Unfortunately, I’m not talking about muscle gains. I’m talking about the fact that the average American puts on 6 pounds of fat between Halloween and New Years Day. Sometimes, however, our remorse about “bad eating” during the Holidays sabotage our best intentions to get back on track. Here are a few tips if you’re feeling chubby, bloated and out of sorts.
1. Don’t hit it too hard, too fast.
Those “I’ll start Monday” cabbage soup diets are doomed to fail. For starters, your body is now used to a higher caloric intake and if you cut it too drastically you will kick off all sorts of cravings. Go slowly and cut calories in the obvious places first (e.g. booze and pastries).
2. Don’t berate yourself
Give yourself a break. It’s normal to get off track at times. In fact, for those of you (us) who diet and watch our calories year round, you may be setting yourself up for a metabolic breakdown.
3. Do lift heavy
If you have some extra calories or carbohydrate running around your system, the best thing to do is hit the weights. The worst thing you can do is try to out-cardio calories. Trust me, that never works. And in the meantime, adding extra cardio will lead to muscle loss and an increased appetite. Lift heavy and turn the excess energy into muscle.
4. Do stay consistent
Get back to your regular routine and surround yourself with a community of like-minded individuals. If you haven’t been to your weekend warrior boot camp in a while, sign up and bring a friend. Research shows that the biggest indicator of sustained weight loss is accountability.
5. Take photos
Take a photo now and stash it somewhere you won’t obsess over it. Take a new one once a week and in 30 days, check out the progress. We often don’t see progress unless we have it documented for ourselves. In addition, those post-Holiday photos will be great motivation to keep things in check when next Halloween rolls around.