Did you know over the course of a lifetime, research shows the majority of overall weight gain comes from the Christmas and New Year holiday period?
Why this time period?
On average, Australians gain 0.8kg to 1.5kg over this period and researchers have found that more often than not, this weight isn’t lost. What this means is overtime, with each holiday period that goes by, we continue to gain this amount and therefore our weight gradually increases.
It is certainly not anything new to us that weight gain is gradual over a period of time, and doesn’t just happen from that one big Christmas lunch. Instead it occurs over the two to three week or sometimes longer festive and summer period that involves a breaking of the standard routine.
Really, it’s not surprising that this time of year is the time that we get caught up. With socializing, break up gatherings, drinks, BBQs and time off work things such as greater alcohol consumption, less frequent standardized meals, more snacking and less motivation for a daily routine of exercise are all common occurrences for many people over this period.
All of this information doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t enjoy ourselves! With plenty of the summer period left, plenty more BBQs, Australia Day and other events still to come, it’s about making those mindful choices, getting back into that routine and being happy.
So, what can we do to get back into shape post-Christmas?
Firstly, we need to assess whether we actually have anything to worry about! You know your own body and can tell if you’ve gained a few kilograms. The best indication for me is how my clothes fit.
Allow your body a week post festivities to settle down, increase your water intake to prevent bloating and make some good, routine choices to your day before you do an overall assessment. Weigh yourself, try on some clothes and then let’s start.
If you’ve stacked on a few
- Consider getting back into a routine of a standard wake up time and bed time. Hopefully by now the late night socializing and sleep ins have subsided.
- Fill the fridge with fresh produce and if the Christmas chocolates haven’t all been eaten yet, put them aside as a mindful ‘reward’ to enjoy once you feel on track.
- Make sure you’re eating your three main meals a day which are balanced with protein, carbohydrates, good fats and a range of ingredients to provide a broad spectrum of vitamins and minerals. Also add some snacks into your day to prevent cravings and mindless eating.
- It’s also time to get back into any physical activity that makes you happy whether it’s the gym, boot camps, group sessions or running.
- Look at the calendar and set some new goals for 2018. Maybe you want to tackle your first 10km run or longer, which means maybe you should enter a race either for yourself or with a friend for motivation. This can really make you accountable and make you get back into it.
It can be tough. The first week back at work can be a grind remembering your routine and dragging yourself out of bed to an alarm you haven’t had to listen to for up to two weeks.
So on top of getting back into healthier eating, meeting your fitness needs and managing your fragile state of mind, start making some better choices as you go along throughout the year. That way it’s not all a complete shock to the system when the New Year starts again for you.