So you’ve spent Christmas binging on mince pies, chocolate and that ‘last’ helping of turkey. In fact many people start their Christmas celebrations in November with the excuse of overindulgence being ‘F*#% it, it’s Christmas’. Now it’s January and you’re confused about the most effective way to lose weight/body fat…Well you’re not alone, a lot of people have asked me about how to lose weight after Christmas. So I decided to write this blog to help people understand a bit more about the importance of nutrition and doing the right exercises. All this information is already available online on lots of different websites.
According to research we eat an average of an extra 500 calories per day over the Christmas season (Do you know how hard it is to burn 500 calories?!). Also average weight gain over Christmas is said to be 5lbs – that’s like the size of a small baby!
One of the main reasons it’s hard to lose weight/your winter coat in January is because we still have so much crap food left in the house from Christmas. Firstly, get rid of it – take it to a food bank/eat it all by the end of this week. Somehow, you need to get this type of food out of your life, out of sight out of mind. Then you can focus on eating healthier. You need to figure out what works for you. Have a ‘cheat’ meal, save your ‘treats’ for Saturdays. Whatever it is, find something that works.
Walk into ANY gym in January at peak times and I guarantee you every piece of cardio equipment is being used. I’m not saying don’t do cardio exercise, it’s recommended that we do 3 x 30 minutes cardio workouts per week for general fitness. BUT killing yourself doing treadmill sprints when you’re already overweight is NOT the safest or most effective way. Most people probably burn between 2-300 calories during a workout but then nullify the benefits by overeating when they get home because you feel like you deserve it.
If this is you, you are pushing your body through unnecessary pain when there could be an easier way to lose weight, including:
1) Workout your BMI (not suitable for everyone) using a calculator, this will help you understand where you sit compared to the average. https://www.nhs.uk/Tools/Pages/Healthyweightcalculator.aspx
2) Set yourself realistic goals. If you lose 5lbs in 1 week that’s great but to be sustainable average weight loss should be 1-2lbs per week. Having a lower target is more realistic; you can stick to it and it won’t cause any health problems associated with rapid weight loss and it won’t make you feel terrible if/when you don’t meet your weekly targets. P.S. – remember if you lose weight too quickly you are much more likely to put it all back on if you resume your normal diet/exercise routine.
3) Persistence. Most people give up before they see any results. The general rule of thumb is that it takes approximately 4 weeks to start noticing changes, 6 weeks for other people to notice and 8 weeks for people who don’t really know you. Which is why most people give up after 2-4 weeks when they aren’t seeing any difference.
4) Guess what! – IF YOU HATE GOING TO THE GYM FIND SOMETHING YOU ACTUALLY ENJOY! Swimming, walking, netball, squash, dancing … Just move more in 2020!
5) Remember, muscle weighs much more than fat, so instead of just weighing yourself try taking body fat measurements using callipers or scales, take measurements and most importantly in my opinion- take photos. It’s normally not ideal at the start but it should give you that motivation to keep going and will help you see the results of your efforts when you start to lose weight.
UP TO 70% of weight loss can be achieved through diet alone!
You may hear a lot of fitness professionals say ‘Get fit in the gym, lose weight in the kitchen’.
My next tip in terms of sorting out your diet is to spend a few weeks counting your macros to figure out how much you’re eating. For most of us it’s not actually what we’re eating, it’s how much we’re eating.
The BMI calculator will tell you how many calories you need per day for your age, height, weight, activity levels.
Using this you can then work out how many grams of carbs, fats and proteins you need. I will do it for myself so you can copy for yourself:-
So my BMI is 21.7, the recommended weight for my height is: 58-78 kg, I am currently 68kg.
It’s recommended that women eat 2000 calories per day. I’ll use this as my baseline measurement for simplicity.
How to work out how much protein you need for the following types of people:
Inactive: 0.75 grams x body weight KG
Endurance: 1.2 – 1.4 x body weight KG
Strength: 1.4 – 1.8 x body weight KG
For myself 1.2 x 68 (body weight) works out as 81.6 grams of
protein (with 4 calories per gram I am having 324 calories a day from protein).
Therefore, about 20% of my daily calories.
• Recommended daily intake of fats is 30% of your calories, you should definitely have less than 35% and only 11% of this should be saturated fats (9 cals per gram)
– 30% of 2000 = 600 calories = 66 grams
• You need about 55-60% of your calories from carbohydrates (4 cals per gram)
– 55% of 2000 = 1100 calories/4 = 275 grams
• I have gone a few cals over, this shouldn’t be measured obsessively, but if you do this for a few weeks you will get a very good idea of when you are getting the correct amount of macros for weight loss.
You can monitor all of this on fitness pal/fat secret (https://www.fatsecret.com).Don’t worry about all the conflicting evidence of eating/fasting at certain times. Logically you want to eat more calories earlier in the day when you have the rest of the day to burn them off rather than having your biggest meal in the evening just to sit down and watch TV.
To lose weight your need to make sure that you are in a calorie deficit i.e. you are burning more calories than you are eating. If my basal metabolic rate (how many calories my body burns on a rest day) is 1800 calories, then I need to be eating less than this if I am not exercising. If you get into a routine of monitoring your calories for 2-3 weeks you’ll understand how it feels and you hopefully won’t need to closely monitor your intake. Being a healthy weight will also and most importantly reduce your risk of other health problems, including: various heart conditions, type 2 diabetes, risk of strokes etc.
If you are buying into a liquid diet or detox teas then you are most likely being cheated. Of course you’ll lose weight, you will be in a massive calorie deficit, but you cannot maintain this. Once you stop the new diet you will put all the weight back on and most likely even more weight. Making you feel worse.
Research suggests that it takes 66 days to create a habit which is actually quite a long time and it’s difficult when we live in a society where we want everything immediately and expect to get results much quicker than is realistic. Fitness goals take time, patience and consistency. Start today, make small changes often.
Get fit for life not just for NEW YEAR.
I hope this helps
Charlotte xoxStart 2020 right