How to lose that post-holiday tum
Have you recovered from the holidays? Did you eat lots of food and forget about the nutritional value or calories? And did your exercise routine go out the window? Well, it was the holidays after all!
But now … your jeans are tighter than normal and your belt has to be let out a notch: – the dreaded holiday pounds!
This calls for ‘drastic action’! Start by banning snacks from your home for the coming month. Now be a bit strict with yourself. When you get back in your usual pace of life, you can incorporate the sports exercise routine into the working week. Now’s the time to make a good start.
Food versus grazing
Make a conscious choice: these are snacks and that is food. So chips, biscuits and the like need to be banished, later you can enjoy them (in moderation!). On holiday you probably drank a glass of wine or a beer with dinner. Now you should reduce that intake because alcohol provides extra calories that you need to eliminate.
During the holidays, you usually have a different eating rhythm, often snacking throughout the day. This is fine if you are really active or work out a lot … but this doesn’t often happen. Try to keep the basic rhythm of eating three times a day: breakfast, lunch and dinner. Choose fruit and/or vegetables as snacks. Aim to eat more slowly, chewing each mouthful with care. The brain provides the feeling of satiety.
When you eat more slowly, you taste more and the brain will tell you when you have had enough. If you eat too fast, you consume more food before your brain gets the time to indicate the saturation point. Give your brain a hand and help yourself by trying to eat more calmly.
Of course, you will need to stay active and exercise regularly. Think of it as a new start, where you need a bit of an extra push to resume your normal living and exercise routine.
Exercise and sport
Leave the car at home as much as possible and walk or cycle. It is still summer, so why not go to a music festival? Dancing is a great way of keeping in shape; it’s a good overall cardio exercise that tones all body parts. And never take the lift at work.
Staircases can do wonders for your legs and buttocks. Try to take several steps at a time or increase the running speed to give your metabolism an extra boost.
Household jobs that require physical effort? All the better! And in between, you can, of course, quench your thirst with water, not alcoholic or sugary drinks. If you find water boring, try adding a lemon slice, a dash of lemon juice or a mint leaf.
Lifestyle and exercise habits after the holidays
To stay in shape, you really need to do at least half an hour of exercise or sport per day. For example: start the morning with exercises which increase your heartbeat and give your metabolism a slight boost.
A morning workout really does not have to last longer than 15 – 20 minutes. This type of daily session could include both horizontal and standing exercises, such as:
Squats (knee bends) 15 repetitions
Crunches 15 repetitions
Push-ups 15 reps
Tricep dips 15 reps
Jumping jacks 20 reps
Perform these exercises as much as possible in succession! Repeat the whole series for 15-20 minutes.
The easiest way to do a morning session is to jog or run for 15-20 minutes: a workout for the whole body. Start at a leisurely pace, because in the morning the body has to start calmly after a period of (night) rest.
After this morning workout, walk instead of the car or the lift for the rest of the day. All this should motivate you to make healthy choices at lunchtime! Choose wisely or get in the habit of putting your own lunch box together.
Good for your purse and for your figure! Don’t forget to bring a piece of fruit and/or vegetables. The NHS recommends five portions a day, although this is a minimum, more is better!
At the end of the afternoon or at the beginning of the evening, most people want to do nothing more than laze on the couch. Try to resist that temptation for half an hour! You have three options:
1) Repeat the morning workout, but intensify it by increasing the number of repetitions by 5 or by doing the same number of repetitions with weights. So a squat with 2 dumbells or 2 big cans of baked beans or a book in each hand.
2) Go for a jog or a run or a brisk walk. Or mix it up and do all three. Couch to 5K is a great programme for beginner runners as it eases you in very gently with a combo of walking and jogging.
3) Combine the exercise routine (a selection) followed by a jog, run or brisk walking.
Doing all this should take (almost) 1 hour of exercise per day. Don’t forget to combine exercise with a sensible diet, otherwise, those extra pounds will refuse to budge! Keep it going for at least a month! Your body will thank you.
Sources: NHS Live well