It’s probable that you’ve fallen off the bandwagon over the Christmas period and frankly, if you haven’t then you’ve done Christmas wrong. This annual season of overindulgence is nothing to feel ashamed about; providing we can adopt a more optimal routine come January.
The damage caused from a short stint of overeating is minimal. Changes in physique and weight are partly a result of excess water weight. Every gram of glycogen in the body is stored with 3-4g of water. Therefore, increased carb intake simultaneously increases water retention. This can account for the bloated aesthetic and some extra pounds.
The temptation will be to go on a strict diet post Christmas. However, this approach holds no longevity. Aim to return to your normal habits with slight tweaks if necessary. This encourages a consistently healthy lifestyle.
If you want to do a little more to reach your normal weight quicker; add some more steps into your day. Walk up escalators, take the dog out etc. These activities individually appear insignificant but collectively have great impact. This is called non exercise activity thermogenesis (NEAT) and accounts for the largest proportion of our energy expenditure after basal metabolic rate. Increasing your NEAT will generally be more effective at burning calories than working out; which only contributes towards 5% of our total energy expenditure.
|% of Daily Energy Expenditure||Description|
|Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR)||70%||The energy required at rest to maintain vital body functions i.e. breathing.|
|Non Exercise Activity Thermogenesis (NEAT)||15%||Physical activities that are not organized and structured workouts. Ranges from walking to typing.|
|Thermic Effect of Food (TEF)||10%||The energy cost of digesting food.|
|Exercise Activity Thermogenesis (EAT)||5%||Energy used for sports or workouts.|
The other straight forward way to accelerate weight loss is to decrease calorie intake. Calorie counting is the most specific approach. However, if you aren’t familiar or comfortable with this with then simply seek out low calorie alternatives for foods you regularly eat. For example, if you eat crisps every day, switch this to popcorn. 5 or 6 of these swaps will reduce your calorie intake enough to put you in a calorie deficit.
To summarize, avoid feeling bad about eating more than usual over Christmas and look to establish more permanent and nourishing habits in January. Finally, keep things simple and easy to adhere to, therefore increasing your odds of being in a healthier, happier state in a years time.
As always, if you require support or guidance surrounding your wellbeing, do not hesitate to contact me. Whether you’re a client or not, I want to aid everyone in becoming the best versions of themselves. My contact details are in the footer of this page.