You’ve just finished demolishing Christmas dinner, moved on to your fourth glass of prosecco and now you’re starting to worry about whether you should really have that second helping of Christmas pud. We’ve all been here before. This is the Christmas period, after all – and it’s a great excuse to tuck in to our favourite sweet treats and warm comfort food.
Unfortunately, all that decadence can hit your waistline hard. The familiar pattern of New Year, New Me pops up – gym memberships rise, diets begin and people desperately try and shed the post-Christmas weight. If you’ve piled on the pounds over the festive period, don’t panic! Here’s a guide to losing it all…
Quick-fix: Shapewear and last-minute measures
Heading out in January to a party or celebration and want to shed your extra weight? There’s not much time to lose it – so keep it under control with shapewear such as Spanx. If you’ve added a couple of extra pounds, it shouldn’t be too hard to hide.
A few days ahead of the party, cut out excess salt and sugary foods which will help avoid water retention. At the same time, drink plenty of water instead of fizzy drinks as it’ll help your complexion and also flush out toxins – useful after all those mulled wines.
Combining some flattering shapewear under your dress and cleaning up your diet can mean NYE or other January parties go off without a hitch!
Diet Changes: Making adjustments
No crash diets really work. Instead, you’ve got to adopt a lifestyle change that will help you lose weight. There are no overnight methods for doing this – but there is a checklist of rules that will help you steadily lose weight.
• Make most of your meals consist of lean protein with green vegetables and snack on good fats (avocado, nuts, seeds etc.)
• Eat at around 100-200 calories below your calorie maintenance level. Use an online calculator to work out what yours should be, then an app such as Myfitnesspal to track your intake. To put this simply: if you eat less calories than your body naturally burns, you will lose weight. No questions about it.
• Avoid ‘drinking your calories’ by cutting out sugary soft drinks. If you’re drinking alcohol, opt for lower calorie drinks such as gin and slim line tonic.
• If you’re going to consume caffeine, stick to green tea or black coffee. Non-chemical slimming tea is also a good option as it contains plenty of antioxidants.
Hitting the gym: A permanent change
To permanently put an end to any post-Christmas bulge, you’ll need to change your exercise habits. Changing your diet to eat at below your calorie level will make you start to lose weight, but toning and strengthening your muscles will also help improve your figure. Traditional cardio might not be the best way to lose any post-Christmas weight. Here are a few ways to achieve lasting results:
• Use High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT & LISS) to quickly blast fat. Short, harder sessions can actually be more beneficial for weight loss than steady state cardio.
• Lift weights! Despite many women thinking they’ll automatically look like a muscle-bound bodybuilder the second they lift a dumbbell, weight lifting is actually great for weight loss as it promotes protein synthesis and the breakdown of fat cells.
• Focus on compound lifts – they work more muscle groups at once and therefore promote a greater anabolic hormone response, which in turn helps shred fat.
The benefits of exercising continue after you’ve finished, too – with the calorie burn still happening hours after a workout. Plus, the ‘leaner’ you become, the easier it is to stay that way – as lean mass helps raise your metabolic rate.
So, let’s recap! First, ditch junk food and use shapewear to keep your confidence high. Second, make lasting changes to your diet. Finally, hit the gym hard and build results to be proud of – not just for a New Year’s resolution – but for yourself.