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The Secret Ingredient For Optimum Health? Kindness, Says This Fitness Expert


By Positive.News

You’d be forgiven if you thought the key to improving your health was a New Diet or more Willpower. Turns out it’s Kindness, says the founder of a unique program that launched in January.

Every Sunday, participants in Eddie Jones’ Health Program fill in a form to let him know how they got on during the week. But they’re not tracking workout duration, weight loss or calories. Instead, they’re totting up Acts of Kindness.

“It’s completely Anonymous, so I can’t tell who’s writing. I’ll never know,” Jones says. “I just dip into it every week or two. There have been some really, really wonderful things in there.”

He points to a participant who bought a supermarket voucher for someone who was struggling to feed their children. Another cared for a bee with an injured wing. Someone else simply wrote a kind note to an acquaintance and slipped it into a flower pot for them to find.

Jones is a qualified Personal Trainer and Nutritionist who has been helping people Transform their Health for almost a decade. Inspiration for his course, The Kindness Revolution, came after he’d helped to set up a local litter-picking group. “A lot of good came from that, and I started to understand the benefits of giving more to those around me.”

The result is a 12-Week Online Program. Participants are guided through a series of easy-to-follow habits that help them Lose Weight Safely and Sustainably, Jones explains, improve their relationship with food, and “come off the dieting treadmill”.

At the same time, people are encouraged to carry out one small Act of Kindness every day. For every deed they submit, they earn 50p back from the course cost. This is either refunded at the end of the program or can be used towards further support.

Almost 800 acts of kindness have been logged so far – more than 10 for every person who completed the pilot, which launched in April 2023. The New Program launched in January, with spaces limited to just 30 people to allow for one-to-one email support. The waitlist is already open for those who want to secure a spot early.

“I’ve learned to be a lot Kinder to Myself and just take little steps to get there,” says Sarah Yates, who participated in the pilot. Yates, who joined after health problems stopped her from running and led to weight gain, says the program changed her mindset.

“I was such a yo-yo dieter in the past. It was all or nothing,” she says. “I was doing well and then, if I let it slip, that was it. [I felt] there was no point – it was done.”

It’s a problem most people who’ve tried to lose weight will relate to. Multiple studies have shown that it’s hard to keep weight off after a diet. One recent analysis of 29 separate studies found that 50% of lost weight is regained within two years, rising to 80% within five years.

According to Eryn Barber, a coach from Manchester with a postgraduate degree in strength and conditioning, the key is sustainability and long-term thinking.

“Losing weight is going to take time and you’re going to have to stay consistent and sustain that – so it’s all about going slow,” she says. “You still need to be able to enjoy your life. I really don’t believe in doing quick fixes, because it never works.”

Barber recommends that anyone seeking support should look for coaches who offer a personalised plan, as well as a healthy approach to fitness and food.

“When people don’t feel like they’re punishing themselves to exercise,” she explains, “they train better because they’re less focused on being as small as possible, and more focused on performance. It means they’re feeling better about themselves.”

It’s an approach Jones echoes in The Kindness Revolution: “It’s not realistic to ask people to follow a specific meal plan or calorie-counting diet. You can only follow a meal plan as long as you have a life that allows that to happen and, in my experience, no one really has that.

I’ve learned to be a lot Kinder to Myself and just take Little Steps to get there.

Transform Your Health With Kindness

Lose the weight (and inches) you haven’t been able to shed for years, develop a better relationship with food, and wave goodbye to yo-yo dieting and food obsessions for good.

“What happens when the Christmas Holidays come, work gets busy, or you want to enjoy a meal out? Life knocks people off their plan and before they know it, they’ve gained all the weight back. Worse yet, they blame themselves and turn into their own worst critic, fueling self-sabotage and other unhelpful behaviours.”

Instead, Jones’ program encourages you to use self-kindness as fuel as it guides you through a series of simple yet powerful habits. Each habit builds on the last and is doable 365 days a year. That means that even through busy times and holidays, you can still achieve results that last, he explains.

“I don’t expect anyone in the program to be perfect. In fact, one of the mindsets we practise is ‘progress, not perfection’. Perhaps you can’t do everything, but you can still do something. Those little ‘somethings’ soon add up to huge results”.

For Yates at least, who’s reached her initial goals, it’s been transformative: “It does stay with you. It’s up to me to apply it – but I have all the tools I need to go do it.”

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