The holidays are over and food was great, right? Welcome to the dilemma most people face upon gaining a few extra pounds. We most often blame holidays and social gatherings but regardless of who is really at fault there are three main choices you have to combat the added weight.
Option 1: Ignore the extra weight, do nothing.
So I ate a little extra this season, my diet is back to normal now and I can expect to go back to pre-holiday weight.
WRONG! In my experience I have found that most people’s idea of a “normal” diet is not good enough to cut the fat of a holiday binge. Chances are that if you describe your diet as normal you are joining the other millions of Americans gaining weight on a normal basis, not to mention the gains from the holidays. Generally speaking the actual amount of fat gained is around 5lbs.
The real problem is getting rid of the fat. Your “Normal” diet just won’t cut it. One solution is to have a regular diet that is a little more strict so going into the holidays you are in a better position to lose any weight you may gain. I have a strict diet and people still offer me carb-loaded deserts and fat-laced appetizers (don’t get me wrong I’ll eat my share of the “bad” stuff). Generally speaking I try to be more strict with my diet and when the holidays roll around or I indulge myself with those apps or deserts, I have an easier time losing added weight. This works for me, since my diet is normally strict I can be a little m ore flexible and not worry about trying too hard post-holidays. This is because I can adjust my “strict” diet to allow myself to burn a few more calories and fat that I may have put on, the truth is that reverting to the above mentioned “normal” diet just isn’t good enough, for most people because that normal diet isn’t burning more fat calories or carbs than you take in.
Think about this: You owe $15,000 in credit balances and you realize that it’s time to stop charging and start paying off your debt. You can’t just stop using the card (thus reducing your regular spending) AND pay off the card. This is because not only do you not only have a bill that needs to be paid, anything you would have used the card on now has to be paid for by some other means. When having a few extra pounds you have to lose the weight AND keep off any future weight your “normal” diet will add on. So to make up for the added weight you do need to make some changes in your calorie, carb, and fat intake.
Option 2: Eat the same but work out more
OK, this is good, you can eat all you want but you will lose weight and that’s that!
WRONG! Even if you aren’t “eating all you want” your body relies heavily on repairing muscle, having energy, and getting the proper nutrients to lose weight, and if you are overloading your body, it becomes harder and harder to lose weight. Think about paying the minimum payment on a credit card, it’s almost impossible to pay off the debt due to the debt to interest rate. To lose weight you need to burn more calories per day than you take in.
Think about this: When you work out your body will burn carbs, calories, and fat…So if you are taking in a lot of carbs through the day, your body is trying to catch up with you and chances are it doesn’t even get a chance to burn much fat or calories because it’s working on the carbs.
OPTION #3: Winner!!
DON’t eat a “normal” diet, suck it up and start eating a lean more strict diet.
It’s really not that hard, if you can cut out soda for a few weeks or get rid of the cheese in your morning omelet, you will be ahead of the game and already eating better than 80% of Americans. The bottom line is to burn more calories per day than you take in.
Think about this:
One can of Coke = 39g of sugar, 140 calories by cutting soda out of your daily diet you can drastically change your caloric intake and start burning more calories than you take in (Without exercise!) Its not rocket sicence people Make some small changes and you can lose weight almost without trying.
TGI Friday’s Cajun Chicken And Shrimp Pasta has 1026 Calories and 40grams of fat. The recommended daily caloric intake is around 1800. Make some small choices and save the fat for someone else. I would rather eat the TGI Friday’s Low Fat-garlic Chicken Primavera with 265 calories and 14grams of fat.
To calculate your Calorie needs, check this out.
Check out Eat This Not That for some amazing comparisons and insights to the food choices Americans have.
According to Marie Claire (Jan 2010 issue)… No I didn’t buy it because Natalie Portman was on the cover… I actually stole it from the GF to read this article, I swear…The study shows two staff members taking a 30 day challenge to lose weight and get into “bikini shape”.
Andrea, tried the “eat the same and workout more” plan (Option 2 above). She worked out for 45min 3 times per week.
Pounds Lost: 0 (That’s a big FAT ZERO)
Amy, tried the Mayo Clinic “eat this not that” Diet -A must read if you ask me!- (Option 3 above).
Pounds Lost: 10 (now you’re talking!)
I hope this helps people… let me know if you want more info or write a comment with your questions or comments. Happy Holidays.
Just a reminder