Navigating Your Way Through Party Season
The season is nearly upon us. The silly season where eating plans go out the window and exercising goes on the long finger.
It’s important to note that, I’m all for enjoying Christmas time and all the over indulgence that goes with it. I love the family time and down time where you spend time together with family that you wouldn’t usually get.
The aftermath and ensuing weight gain is quite often very difficult to come back from. We often get lured into an “anything goes” mind set when we hit December, this in itself, is a dangerous game to play.
4 Weeks of the year (it’s never just 4 weeks), so 5 weeks equates to over 1/12 of the year of over indulgence
The average person puts 10Ibs on over the Christmas period…
Yup I know.
As you know and may have previously experienced, when you have decided you are going to eat all around you guilt free, it can make your road back more of a challenge, as you put more weight on the scales, then reach for more food to make yourself feel better.
Imagine making just a few little changes to your festive schedule and avoiding the excess weight gain.
Here is some easily applied tips to help shorten the road back after the party season is a distant memory and the cold hard, sobering January hits.
- Don’t stop training
I know that may sound obvious, but as you know, probably the most important factor of weightloss is being in a calorie deficit. i.e. you are burning more than you are consuming.
So, if you think about it, December rolls around and you stop training, so your calorie output drops considerably when you take into account muscle loss (reduce metabolic rate /calorie burn) due to reduced activity.
You then pile in another 1000-3000 calories each day and wonder why the weight gain is so severe.
Also, we have to take into account the types of calories we are consuming. So we aren’t just overeating, we are over eating with foods that are causing massive inflammation, bloating and water retention.
Not an advisable combination or protocol.
Sadly, this is one that a lot of us follow (often unknown to ourselves) day to day and week to week Christmas aside.
- Implementing a good solid food plan
Learning and implementing this ASAP is crucial, to give you a loose structure to follow to get you through to January with minimal damage and maximum chance of you getting back into your routine.
Learning the effects of food and a simple structure of how to navigate your way through Christmas is a pretty cool way to avoid that land mine this Christmas and beyond.
The reason to implement these strategies now, is to break those poor habits that are not serving you well currently. Offering you the solution and positive environment to break these when you may be vulnerable and having a clear plan to move forward with is the difference between failure and success.
- Enjoy your drinks
But choose slightly lower calorie versions i.e. Vodka, soda water and a dash of fresh lime is your best bet. This can drastically reduce your 150-300 glass of wine to an 80 calorie alternative. Over an evening on consumption, that can seriously add up.
- Lift heavy things and Workout
Now just walking around lifting heavy things up and down is not what I’m referring to. Getting a structured resistance training program is important for the addition and maintenance of healthy lean mass on our bodies.
As you know we grow lean mass or muscle by overloading the muscles with resistance/weight and bringing them through their natural range of motion. We then need to overload the muscle to stimulate growth and the body to change. This is the one single factor that prevents people going it alone to getting results without a coach. Not being able to push yourself to the levels needed to overload the muscles to the required levels to overload them. When I say muscle, from a female point of view, don’t freak out. I mean the “Jennifer Aniston last season of friends” type of muscle, yup remember her in that? Muscle envy of many women around the world.
Imagine this, for every 1 Ibs of lean muscle you put on your body, you burn an extra 50 calories a day. Now of course this is a generalisation, but you get the idea. Now fast forward 6 months down the line, you add 10Ibs of lean muscle to your frame, burning an extra 500 calories a day while sitting on the couch watching Home and Away (My Favourite 😉 ).
Not too shabby.
Now add the super charged calories we burn in our Afterburn™ classes at CPT Personal training classes and Bootcamp that can burn anywhere north of 500 calories per 45 minute session. Don’t forget the recovery after burn you get from the workouts, that can be anywhere from 250-500 calories on top of the muscle calorie burn (500) and class burn. (500)
So, let’s do the math. You are then burning an extra 500 calories form adding the 10 Ibs of muscle, the extra 500 Afterburn when recovering from the class and the 500 class calorie burn. You are suddenly burning a splendiferous 1500 calories a day extra that you can enjoy eating more of your favourite Christmas foods and not put on the extra weight. (Provided you steer clear of the inflammatory foods.)
Is that a plan? That’s why (One of the many reasons) getting that muscle on your body is so important.
Now let’s address party season from a solely aesthetic point of view.
A heavy sweater, with a flowey shawl or loose giant scarf are often great disguisers of the body parts we are trying to hide. I’ve been there done that (well not with the dress part but loose t-shirts 😉 ) I know what it’s like to cover up and not want to show off ‘those’ problem areas in the past.
My stomach and “love handles”, I must say, I really am not fond of those parts of my body (the latter especially). They can grow and shrink day to day depending on my food intake I Dairy, Wheat etc
It’s not a happy place having to hide “that” body part. You should be able to be confident, happy and only delighted to strut your stuff in that figure hugging outfit that shows off your curves, and you deserve to OWN those curves when walking into those Christmas parties. That comes with blood, sweat and tears through hard work, committing to something and seeing it through. Unfortunately, there is no magic world that appears when you get to a certain figure on the scales, so attaching too much energy and hope to that figure is a waste of mental energy.
How do you get to that figure you want and keep it over Christmas?
Be consistent and compliant with your eating plan (if you have one) as much as possible, these will trump aiming for perfection every time, but one thing is for sure, giving up training over the Christmas period is the worst of all the plans!
To your health and fitness success