You have just put on your favourite pair of jeans and it feels as though they have shrunk. Maybe they have but, more than likely, considering the time of year it is, perhaps the Christmas over indulgence is the more likely cause. Feelings of shame and regret ensue, quickly followed with panicked thoughts of what should I do?
Well, let’s begin with what not to do as these also tend to be the first mistakes most make after the Christmas indulgence. Avoid going on an extreme quick-fix diet. Quick-fixes don’t last and often end up ultimately causing more weight gain. Instead, focus on having three quality meals per day and cut out the sugary snacks and drinks. The most important meal is breakfast, as this will set your appetite for the rest of the day. Ditch the cereal or jam and toast; rather, opt for a protein-based breakfast. For example, smoked salmon and feta cheese omelette or scrambled eggs with avocado or bacon. This will have a minimum impact on the fat storage hormone insulin, keep you satiated until lunch time and is the best way to start your fat loss day.
Don’t fall into the trap of diving into the deep end and killing yourself in the gym five days a week, or doing multiple classes in a day. This will inevitably cause you to either burn out or become bored and fed up. Rather, focus on a sustainable exercise plan of twice per week. Weight training wins over cardio when it comes to fat loss exercise. Muscle cells burn up to 70 per cent more calories than fat cells, so the more of them we have, the better. Plus, lifting weights can have a positive effect on metabolism for approximately two days after a workout. And ladies, don’t be concerned about looking too muscular; it’s just not going to happen.
Finally, get off the scales. Constantly weighing yourself is not going to give you an accurate gauge of progress. It can also be disheartening, as you will only lose 1-2lbs of (fat) per week. I suggest you use a pair of jeans, a shirt or whatever outfit you choose which is currently either too small or just doesn’t feel right as your gauge of progress. It is often the most rewarding way to see positive change.