low energy levels or snacking out of boredom.

7. Eat at least one meal a day at the table (or at least somewhere away from your desk/in front of the television) so you can really enjoy and savour the moment.

8. Take some ‘me-time’ and introduce a weekly reward – indulge in some pampering and relaxation that does not rely on food or drink. If your budget cannot stretch to a spa day, try an at-home facial or a manicure. Or, perhaps put some money aside each week to eventually buy yourself the gadget you’ve been admiring on Amazon.

9. Avoid nightcaps in an aim to help you ‘drop off’ more easily. Alcohol is packed with calories and does not actually help you sleep any better as your body is forced to process the toxins at a time when it should be concentrating on other ‘repair’ work.

10. Keep healthy snacks with you to avoid the temptation of buying a bag of crisps. Sticks of carrot, pepper and/or cucumber with a low fat cheese spread or hummus is a filling snack that can keep you going in between meals. A bottle of AOk will help to give you a boost due to the exceptional antioxidant content.

Notes to editors

About AOk Drinks…

Samples of AOk Drinks, goody bags, competition prizes (including ‘Win a free nutrition consultation with naturopathic nutritionist Stuart Roberts’), images, interviews, further information and much more are available now from for members of the media.

Re-launched in August 2010 (previously known as Mile High Drinks and originally introduced in September 2008), AOk is available at selected Waitrose stores nationwide ( and via AOk is endorsed by celebrity doctor Christian Jessen: “It’s great taken on a daily basis as well as when you feel you need an extra something as at only 145 calories and with no hidden nasties it really is something you can add to a healthy eating and exercise plan.”

Just one 250ml bottle of AOk provides:

• Your daily recommended requirement of antioxidants including melatonin, which can help promote sleep
• One of your ‘five a day’
• Only 145 calories
AOk is a deliciously fruity combination of red grapes, cherries, aloe vera and ginger. AOk has been created by nutritionist Stuart Roberts to provide a convenient way of getting your optimal daily antioxidant requirements from just one bottle; no matter how busy your life is.

Each ingredient has been carefully chosen to ensure that there is a synergistic mix of multiple antioxidants. This makes AOk an extremely potent antioxidant drink, which can be enjoyed as part of a healthy active lifestyle. Laboratory industry standard tests have shown AOk to be an exceptional antioxidant drink.


When dieters in the study got a full night's sleep, they lost the same amount of weight as when they slept less. When dieters got adequate sleep, however, more than half of the weight they lost was fat. When they cut back on their sleep, only one-fourth of their weight loss came from fat.
They also felt hungrier. When sleep was restricted, dieters produced higher levels of ghrelin, a hormone that triggers hunger and reduces energy expenditure.

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