The build-up to Christmas is usually filled with parties, lots of celebration drinks and meals out. Running around sorting out presents, wrapping them, organising the food, prepping it, cooking it and eventually sitting down to a meal with family and friends.
It can all seem a bit much even though the time invested is usually worth it.
While I don’t suggest following a diet over the Christmas and New Year period (although sensible eating is advised), the stress and frenzy of the season can see your exercise fall away as your days become busier in the build up to Christmas Day.
Add to that the extra alcohol and food you consume you may feel like you have undone all your hard work; but can I assure you that a few days of over eating won’t undo 12 months of hard work. The time we spend with our family and friends is more important than sticking to your calories over this period. Laughing and enjoying yourself is so important to your state of mind and social wellbeing.
If you haven’t been exercising regularly up to this point then maybe you should consider starting now so that you don’t repeat the same cycle in 12 months time. So that you can wake up after Christmas and just get back into it; so you wake up after Christmas not feeling and looking heavier than you did 12 months ago.
Right about now you’re feeling bloated, maybe your joints are achy, maybe a bit hungover, tired, lethargic and a bit like a couch potato from eating and drinking too much.
So what can you do??
Get back to training.
Go for a long walk.
Get some fresh air.
Start being more active especially if you’re not working between now and the New Year.
Start seeing exercise as a way to improve your health and lifestyle and not just as a means of losing weight.
Stop making excuses and just start where your at.
Exercise should be a positive activity in your life – not something you dread or hate doing.
So get up off the couch, leave the dishes and mess from Christmas and get out and start moving.
You don’t need to worry about being on weight watchers, slimming world, intermittent fasting, a juice detox or any other diet method.
You don’t need to worry about how many carbs you need to lose weight, is breakfast important or not eating too late at night.
You don’t need to go to diet extremes and cut out everything you love.
You don’t have to give up alcohol.
You don’t have to train 5 x a week killing yourself in the gym.
You don’t even have to go on a diet to lose weight.
You just need to follow a few principles and key areas
Successful fat loss and optimal health come from
Being in a calorie deficit
How you create this deficit is down to the individual.
The method of low carb, high carb, fasting etc. is specific to each person and what they prefer.
How you achieve your deficit is up to you but don’t sacrifice your own health to lose weight.
Don’t create too big a deficit as it will leave you with low energy and less strength for training.
Find your optimal deficit where you are losing weight, function well, sleep well, train well and are satisfied by the food you eat.
King of recovery is in the quality and quantity of your sleep. If you are eating well and training but struggling to lose weight, then maybe you need to address your sleep.
This is so overlooked as a way to get great results but so so important for fat loss and our overall health.
Increasing your training
Exercise alone won’t cause you to lose loads of weight.
Yes, you will increase your energy expenditure from training and burn more calories, but it can also help with creating a more positive and motivated you.
It will get you fitter, stronger and more confident.
It can help you be more positive and feel in more control of your life.
It can help you to be more mindful of what you’re eating; especially if your trying to lose weight and you’re working hard in the gym.
The benefits of exercise go far beyond just weight loss alone. Look down the road a few years and ask yourself if I can make exercise part of my life where will I be in 2 yrs, 10 yrs etc.
How much better will you be by taking care of yourself now.
Increasing your neat
Your NEAT is Non-Exercise Activity Thermogenesis – in other words it’s the calories you burn when you’re not in the gym or exercising.
If you want to lose weight quicker; you need to move more outside of your training at the gym.
Walk 10000 steps a day or 15000.
Take the stairs or get off the train 1 stop early.
Just move more and increase the calories you burn.
Whatever you decide to do to create a calorie deficit, add to your life in the form of exercise or the healthy habits you create for yourself – stick to it.
Be consistent, give it time to work.
Don’t stress about it just be diligent and do each day what you set out to do and after a month test how you have gone.
If it’s working well then just keep going. Why change it if it’s working.
Trust the process and be patient.
Finding joy in the journey
Smile and smile often, losing weight shouldn’t be boring or a chore all the time. Yes, you have to make changes and create new lifestyle habits and it can be uncomfortable but after a while you adjust. Find joy, find people who understand and can help you along the way, people who make the journey fun and worth it.
Creating healthy habits
The cornerstone of successful weight loss and improved health is developing healthy habits over time. Your relationship with food and how mindful you are of what you eat needs to change.
You can’t follow a strict diet, lose weight then go back to how you ate before you started the diet and expect to keep it off. You have to change your lifestyle and approach to healthy eating; your habits need to change otherwise you will be dieting for the rest of your life.
We start by working on 1 thing at a time. Eg Could be late night snacking, if you have a tendency to over eat at night then you need to work on ways to change this. If it’s that bad, then changing this one habit could be the thing you need to start losing weight. You could opt for lower calorie healthier snacks to replace what you currently have, eat less in the day to allow for some snacks at night or portion out your snacks to keep you in a deficit.
If late night snacking is what leads you to over eat and gain weight over all your other eating habits, then start here. Replace the action of snacking on high calorie, low nutrient food late at night with a healthier, lower calorie portioned option.
This is just one example, but it shows how losing weight doesn’t have to be complicated or boring, it’s about being smarter and changing the big things that will lead to the best results.
Realising there is no quick fix or short cuts
I won’t lie but losing weight can be hard work, it takes daily commitment and time and It involves changing your lifestyle to develop healthy habits.
There is no quick fix, no secret we aren’t telling you – just hard work and a rewarding result at the end of it.
Adherence is key
No matter what you do or how perfect you’re eating plan is if you can’t follow it you won’t lose weight. There is no perfect plan that fits everybody.
The method of your weight loss needs to suit your lifestyle, food choices, likes and dislikes and social life.
If you prefer low carb and you can be consistent doing this then maybe that’s the option for you. Others may prefer higher carbs or opt to eat a balance of carbs and protein.
There is no right or wrong way – just the right way for you.
Our members have nutritional support built into their training memberships that they can access when they need help to stay on track.
Rather than just giving you a cookie cutter meal plan we aim to personalize the nutritional approach to each member.
We keep it simple and use what you’re already doing as a starting point.
You are involved in process and lead the way in terms of what you want to change.
Losing weight will have its ups and downs, it’s never linear and life will always throw us curve balls.
It’s how you react, get back up and keep going that counts.
For more information about our 30-day trial contact us on 07923471006 or firstname.lastname@example.org