If you have not hit the gym in months, making a plan to workout 2 hours a day, 7 days a week, is most likely not going to last for more than the first week! Start slow, with a regimen that you can sustain for a long time.
The year end is always a season of mixed feelings. The holidays are stressful as they are joyous. We all look forward to the break and we hope that somehow the first day of the New Year will be so much better than the 365 days before it. Year-end festivities are all about bingeing on food and drink, that we have thus far abstained from on account of staying fit. For that last month of the year, we just let go and enjoy mouthfuls of calorie-heavy food and before the regret sets in, a couple of kilos have! Stressing out about the extra layer around your belly, is of no use. Instead, set a goal and take slow but sure steps towards achieving it.
STEP 1: ENJOY THE BINGE!
You’ve worked hard all year round. This year especially has been extra-stressful with all the pandemic chaos – so let the news of the vaccine ease your worries and just go ahead and enjoy the holidays to the fullest. The high-cal food is inevitable. Indulge now, exercise later.
STEP 2: DO NOT STARVE
Post-binge starvation is useless. After a great holiday of fun and fabulous food at every meal, abruptly stopping it all will only leave make you hungrier. Your body has come to expect food, complete denial will make you extra hungry and push you on the binge train again! Eat food, but eat healthy. Enjoy generous servings of protein rich food.
STEP 3: CLEAR OUT YOUR REFRIGERATOR
If you have any leftovers of those holiday treats, get rid of them. When you are trying to start-over, you can do without the temptation. Stock up on vegetables and fruits. Vegetables are appetite suppressors as well. This means not only do you get vegetable nutrients but you are also less likely to feel hungry and rummage for more food.
STEP 4: BEWARE OF THE CRAVINGS
We all have our sweet-weaknesses. You can never entirely overcome them, but you can teach yourself to control them. Nutrition experts believe instead of denying yourself your favourite food entirely, having small portions two to three times a week, helps contain the cravings that might lead to a binge. Some experts believe that most often what we interpret as hunger pangs, is actually the body craving water. Drinking lots of water makes you feel full and also helps flush out toxins.
STEP 5: WRITE DOWN YOUR GOALS
It’s not enough to just think it and say it. You have to write down your fitness goals. This gives you clarity and helps you understand how realistic your goals are. Keep them simple and build on them as you go. Writing down the exact details of your daily workout and meal intake, also helps you make right choices.
STEP 6: WORKOUT REGULARLY
The New Year high makes all things seem possible, which is an optimistic way to start the year. However, when it comes to working out and eat right, you need to pick a path that you can stick to long-term. If you have not hit the gym in months, making a plan to workout 2 hours a day, 7 days a week, is most likely not going to last for more than the first week! Start slow, with a regimen that you can sustain for a long time. Slowly increase the intensity and duration of your gym time. Whatever you do, you will see results only if you keep at it.
STEP 7: GET ENOUGH SLEEP
Fitness experts say that sleeping is just as important as working out. Lack of sleep means gain in weight. The science behind this is that when you do not get enough rest you put your body under stress. The stress hormones tell your body to conserve energy to get you through the extra waking hours. And that energy conservation happens by hanging onto your body fat. So make sure to get a good night’s sleep to help achieve your weight-loss goals.
WARNING: FAD DIETS & DIET PILLS ARE NOT GOOD
Fad diets will help you achieve your weight-loss goals fast, but in the process you might be denying your body important nutrients. And this could leave long-term damage. As for Diet Pills, some of their ingredients might be harmful to your body. No matter how many kilos you wish to shed, doing it the healthy way by following a fitness routine that suits your body and sticking to a diet plan that includes all vital nutrients, is the best way to do it. Be patient, because it will take a while before you see a change on the weighing scales. However, when you do see the change and you reach your goal, don’t stop. Continue to make good choices to stay healthy and fit life-long.
CONSULTANT – FAMILY MEDICINE
MBBS, DNB (FAMILY MEDICINE)