The holidays are a time when most people are “social feasting” as I like to call it and in doing so creating internal conflict on whether or not to try to stick to a diet during the holidays. Their usual train of thought is: I’ll just wait until after New Years to make a resolution.
The scary statistic is that 92% of New Years resolutions will fail. That means only 8% will succeed! See, I can do math.
Here is some more math, the average American gains .4-1.8 pounds during the holidays and gains 1.2-3.6 pounds per year. In some cases that means most of your weightgain happens between Thanksgiving and New Years. Maybe it’s time to put down that reindeer shaped surgar cookie.
How is it that I am single handedly able to consume a 11 pound turkey, small village of Pilgrims, and 2 pumpkin pies in 3 days and still maintain a 6 pack you might ask? If you say by doing a million crunches you are going to get an Undertaker tombstone by yours truly. The truth is I don’t do crunches, I probably spend less time working out than you, and also probably consume more calories. So what is the secret?
The secret is that there is no secret. But there are rules that you must follow in order to lose some of that excess gravy and keep it off. Now, this isn’t a set of rules you should follow sometimes, it is something that you should make a habit if you are serious about getting the body that YOU want.
Here they are:
- Take a holistic approach towards diet and exercise. Have you ever heard the expression “Don’t put all your eggs in one basket”? Numerous studies have shown that a combination of proper nutrition, strength training and cardiovascular exercise is the most efficient way to lose weight both short and long term. I recommend 1-3 days of bodyweight or resistance training and 2-3 days of cardiovascular exercise to lose weight.
- Know your calories. First and foremost, if you want to lose weight you must burn more calories than you consume (a caloric deficit). This is an absolute must, no exceptions. The basic way to find your daily caloric consumption for weightloss, multiply your bodyweight by 1.1 -1.3 depending on your exercise habits. This is your target calorie intake each day, eating too much will prevent weightloss and eating too little will slow your metabolism. (This number might be lower if you have a high MBI or high percentage of body fat percentage)
- Feed your metabolism regularly throughout the day. Regularly consuming small meals will keep your metabolism revved up and allow you to burn extra calories throughout the day. Lets say your daily calorie consumption from tip#2 is 1,800 calories per day and you are aiming for 5 meals per day. You should divide 1,800 by 5 which would give you approximately 360 calories per meal. Taper your meals throughout the day eating a slightly larger breakfast and a slightly smaller dinner.
- Perform whole body exercises. Research shows that whole body exercises such as squats, lunges, pushups, bodyweight rows, and numerous core exercises that challenge your entire system are the best way to increase your metabolism. If you are not able to move properly it makes it hard to exercise and in turn lose weight or reach your goals.
- Incorporate circuit training into your workouts. A great way to burn a ton of calories is to perform bodyweight and/or resistance exercises back to back for a certain amount of time or repetitions. This is known as metabolic training, circuit training or turbulence training. This type of training is a fun and exciting way to challenge your whole body physically and cardiovascularly and will surely help you reach your goals. Group training and/or group fitness classes are a great way to get in these type of workouts.
- Use interval training to rev up your cardio. High intensity interval training has been shown to not only increase your cardiovasuclar health but will also help you burn more calories. I recommend using the bike or rowing machine and starting slow with 10-20 second work intervals and 40-60 second rest intervals and decreasing the work:rest ratio as you become more fit.
- Have a program and stick to it. Would you try to fix your car on your own or would you bring it to a mechanic? Why wouldn’t you do the same with your body? I recommend programs such as The New Rules of Weightlifting (for men or women), Core Performance, Maximum Strength, or The Female Body Breakthrough. You can get most of these books from Amazon for as little as $10-$20. For a program that is custom tailored to you then I recommend contacting a certified health and fitness professional.
- Write it down. One way to see results is to write it down. Use a journal, a notebook or your Iphone. Whatever you do, make sure you are writing things down such as your goals, your diet, your exercise program, your weightloss, or maybe even gain. If you look at things on paper it will help you see where you are going wrong or could possibly improve.
Post any questions, comments, concerns below. I will answer.