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.
The hardest part of the year to be trying to lose weight is the 2 weeks from Christmas to New Year. It’s getting colder, the days are shorter, you crave stodgy warm food and leaving the house to exercise seems like the hardest thing to do.
Add to that Christmas Parties and celebration drinks after work. The meal you eat Christmas day and the rest…. The New Year’s Eve celebrations and pretty soon your gaining weight not losing it. You feel depressed that you failed and indulged in things you wouldn’t normally do, you feel fat, lethargic and not motivated to move.
It doesn’t have to be that way. I am not saying you should be counting calories on Christmas day and that you can’t drink and enjoy yourself. I think being able to enjoy ourselves socially without guilt is so important for our emotional and spiritual health. What I am saying is that you can navigate this season well and come out of it still on track and motivated to keep going.
If you want to avoid excess weight gain this Christmas season, but still enjoy yourself without the guilt here are a few tips.
1. Planning– like anything you need to look at your calendar and mark down the social events you are committed to. If it’s a restaurant, look at the menu and pick the best options. Maybe switch your alcohol to sprits to reduce calories. Maybe have just a starter and a main and leave the dessert. Or if you have a sweet tooth opt for a main and a dessert.
You could share a dessert with a friend which halves the calories and allows you to enjoy eating it at the same time.
All you need to do is be mindful, think about it a little more and you can still enjoy your night out without compromising too much on the goal you made.
2.Be Realistic – This time of year is one to celebrate so weight loss may just have to be put on hold for 2 weeks to allow yourself to enjoy the season. If you can’t take time out to indulge a little once a year, then maybe you need to rethink your priorities.
2 weeks of relaxing, indulging and socialising will not undo 12 months of effort and hard work. What it will do is make you happier.
Do away with the guilt and just enjoy the moment and the people you are with.
You have 50 other weeks in the year to work on losing weight.
3.Increase your training – If you know that you will be eating more than try to combat it by increasing your training. It will help keep you in a positive mindset and lessen the guilt you feel from all the parties and food you will consume.
4.Be on it with your meals – Another way to offset the social activities is to eat well around them. Plan your meals so you are spot on and don’t deviate from them. When you can be good be very good. This allows you to enjoy going out and spending time with family and friends – No Guilt.
5.Go walking more everyday – Another good way to increase the calories you burn is to go walking every day – Aim for 10000-15000 steps at least every day over December and January. Walking increases the calories you burn but it doesn’t increase your hunger like other exercise can. If you burn 300 more calories a day from walking on top of what you already do; that’s 2100 kcals more a week you burn which goes a long way to helping you out with the added parties and food.
6.Don’t be on a diet Christmas Day– One sure way to ruin your day and leave you with a whole bunch of guilt is to stick to your calories on Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year’s Eve. Is it really that important in the grand scheme of things that you count calories on these days?
Can you eat less on other days to allow yourself to eat more?? YES
Can you forget about weight loss for 2 weeks and just chill out and have fun?? YES
Can you still be sensible and not over indulge and still enjoy yourself?? YES
Don’t burden others with your clean eating ways and perfect calorie intake – let them enjoy the food even if you want to sit there eating food from a Tupperware container.
It’s time to chill out, enjoy yourself but not go too crazy – use the tips above to your advantage that way instead of piling loads of weight on you can maybe stay the same but you will look back on this Christmas and New Year as a great time – GUILT FREE.
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
You spend months training in the lead up to your summer holiday desperately trying to lose the weight you have gained in the past 12 months. You do a great job and now the holiday is over what do you do???
After 13 years in the fitness industry one of the biggest drop offs in training is after summer.
You lose motivation as you were single goal focused.
You quietly slip back into old habits.
You stop going to the gym as much.
You start eating more.
You figure summer is over so you don’t have to try anymore.
You gain what you lost and next year have to start over again
Does this sound familiar??
This approach to exercise while it is good in the lead up to your holiday doesn’t actually lead to ongoing results year in and year out. You stop training only have to repeat the same process next year as you let yourself go.
May I encourage you to see past the short term goal and set goals that will take you past summer and into next year. This summer don’t make the same mistakes.
