The following passage is written universally, but bear in mind if you are attending PT or the Underground classes you are already in metabolic effect – you’re training is sorted ;)
Christmas Jelly, New Year Belly.
Christmas, the time of year associated with jolly bellies
and sore heads, but does it have to end with breaking the top button off your
jeans? Of course Christmas is a time for us all to do whatever makes us happy. You
see people out with colleagues, family and friends, a sharp rise in biscuit tin
privileges, and Christmas feasts seldom isolated to the day. Christmas seems to
be the one time of year we really allow ourselves to indulge in the things we
like, but is it ever guilt free? The party is always followed by the hangover. By
January 1st people are regretting the extra slice of cake and the
extra shot of hot port with Uncle Tommy. So, can Christmas really be enjoyed
without the after effects?
Short answer, Yes. I will provide you with some sure fire
methods to keep Santa out of the mirror when it hits 2012. It will take some determination, but the fact
you can still enjoy the finer things makes the whole process much more enjoyable.
Follow this advice strictly and you will may lose weight, while still
The first thing you must observe is why you might put on
weight during December. You take in a lot more calories, while not raising your
calorie expenditure (how many calories you burn). Besides maybe the odd dance
while out, Christmas tends to be a lazy time. Like an abacus, you slide
calories one way while sliding very few back. The few weeks are enough time to throw your
body and eating pattern out of balance, and the resulting calorie surplus can
be seen quickly.
So to keep balance you must do one of two things, reduce
calories in, or increase calories out. First we’ll take a look at how to
increase calories out. The easy
explanation is to DO MORE. Christmas doesn’t have to be about lazing around
tucking into a box of celebrations, there is plenty of things you can do to
keep yourself busy. General Christmas activities like walking around shops,
going to ice rinks, or even building snowmen with the kids, they all burn body
fat. It also keeps you busy so you don’t eat unnecessarily.
A more direct way to
burn calories is through exercise. Weight training a few times a week is the
best way to keep body fat from forming during periods of increased food intake.
It raises your metabolism so you burn more calories while at rest, and it
enables you to use more of the carbs and protein (e.g. meat) you will be
eating. It doesn’t have to be heavy, but just enough to tire your muscles out.
Combing exercises without rest (circuits) is perfect for stimulating muscle to
grow while burning calories. I would
highly recommend trying exercises that use various muscle groups at the same
time, as opposed to isolating muscles on their own. You burn more calories this
way, and increase body tone over a greater area in a shorter period of time. You
can find good exercises and routines up on our blog.
Of course if weight training is not your style you can do
cardio. Interval training is the best way to burn calories and raise your
metabolism while jogging or using aerobic machines. Start by building up your
pace over 5 minutes, then for one minute go as fast as you can (raising heart
rate), then two minutes slow pace (levelling heart rate), then one minute fast
again. Continue this for 20-25 minutes and follow by a five minute cool down.
Now let’s take a look at reducing over-all calories in an
attempt to maintain or even lose weight over Christmas. I do not want to deny
anyone their holiday indulgences, so here’s a strategy you can use to enjoy the
feasts and parties that comprise the upcoming season.
Divide all of your meals into two categories: saint and
sinner. The Christmas feasts, office parties, boozing sessions and occasional
indulgences will be sinner meals. These are the meals you truly enjoy, when you
want to treat yourself (like Christmas dinner – the average person takes in
8000 calories on Christmas day!) The sinner meals will be over-loaded with
carbohydrates and fats, which would generally make you over-weight (The average
person takes in 8000 calories on Christmas day!). Any excess your body cannot
use is stored as body fat, unless…
Your body has a certain requirement for nutrients including
carbs and fats (which increases when exercising). So isolate your carbs and
fats to your” sinner” meals. So to balance out, all your everyday meals, like
your average breakfast or lunch at work, must be “saint” meals. These meals
will be the majority of your diet. Try and stick mostly to protein and fibre,
so lean meats or fish, and vegetables. Taking fruit occasionally is ok, but it
is still carbs so keep it limited. You must still eat 4 to 5 meals a day, but
you are looking to take in the majority of your carbs and fats when you
Tips the scales far enough towards saint meals and will lose
weight, but the bottom line (no pun intended) is that you won’t have put on any
excess body fat, while still having the odd indulgence.
So increase calories out, and reduce calories in
periodically. Balance out the beads on the abacus. Be good so you can be bad. It
doesn’t have to be a battle, and you don’t have to become a celery induced
hermit to stay in shape! Happy Christmas everyone, enjoy your lives and do what
makes you happy if even once a year. Follow these words, and you can enjoy the
jelly rolls without feeling them under blouse come spring. Bon Bon Noelle!