If you’ve put on a little weight over the holiday season, you’re in great company. With so much going on including family gatherings, catching up with friends, and work dos, it’s all too easy to self-indulge and pile on a kilo or two. If that’s the case, don’t despair! This post will outline five simple strategies for losing your holiday weight.
Write Down a Weight Loss Goal
Before you begin, it’s important to have a clear idea of how much weight you want to lose and write it down. As well as the amount of weight, be clear about how much time you’re going to give yourself to lose it. Being specific is important so you know when you’re close to your ideal weight loss and when you’ve achieved it. Without a goal, it’s tougher to be proud of your efforts or achievements.
Avoid Crash Diets
It’s natural that you’d want to drop your holiday weight as soon as possible – but don’t succumb to the lure of crash diets. Such diets make grand promises about helping you lose weight as soon as possible but the reality is they’re more likely to leave you worse off than when you started.
For a start, many of these diets work by requiring you to dramatically cut your calorie intake overnight which will simply leave you hungry all the time. Your willpower will be depleted and there’s a strong chance you’ll overindulge when you finally crack. What’s more, crash diets cause you to burn muscle as well as fat, which will decrease your metabolism – your body’s natural ability to burn fat.
Instead, simply strive to eat less processed food and more fresh food. Consume less sugar, particularly in drinks, and eat more fruit and vegetables. Learn to make a few salads to keep your meals interesting and pair them with a serving of protein such as meat, fish, eggs, nuts, or beans.
Follow the 80/20 Rule
One of the most common mistakes we make when trying to lose weight is trying to go cold turkey; instantly cutting out our favourite treats and guilty pleasures. While this can work for some, most of the time denying yourself one of these things just makes you want them more. In the end, we throw in the towel and seek out our favourite slice of cake, type of cookie, or bag of lollies. This then causes us to feel guilty and incapable of sticking to our attempts at being healthier, and it can result in us giving up.
Instead, follow the 80/20 rule: be good 80% of the time and allow yourself the odd indulgence the other 20% of the time. This is more likely to keep you honest because if you’re really craving your favourite snack or treat, you can resist the urge for a few days right? On the other hand, not knowing when you’re going to allow yourself your favourite treat again can be pretty tough for your brain to accept. So decide that you’re going to call the shots and allow yourself the odd indulgence at specific times of your choosing.
Personally, I favour the weekend.
Although some of us aren’t particularly fond of exercise, the reality is it changes your body in a way that diet alone can’t. It causes your body to burn fat; increases your metabolism, so you burn even more fat; increases your muscle mass; strengthens your bones and posture; and releases hormones that make us feel happier. Combining exercise with a healthy diet is a potent way to burn fat quickly.
If you happen to be someone who hasn’t been a fan of exercise in the past, this upcoming year I encourage you to go out and find something new: Try yoga, aqua aerobics, or a dance class. Sign up for an outdoor bootcamp. Buy yourself a trampoline. There are now so many options that don’t involve running on a treadmill or riding on a stationary bike that you might find something you really enjoy.
Accept You’re Going to Slip Up
Did you know that average New Year’s resolution only lasts 9 days? After that, dejected we couldn’t make our resolutions stick, most of us give up and go back to how things were before. Only having a little less trust in ourselves and our ability to follow up on the promises we make to ourselves.
In reality, we’re being a little hard on ourselves; it’s sometimes hard to make a successful change the first time. Habits are hard to change and sometimes we’re going to slip up and revert to our original way of being. Instead, accept off the bat that you’re going to slip up. Expect it. So that when you do, it doesn’t affect you as much, and most importantly, cause you to give up.