Imagine if you didn’t have to go on crazy diets and training plans in the lead up to your holiday.
Imagine if you made exercise part of your life all year round.
Imagine how each year you got better and better, lost more weight, kept it off and get even better results.
This year – have a think about what you would like to achieve by Christmas and into the new year?
Think about the strength or fitness goals you may have that will take longer to achieve and switch your focus from just losing weight for holidays.
Start making exercise part of your life, enjoy, work hard, eat well, have a social life and next year you will find that you feel and look better for all your dedication.
Most of the dislike we may have for exercise dates back to old gyms with rows of cardio machines, a weights room full of equipment that you don’t know how to use and a list of classes that require you to be able to move to a beat.
Exercise has changed a lot in the past 10 years – the options available to you have changed even if you haven’t been keeping up.
Our aim is to adapt the training we do to your goals and your starting point. To make it less daunting and more achievable.
The idea of exercise shouldn’t be one of fear or dread. Moving more gives you so many health benefits and will add quality of life. Movement is essential to life.
Exercise doesn’t always need to challenge you – it all depends what you want to get out of it.
More often than not our members are new to training and have never set foot in a gym.
They find a place to call home as we meet you where your at and start there.
We coach you every step of the way and are always there to help you in your journey.
If you want to lose weight then yes you have to challenge yourself; however It can still be hard but not hated!
To get started you need to find people that raise you up and trust me, it gets easier
We always say that it doesn’t matter what your goal is, what point you’re starting at or your level of experience.
The fact you have stepped out and started is a massive win and you can only get better and improve on yourself.
Over the years my approach to weight loss has changed, having competed in physique comps for 5 years my dieting approach was quite rigid and I only gave advice based off my own experience.
What I have learned these past few years is that the bar I set for members was to high. My focus and drive was too much and they needed a more relaxed approach to healthy eating and training so that they could achieve results and stay the path.
I realized that you don’t have to be super strict and cut out everything you love in order to get results.
In saying that if you want great results then the sacrifice has to reflect that, you can’t put in minimal effort with training and a lousy diet and expect a massive transformation.
This year alone many of our members have achieved a balance between training hard, healthy eating and enjoying meals out. They have lost weight, increased their fitness and regained their health without having to go cut out everything they enjoy – in other words they have found a way to have their cake and eat it.
We encourage hard work and we encourage a relaxed approach to diet, but the more you train the more you can eat/drink. It’s not the normal approach but it’s one we have found works in giving members freedom to choose and to enjoy life.
It’s about finding a balance that works for you, that ultimately leads to you getting the results your after without having to go down the restrictive/fad diet road.
In Australia my favourite chocolate bar is a cherry ripe. They don’t sell them in the UK so have tried my best to recreate a healthier lower calorie version which worked really well.
200g dark choc 70%
50g Rice cereal
40g Salted popcorn
30g Desiccated coconut
100g Dark choc dried cherry mix
Line a square or rectangle cake tin or Pyrex dish with baking paper
Melt the chocolate in a heatproof bowl over a saucepan of simmering water
Bottom of bowl not touching the water
In another bowl put the rice crispies, popcorn, coconut and cherry choc mix and stir until combined
Add the melted chocolate to the mix and stir until everything is coated
Put the mix in the lines tray
Cover with cling film and put in the fridge for at least 2 hours
Turn it out onto a board and cut into 20 pieces
Calories total 2064kcals (myfitnesspal)
Per piece 103kcals
As many of you know I am in the process of securing another location for a NEW Personal Training Studio in Winchmore Hill. I plan on keeping my studio in Southgate and opening up a slightly larger studio with more equipment. I am so excited to be able to expand and reach more people and help them transform their bodies. My aim as always is to equip my clients with the knowledge to lose weight, tone up and maintain their results long term. I aim to inspire everyone i meet to be stronger, healthier and leaner and am always reading and learning to expand my knowledge of how to help people regain their lives and move forward in a positive way.
I will keep you posted on the new studio’s progress and i am aim to open the doors in July/August 2013
If you have any enquiries about Personal training please contact me on 07923471006