Updated: Jan 16, 2018
New year new me is probably the most common (and annoying) saying we get to hear every time right before the year ends. Although there is nothing wrong with breaking bad habbits and some people just need a 'fresh start' to get things done. Being healthier, working out more and losing weight are on the list of most people at the beginning of the new year. Especially after all the force feeding during the holidays you want to feel healthier and fitter. Even I really felt the need to get back in the gym after a break during the holidays. I consumed tons of food and alochol and felt so bloated! I definately gained a couple pounds. Luckily after two weeks I'm back at my old weight and I will tell you how I did it, the healthy way!
1. Don't weigh yourself right away
This will only make you feel bad. Wait a week or so to see if it wasn't just water weight, your body might restore itself after you consume a normal amount of kcal again. Also, it's just a number. How you feel about yourself is way more important. I didn't weigh myself at all and just picked up my normal routine because I knew I would be fine in a week or 2. I even rescheduled my appointment for my annual check up at work (I work in a lab an it's obligated to get checked) because I know I would have to step on the scale and this would make me feel bad. If this sounds like you and you are sensitive when it comes to your weight : DONT STEP ON THE SCALE but use the mirror as an indicator.
2. Dont starve yourself
This is the worst you can do to your body and metabolism. Don't just stop eating for 3 days to lose weight quickly, it's very unhealthy. Your body needs the right nutrition, especially when you work out starving is not a good idea. You will lose muscle and slow down your metabolism. Eat healthy food to fuel your body.
3. Drink water
Try to drink as much water as you can. I know this can be a challenge sometimes. My trick is, when I'm at work to drink 2 glasses of water every break and also in the morning before I start working. For me this means: 1 or 2 glasses when I get to work, 2 cups during the first break, 2 or 3 cups during lunch, 1 or 2 glasses during the last break. Every glass of water is +- 200 ml. This means that by the time I leave work I already drank at least 1,5 l of water! And of course when I go to the gym I drink again half a liter or more.
4. No more alcohol
I don't drink a lot of alcohol but during the holidays I definately had my share of champagne and wine. Cutting this out made me feel so much better! And trust me, drinking alochol can easily ruin your kcal intake. The kcal you consume by drinking alcohol are called 'empty kcal' since they don't have any nutritional value (no carbs, fats or protein). A glass of champagne is the 'best option' when you want to drink something, knowing that a glass of champagne is around 120 kcal.
5. HIIT and weight lifting
I go to the gym on a regular basis but during the holidays I took a little break. I enjoyed all the food I wanted and it started to show. Right after new year I got back in the gym 4-5 times a week. My workouts: some cardio to warm up and with some I mean 10-15 min followed by some good weight lifting sessions. Also to burn some extra kcal and shed those pounds fast I did some HIIT (high intensity interval) training. I took some intense spinning classes (dripping in sweat guaranteed) or did some sprints. Just after 2 weeks I see a big difference: less bloated, my shape looks better and I feel better. Lifting weights just makes me feel so good and fit.
6. Cut the 'bad' sugar and fatty foods
With bad sugar I mean cookies, cake, donuts etc. This is probably the thing that helped me most to lose those pounds fast. No more excessive sugar and unhealty food! I got so many pimples from all the treats and creamy dishes. Cutting out all the cake and treats made a big difference: I feel less tired and less bloated. Don't exaggerate guys, a treat once in a while is nothing to stress about, the past 2 weeks I probably ate 5/7 days healthy without any treats and 2/7 I enjoyed a cookie here and there. Also, during the holidays the food I ate contains more salt than I eat on a daily basis, this makes me retain a lot of water! So don't panic when the scale goes up after Christmas, it's completely normal and probably is due to water retention.
7. Make healthy meal decisions
If you are one of those people with little time or just to lazy to do any meal prep: this is perfectly fine! It's all about balance and making the right food choises. I honestly don't do meal prep cause of my busy and irregular work schedule. I eat every day lunch or dinner at work BUT I try to pick the healthiest option! This is a very important thing when it comes to losing fat or just trying to maintain a healthy lifestyle. For instance: at my job you have plenty of choises: sanwiches, salades, soup, hot meals,.. One day I will eat a sanwich with smoked salmon and herb cheese while the other day I will enjoy a salad with some whole grain bread. I also try to balance the meal, I try to make sure I eat my protein, some healthy fats and carbs.
8. Give it time!
I know you want to lose those pounds ASAP but give it some time. Does it really matter if you lose the extra fluff now, tomorrow or in 2 weeks? Don't rush it by straving yourself and over-training by doing 3 hours of cardio all of the sudden. Give your body the time to restore from the excessive eating you have been doing the past week(s). My body kind of restores itself pretty fast when I pick my healthy eating habbits back up. And if I spent a week or 2 back in the gym and train the way I should I lose the extra weight relatively fast.
9. In general
Honestly, in general it all comes down to having a healthy lifestyle. Healthy doesn't mean you constantly have to be restricted. It is about making the right choises, keep your body moving and nourishing it the right way. It does not mean that you have to eat very little or can't eat no more carbs, it is all about balance! The thing is: if you create a healthy lifestyle and good habbits your body will have less problems dealing with these periods of bad food coming in. It 'restores' faster and it will cost you less effort to get back into your 'normal', healthy routine.