Overdone it over Christmas? Well, you won’t be alone. The problem is that this year, many of us will have gone into Christmas with some extra lockdown weight, and getting it off again is likely to be even more difficult than it usually is. So there’s no time to lose to get cracking on a new, healthier regime for the New Year. You know what to do but the following tips may help:
- Get rid of any Christmas left-overs or surplus chocolate/crisps/mince pies. Donate unopened, non-perishable products to a food bank, or re-gift boxes of chocolates. If it’s not there you won’t be tempted.
- Have a complete review of your fridge and cupboards and re-stock with healthy foods including plenty of fresh vegetables and some fruit, nuts/seeds, wholegrains, healthy lean protein.
- Failing to plan is planning to fail! Plan ahead for busy times and stock up with packets of “ready to eat” quinoa and brown rice, cartons or tins of unsweetened beans and lentils, tins of fish in olive oil (not sweetened sauces), bags of prepared salads, frozen veg. Do some batch cooking, make big pots of soup, make stews/casseroles. Invest in good quality thermos flasks and storage containers.
- Low Carb Kickstart. Christmas tends to be carb-heavy. Try a week or two on a low carb diet to really kick start weight loss. For example some good quality protein – meat, fish, eggs, beans/lentils plus low GI colourful veg such as leafy greens, broccoli/cauliflower, peppers, courgettes etc.
Don’t over-do the fruit. Stick to low sugar fruit such as berries and citrus.
- Try intermittent fasting/time restricted eating. Many people find that an easy way to lose weight is Time Restricted Eating – fasting for 14 or 16 hours and eating your food (2 meals) within a 10 or 8 hour window, e.g. 14:10 or 16:8. As a minimum, ensure you have a 12 hour overnight fast every day (so no after dinner snacks!)
- Hydrate! Alcohol, caffeine, central heating etc. can leave you dehydrated. Resolve to drink 2 ltrs of water or non-sweetened, non-caffeinated fluid per day. Support your digestion by drinking your fluid away from food rather than with food.
- Dry January!– cut out alcohol for the month. Alcohol is probably the worse contributor to that central, visceral fat. It’s pure sugar, empty calories, terrible for the liver, and very ageing. So consider cutting out the alcohol for the whole month of January, or at least resolving to stick to your maximum of 14 units (1.5 bottles) of wine per week.
- Move it! Join a gym or some sort of exercise class. If you’re nervous about going back to the gym or public classes, there are still plenty of classes on-line – you’re bound to find something you like. Try to ensure that it includes cardio and weights/resistance, and also join a yoga or Pilate’s class for strength and flexibility. If you’re lacking in motivation, enlist a friend to join you either in person or virtually, and compare notes. At the very least resolve to take a brisk, 30-minute walk per day. Popping on some ankle and wrist weights can help make your walk a bit more dynamic and help build fat burning muscle
- Me time! Stress increases the release of cortisol – a weight gaining hormone. Think about ways to manage your stress. Resolve to make time every week to practice self-care. Have at least two “Me-time nights” per week where you soak in Epsom Salts bath and get an early night with a nice book. Also book in for regular massage or reflexology sessions, practice meditation or mindfulness.
- MORE ME TIME – and what better way to get some quality me time and a real kick start than by booking yourself in for Homefield’s Weight Loss package!