Actionable Steps to Get in Shape after the Holidays
Wonder what’s the best workout for shedding the holiday fat? Want to get back in shape and lose those pesky pounds? Exercise does help, but it’s just part of the game. What you eat can make or break your progress. To get leaner, it’s necessary to plan both your diet and training program.
Statistics show that it takes about five months to lose the weight gained over the holidays. Some studies claim that, without diet and exercise, holiday weight gain can last a lifetime. Luckily, it’s in your power to get back on track with your diet and exercise plan. You’ll not only look leaner but also feel better and have greater energy.
Need help? Follow these steps to get back in shape after the holidays:
Set SMART Goals
Goal setting plays a key role in fitness. If you don’t have a clear goal in mind, you won’t be able to track your progress. Set realistic, attainable objectives, and then come up with a plan.
For instance, losing 10 pounds in two weeks is unlikely to happen. It’s not impossible, but it takes hard work. You might lack the time and energy needed to work out really hard and plan every meal. Instead, aim to drop 10 pounds in one month. It’s more realistic and easier to achieve.
Make Strength Training a Priority
Many gym goers, especially women, fear lifting weights. They spend hours on the treadmill or the stationary bike wondering why their progress has stalled.
Like it or not, strength training is crucial to metabolic health and fat loss. Without it, you’ll have a hard time building the body you’re after.
Weight lifting helps build lean muscle and balances your hormones, leading to a faster metabolism. As a result, you’ll burn more calories throughout the day. Moreover, your bones will get stronger, your waist will shrink, and your confidence will increase.
HIIT the Gym Hard
Forget about long running sessions and strenuous cardio workouts! Aerobic training has its perks, but there are better ways to get in shape. Plus, cardio burns both fat and muscle, which may slow down your metabolism. Due to the increase in cortisol levels, you’ll feel tired and hungry after leaving the gym.
High-intensity interval training (HIIT) is a better choice. It’s a foolproof way to shed stubborn fat and boost your metabolism. On top of that, it preserves lean muscle and stimulates the release of anabolic hormones, such as testosterone and GH. This helps improve body composition and makes weight loss easier.
For best results, do 10 to 15 minutes of HIIT after strength training. Alternate between short, intense bursts of exercise and rest or low-intensity work. Aim for three to four sessions per week. This training method is extremely intense, so your body needs time to recover.
Tweak Your Diet
Exercise and nutrition are equally important. No matter how much effort you put in your workouts, you’ll never get lean without a balanced diet.
Ditch the bread, sugar, white flour, refined oils, breakfast cereals, sauces, dressings, and junk food. Watch out for hidden sugars, such as glucose, dextrose, and high-fructose corn syrup.
Fill your fridge and cupboard with whole, minimally processed foods. Turkey, chicken, fish, leafy greens, nuts, and seeds should come first on your list. Switch to low-fat dairy, unrefined oils, and whole grains. Swap starches for veggies.
As you see, getting in shape after the holidays isn’t that difficult. All it takes is some planning and willpower. Make these changes gradually and tweak your diet along the way. Remember why you’ve started in the first place.
Let us know your progress