[By Charmaine Wong]

Christmas and New Years are by far the best holidays of the year!

You eat and drink lots, you get gifts, and you have heaps of fun. For most, the last thing on our minds is putting on weight. Once all the festivities are over however, getting back physically to where you were before the holiday period can be a difficult task.

First and foremost, don’t feel guilty about the over indulging- you have to let your hair down some time. If you’ve put a little weight on, don’t sweat it (figuratively speaking that is). Having the right frame of mind is paramount when trying to get into shape. Be positive and go hard! Here are some tips that will help you get the excess fat off you in no time.

1. Make a list of goals:

  • Be specific: e.g. I will lose 3 kilos of body fat
  • Monitor measurable outcomes:  e.g. I will need to have a body fat test every 2 weeks to see if it is fat I am losing not muscle
  • Be Realistic: e.g. Are my goals realistic with work, money, time and other responsibilities?
  • Set yourself a time frame e.g. I will lose the 3 kilos of body fat in 4 weeks

2. Invest some money

It’s amazing how motivated you can get when you have spent a bit of cash on something. Join a gym, purchase supplements that are useful to your specific goals or enlist the help of a personal trainer to help you get in shape. Make a bet with a friend that you will reach your goal by a specific date, even better get them to join you and make a competition out of it.

3. Resistance training

Resistance training is awesome for increasing lean muscle tissue and burning calories. I also think it is an excellent cardio workout when done with minimal or no rest in between sets. If you don’t enjoy doing traditional cardio to get in shape, why do it?

4. Higher protein intake

Increasing protein intake (from lean cuts of meat, dairy and protein powders) will help you gain extra muscle. It will also keep you more satisfied from each meal. A basic guideline to follow is to have 2-3 grams per kilo of bodyweight.

5. Less processed carbohydrates

If you think about processed carbohydrates (any food that has been altered from its natural state): they are a relatively new addition (on an evolutionary scale) to the human diet. They are often low in nutrients, high on the glycemic index and have many added toxins that our bodies are unable to deal with. To lose body fat quickly I would substantially decrease or eliminate processed carbohydrates from your diet.

6. More good fats

Omega 3 fats are found less and less in our diets so supplementing with them is a good idea for our bodies to function properly. I swear by fish oil as an excellent supplement to lose body fat fast along with all its other health benefits.

7. Drink lots of water

Water is often overlooked as a useful tool to change our body shape for the better. Our bodies work in an aqueous solution so if we are dehydrated in any way we will be unable to train as hard, think as clearly, transport nutrients around the body or eliminate toxins and wastes as effectively. Drink up –it’s free!

8. Enjoy what you do

Your exercise program or physical activities should not be a chore, but something you love to do. If weights is your cup of tea do it. If you like mountain climbing, climb. I personally have never enjoyed walking on a treadmill or cycling so I don’t do it. You can manipulate any activity you do to make it suit your goals. For example, when I train with weights I move from one exercise to the next without a break- not only do I continue to make gains in strength and muscle, but I also get my heart rate up for an extended length of time which burns calories too. The most important thing is that I am reaching my goals and loving every second of it!

It’s the New Year; you now have the tools to get back into shape after Xmas. Eat well, train hard and enjoy 2012!

 

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