The next few months are torturous for anyone wanting to maintain or lose weight. Firstly there is the colder temperatures and darker mornings and evenings. Somehow, it is just easier to eat salads when the sun is shining and the weather is warm. Cold weather equals comfort food. And comfort food equals more calories.
Festive treats that pile on the pounds
Then there are the festive treats. The fifth of November is a time for hot dogs and toffee apples. Thanksgiving is becoming a popular event in the UK, and one which calls for turkey plus all the trimmings, followed by pumpkin pie or a luxurious cheesecake. And then it is countdown to Christmas, with all the accompanying parties and get togethers that the festive season brings.
Danger time if you want to lose weight
So, this time of year is a red signal time for anyone who lis looking to lose weight. Our job at Kelsey Kerridge is to try and help you stay fit and healthy while enjoying the occasional treat. To that end, we offer classes, personal training and, of course, a well-equipped, well-designed gym. But the bottom line is: there is no easy way or short-cut to maintain or lose weight. There are, however, some guidelines.
The first thing to remember is don’t be drastic.
Make some small, but achievable changes to the way you approach the next few months. Rather than saying: “Right, I’m not drinking for the whole of the festive period”, say “I’m going to make sure I have three/four/five alcohol-free days a week”. Don’t pledge not to eat any mince-pies or sausage rolls, instead make sure you only take one from the plate as it goes around the office and view it as a treat to savour.
The same is true of your gym sessions. Don’t decide that you will up the length and intensity of your gym sessions so that you can counter balance all the festive calories. That way will only lead to over-training and injury. But do train smart. Vary the sessions so you have a balanced mix of cardio vascular and strength and conditioning work. And don’t forget the recovery sessions such as yoga, pilates or an extended time devoted to stretching. Add a long run or cycle ride, preferably with a group, at the weekend. That way you burn calories but have sociable time in the process.
Lose weight loss by setting performance goals
One way to keep your mind focused on staying trim, fit and healthy over the prolonged festive period is to set some goals along the way. There are numerous Christmas and New Year fitness challenges. By signing up to one of these, you will be more likely to stay motivated to train and eat healthily over the coming weeks. For people new to racing, the Rosie Rudolph Fun Run in December is a good starting point and for a good cause.
You can’t out train a poor diet
The sobering truth is that you cannot out train a poor diet. If you are consuming more calories than you burn, then you will not lose weight. If your calories are coming from alcohol and sugary snacks, you will not feel satiated and healthy. One good question to ask yourself as you are faced with mince pies, chocolate treats and plates of crisps is: “Is my enjoyment of this treat worth the calories?” If the answer is “yes” then tuck in. If that extra handful of crisps or that additional chocolate is not really enticing you, then the answer is “no”. Save the calories for a treat you really want.
Take time out from the festive food and drink
Even as the festive season offers up temptation, try to make the majority of your intake as healthy as possible. Get your portions right, fill up on fibre and try to balance the good times with the sensible times.