Want to know how to lose weight at Christmas?
It is completely cruel for New Year to come right after Christmas. That’s why I have put together a ‘Beginners Guide Lose Weight At Christmas’. You’ll find 5 easy steps to achieving your goals and heading into the new year with the right mindset.
Lose weight the right way!
Counting Calories At Christmas
Here’s the truth, Christmas is a period of joy, mince pies and cold dark evenings inviting us to laze on the sofa. Not when we start counting our calories as well as our steps. All the festive treats are incredibly tempting, and we often feel that we have been given a free pass to indulge. It is, after all a punishable crime to count Christmas calories. So we enjoy ourselves ignoring the Damoclean sword of New Year hanging above our heads (right next to the mistletoe).
And then bang! New Year hits us with the almost compulsory New Year’s resolution to get fit and lose weight.
Realistic New Year’s Resolutions
You can’t imagine the massive crowds that pour into gyms every January.
My training buddy always says: “Don’t worry, they will all be gone by the end of February and the gym will be ours again.” It is a sad but a true fact. Most New Year’s resolutions will not be kept, and will be long forgotten by Easter.
Having said that, I believe that if you make your resolution sustainable and have a little bit of dedication, you can totally stick to it.
The majority of New Year’s resolutions are about getting healthy, fit and lose weight.
I myself have not always been slim and toned. Yes, I have tried some “miraculous” fast weight loss methods, but they are not sustainable. That is if they work in the first place.
So here are my personal weight-loss tips that worked for me.
5 New Year Principles To Follow To Lose Weight
Everyone wants that magic New Year’s Resolution pill. The one that makes them get to where they want to be out of pure desire. Unfortunately, weight loss just doesn’t work that way.
Such a huge part of the transformation comes along the journey. You learn about yourself on your journey to fat loss. You lose weight, increase your fitness levels, build muscle and love yourself more and more.
1. Exercising To Lose Weight
Sorry, it won’t happen without exercise. Exercise is the key to healthy weight loss this means bonus point for your mental health too. Check out my blog sharing ‘5 Ways Exercise Improves Our Mental Health’ here. Not only does exercise burn extra calories, but it also boosts your metabolism. And if you do a decent workout, your body continues to burn a higher number of calories post workout so you lose weight over time.
Do not even think about using your health/circumstances as an excuse not to exercise.
Yes, not everyone can be a gymnast, or run a marathon. But almost everyone is able to find some kind of activity that works for them.
The other day at 6 am, I spotted several elderly ladies walking up and down a hill. My 90 years old grandma could barely walk, but she always managed to do arm and leg raises from the comfort of her sofa.
You don’t need to splash on a gym membership if money is tight. Set up a little exercise station with household items will work just fine.
Find The Right Workout For You!
Maybe the gym just isn’t for you. If so read ‘Martial Arts vs The Gym’ to decide what might work for you.
And for busy mum’s on maternity, here’s a few simple workouts that can be performed with a baby.
The bottom line is: Do not force yourself to do something that is not sustainable in the long term. Instead, be a little creative and discover an activity that works for you and that you will enjoy.
2. Staying Active During The Holidays
Keep your body moving even when it’s easy to go into hibernation mode.
You don’t need a full-blown gym session every day. A few tiny changes in your everyday routine can have a massive impact when applied over a long period of time.
Imagine that you burn extra 25 calories by taking the steps instead of using the lift. If you make this swap every single day of the year, you will burn additional 9,125 calories!
Little things do matter.
Walk to the shops instead of driving. At work, wander to the water fountain that is further away. Walk over to your colleague’s office, instead of phoning. When you are sleepy at your desk, get up and do a few squats. Play with your kids / grandkids. Do some gardening and housework because they serve as an excellent calorie-burner.
3. Building Muscle To Lose Weight
Good news: even when at rest, muscle tissue burns more calories than fat.
The more muscle you have, the higher your resting metabolic rate is. (Resting metabolic rate is the amount of energy body burns while at rest.) Yet another reason to work out.
So make sure you include strength training into your exercise regime.
Regardless of your weight, you will always feel better and look more toned when you have built some muscles. You don’t have to be a skinny mini to look and feel fabulous.
It is important to add, that muscles require enough nutrients to grow. So, lean protein should be an essential component of your diet. Nutrition is essential if you want to lose weight.
4. Make Healthy Choices
How many times have you heard: “I eat really healthy so don’t know why I can’t lose weight!”
I too was a victim of seemingly wholesome groceries in healthy-looking packaging.
Just because the wrapper is green and claims that the food item has “natural ingredients” does not mean it’s healthy. And certainly not low in calories. Even some truly healthy snacks like unsalted nuts are high in calories (and fat). So do not judge a book by its cover (and your lunch by its packaging).
Top Calorie Counting Rules
Here are some of my top discoveries I learned over the years:
- Most porridge sachets/pots contain a shedload of added sugar. The amount of cereal you put in your bowl is probably triple the recommended portion.
- Alcohol (sadly) has calories too. Most of us serve ourselves portions that are far too big.
- Unconscious snacking is dangerous.
- There are a lot of sneaky calories in flavoured drinks (drink water instead!).
- Don’t even get me started on diet coke!
- Potato chips do not count as veggies.
- A lettuce leaf in your burger is not one of your five a day.
How to make informed food choices?
First of all, read the back of your food packet.
Did you know that on a product label, the ingredients are listed in order of predominance? The ingredient used in the greatest amount being listed first?
So if sugar is a top three ingredient, it means that there is a lot of it.
The traffic light food labels at the front of the packet are an excellent indication of how fatty/sugary/salty the food is.
And finally, home cooked food is always the best because you are in control of ingredients that go in.
5. Use Tracking Apps
Having quantifiable goals and measuring progress is fundamental. If you don’t track progress, how will you know what you achieved?
Is losing some weight is your goal, then pop yourself on the scale every now and then and note your weight down. If you are a little nerdy, an excel spreadsheet with a graph might be your thing. Or there are plenty of fitness apps to help you keep track of your weight.
Our weight fluctuates through the day, so consider weighing yourself at the same time of the day. Perhaps first thing in the morning. Since it is natural for our weight to slightly vary from one day to another. It is not advisable to get obsessed and weigh yourself every single day.
Speaking of tracking, there are some excellent food tracking apps like MyFitnessPal. They will help you keep an eye on consumed calories as well as nutrients. If you link an app like this to your fitness tracker, you will get a fairly accurate picture of your caloric intake versus output. And the rest is just simple Maths…
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To sum up, there are no miraculous, easy recipe for losing weight and getting healthy, and it most certainly will not happen overnight. However, if you make small changes and repeat them day in, day out, you and people around you will start noticing a difference faster than you’d think.
And by the way, “side effects” to the weight-loss tips I just described are increased energy, better health and happiness in general, so don’t shy away from making a New Year’s resolution.
This is your opportunity to become your better self, so grab the bull by its horns and show everyone how it’s done!