This year, millions of people will resolve to get healthier, workout more, and drop the pounds that they packed on over the holidays.
Sadly, statistics say that roughly 95-98% of those people will fail.
I don’t want you to fail.
Instead, this should be the year that those statistics take a hit. In a perfect world, everyone would end the year looking better than ever before and all the statisticians who compile numbers would be wondering what in the world got into the population.
I get that’s a bit naïve, but I’m a bit of a dreamer.
The holidays are full of gluttony to the fullest extent. From Thanksgiving through the end of New Years’ life feels like one big gigantic meal. There’s always a holiday party to go to, family to see, and booze to drink.
It’s no wonder that people tend to add anywhere from 1-5lbs over the holidays, and never lose it. That stat isn’t hyperbole.
The vast majority of the weight that people gain takes place exclusively during the holiday season.
I could be wrong, but I don’t think you have to be apart of that statistic.
Just to prove that, here are 4 ways you can shed that weight gained over the holidays.
Start building serious muscle
This seems a bit counterintuitive because building muscle sounds like gaining weight, which can be completely true.
But there’s another side to that coin.
Not only can you build muscle without packing on a ton of fat, but building muscle can actually help you get leaner.
In a previous post, I talked a bit about the myth of slow metabolisms, and why it’s not as simple as it seems.
It’s true, not everyone has a slow metabolism. It’s also true that you can speed your metabolism up to burn more calories throughout the day.
What’s one of the biggest keys to making that happen? Building muscle.
One pound of muscle typically burns about 3x more calories per day than one pound of fat.
To be fair, we are talking about somewhat small numbers here. 6 and 2 calories per pound, respectively.
But when that’s factored out across someone’s entire frame on top of the calories they burn per day just staying alive, doing cardio, or whatever else we wind up with a significant change in total calorie burn.
Set some external accountability
Take it from a Personal Trainer, one of the only reasons people hire us is because they need accountability.
For the most part, people understand how to train. And the majority of people definitely understand what a good diet consists of, even if we’re inundated with dietary confusion day in and day out.
Most people struggle with staying accountable, and that’s where we come in. This is your secret weapon.
Find yourself a source of accountability. Someone or something that won’t let you skip out on your training session or eat that dessert when you’ve already eaten dessert three times this week.
It could be scheduling a vacation two months from now, scheduling a photo shoot, or hiring a Personal Trainer.
It doesn’t matter; all that matters is that you find something that will hold you accountable.
It’s easy to skimp on responsibilities when you are the only person who knows. The same can’t be said if you’re checking in with a trainer or hanging out shirtless on the beach.
Make momentum work for you
New Years’ resolutions usually start off the same way. People start off more motivated than ever, and a couple of weeks later they’ve completely burned out and slipped back into their old lifestyle.
This is especially true following the holidays when life has resembled one long party.
Instead of trying to white knuckle your way through the New Year, build some momentum by piling up little wins.
Little wins are a favorite concept to use with clients. The premise goes like this: set up little things that you can do throughout your day that bring you closer to your goal or support a healthy lifestyle.
The smaller the win the better.
It could be something as simple as drinking a glass of water right when you wake up or having a protein shake for breakfast. What matters is that you get a win, celebrate that win, and then move on to your next win.
The power in this system lies in the fact that after a few days you’ve probably piled up quite a few wins.
Once you start winning you don’t want to stop, so that momentum keeps you moving.
Even better, if you slip up all you have to do to get back on track is find your next little win.
Don’t be scared of cardio
It’s popular to bash on cardio, but if your goal is health and fat loss, there’s no reason to shy away from it.
Cardio has a whole host of benefits, including making you better in the gym. If you’ve got a more efficient cardiovascular system you can have more productive lifting sessions. If you have more productive lifting sessions you’ll wind up with a better body.
Cardio also happens to be an excellent tool for burning calories. Should you rely on it solely for burning calories?
The answer is a resounding no. Can cardio be a tool to help you drop fat though? Absolutely.
Shoot for adding in 2-3 HIIT sessions a week towards the end of your workouts and your fat loss efforts will get much easier.
All in all, keep in mind that the holidays are a time to be enjoyed. It isn’t often that we get to enjoy great food and drink with great company, and those times should be relished.
After they’re over and it’s time to get back on track, these 4 keys can carry you to the body of your dreams.
Love running and exercise? Check out our podcast “We Run This” where we talk about running and the running lifestyle. It’s the running podcast made for athletes of all shapes and sizes.
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