It’s hard to get excited about Christmas, New Years and that fun beach trip you are planning when you are not feeling so good about yourself. With the weather getting colder it is getting harder to stay active. Many of us find ourselves putting on some extra pounds to keep warm. The holidays are the best part of the year, however, the joyous season is known to come with some friendly criticism from your loved ones. Let your family and friends gawk at how good you look from across the table as you use your cheat day to stuff your face with sugar cookies.
These ten easy steps will help you avoid the snarky remarks and allow you to be the talk of the New Year. Try and start it off with more confidence than you had last year. When it gets hard remember why you started. Do not start on Monday, or tomorrow, start right now. By following at least four of these ten steps you are sure to see a difference when you are tanning on the beach, or partying on New Years. You and those around you will see a positive change in not only the way you look but in your confidence as well. 2015 is your year, make sure you look good for it!
10. Low Carb Diet
Avoid white bread, pasta, rice, pretty much everything you normally eat. By replacing your morning bagel with oatmeal until the festivities, you are one step closer to feeling like a new person by Christmas. Other healthier carb options include: quinoa, popcorn (unbuttered, unsalted) and anything whole grain like brown bread or brown pasta. Keep moderation in mind; portion control is really important when you are trying to lose weight. Even with “good” carbs, do not overindulge, they still contain a large amount of calories and fat, it is just a better calorie than you will find in white grains.
9. Cut Sugary Drinks
We all love our daily Starbucks runs, but what we don’t realize is the amount of sugar some of the drinks we love contain. Water is the best option when it comes to drinking – drink as much water as you can! You can also drink coffee and tea (green tea preferably), add milk (skim) and honey (a little) if necessary to give it some extra flavour. Diet drinks are also a big player in the weight game, and they’re very deceiving. Although they have zero calories, they are infused with aspartame. Seriously, if you don’t know the effects of aspartame on your body by now you should look it up, you’ll be horrified! Warm water with lemon is another amazing and healthy drink, it tastes great and is known as a natural fat burner. Try to be as natural with what you put into your body as possible.
Drink your fruits and vegetables. If you can juice it, you should. Fill up your juices with whatever you have; my personal favorite is spinach, peach, strawberry, cucumber, mint and a bit of banana. Not only is it delicious, it is filled with healthy fats and natural energy boosters that will fill you up and keep you going. Juicing is a great alternative to eating a meal and an all-natural way of filling yourself up. Forget Milkshakes, it will be your juices that bring all the boys to the yard.
Run as if your time is going to be logged into your Instagram for all your followers to see. Run like every guy that ever rejected you is watching. Run like…well, just run! Try to run 3 times a week for thirty minutes (at least). If running for that long is too hard for you, start with intervals: walk for a minute, run for two. By getting your heart rate going and sweating a lot you will burn fat faster.
I understand that running is not for everyone. Other fun alternatives to running are Zumba, Spinning, and even blasting some old school beats in your apartment as you dance your ass off for thirty minutes. The trick is to keep your body moving.
6. Circuit Training
By doing a lot of cardio, you are going to drop weight fast. However, you are also going to want to be toned and that is where circuit training comes in. Focus on three main body parts, for example: arms, abs and legs. Do three workouts per body part, three times each with a two-minute run in between. The workout should take you about an hour and trust me when I tell you it will be worth it when you get that 100th like on your holiday mirror selfie. With a mix of cardio and circuit training you will shortly see a big difference in your muscles.
5. Squat and Pee
The squat and pee is one of my favorite tricks! Before using the toilet, you should do a minimum of 15 squats before sitting down. The repetitive action throughout the day will pretty much constantly keep your muscles working. This is a simple, creative and effective way of using your muscles and by the end of the month you will begin to see a big difference, and your ass will thank you. Of course if it’s really an emergency the squats can wait until after you go. Just do them!
4. All About that Green
No, not piles of money, but that stinky green stuff your mom used to force you to eat when you were a youngster. I’m talking about broccoli, spinach, brussels sprouts, all those great things we used to despise as kids (and many of us still do) – they aren’t as bad as you remember! Green vegetables are great to speed up your metabolism allowing you to shed more weight in less time. If you don’t like the taste au natural, try adding lemon and garlic, they add a lot of flavor without adding a lot of calories.
3. Don’t Weigh Yourself
I know it may be tempting but try not to weigh yourself too often because it can be tricky and sometimes very discouraging. Try to get in tune with your body. If you start to feel a difference, chances are your body is beginning to change. Set a goal and a day and weigh yourself then. Remember, muscles also have a weight (they actually weigh more than fat does), so be realistic with the number you want to see on the scale. When your goals are realistic, it is much easier to accomplish them.
2. Think Before You Eat
It’s just two Oreos, it’s not the end of the world… Well it isn’t, but if you had two Oreos here, and a couple chips there, and a muffin or two in the midst of that, it will all add up and it will become close to impossible to see results. We know, the holiday season can be hectic and time can be short, but that doesn’t mean you still can’t make smart choices. Don’t deprive yourself, but really think about what you are putting into your body and whether or not it is truly worth it. Sometimes that Big Mac is worth is, but most times it isn’t.
1. Don’t Give Up!
I know it may sound like a PBS after school special but it’s true. Think of all the times you have tried to diet and how many times you have given up. Stick to it! It’s only a couple weeks and it’s something that is so good and beneficial for you. You need to ask yourself how badly you want to loose the weight, and take healthy methods of achieving that goal. With the stress of the holidays and all the hectic things that come with it, take pride in the fact that you achieved something during one of the most difficult times of the year and try to carry it on into next year. You won’t regret it!