Staying Healthy & Fit during Holiday Season
Here we enter…what I call…the season of sluggishness and convenient holiday eating fiestas. Temps drop, days become longer and so we conveniently resort to hibernation. Some of you will be tempted to put your lifestyle of health and fitness on hold, chow on whatever accessorizes your holiday tables (i.e.: pies, gravy, etc.) and justify it as 'seasonal blues.'
Well, if this is your idea of putting 'thermal' layers on your body to survive winter than you are sure headed to a non-reversable fat cell creation. Yes, you read it right: the fat cells you create over winter are there to stay. You might 'shrink' them to a certain degree by doing a diligent strength training but once created they are there to stay, period. Sucks, doesn't it.
Not sure about you, but I don't want to play that game. Contrarily, I am up to taking advantage of long and often gloomy winter days to focus on putting myself in the best shape ever! And I hope you'll join me on this endeavor.
I'd like to encourage you to defy the circumstances and weather dictates and stick to that what you said you are committed to: health and physical strength. Instead of falling off the wagon and using the change of season as an excuse please use this time to get in the best shape you can get. Use it to your advantage, so when the spring rolls in, instead of giving into panic over having to strip yourselves off of layers of clothing you will be excited to reveal your healthy, fit and strong selves in a matter of hours (yes, hours!).
Remember my mantra? Being healthy and physically fit is a lifestyle, unbias of seasons and your 'yey - nay' emotional swings.
Now…for those of you who do workout, indulge in holidays treats moderately but still aren't seeing the results you hoped for, consider the following:
1. You're not addressing your hormones.
I sure hope you read one of my previous posts regarding how tricky our hormones are, and more importantly, how most weight loss programs simply look at calories. Eat less than you burn and you'll have the body of your dreams in no time! Hellooooooo…..!!!! see me rolling eyes now….If only it were that simple.
The truth is, if your fat loss program is not specifically addressing your internal hormonal environment through nutrient timing, food combining, and planned overfeeding the amount of fat you're able to burn will be FAR from optimized and you pretty much have zero chance of actively burning fat for more than a few hours a day.
Why? Because your hormones virtually control everything when it comes to fat burning.
Think back to the role of your mom in your life when you were 12.
Your mom was the gatekeeper. She was the one to give the final yay or nay when it came to you and the things you wanted, and everything had to be passed through her. Want to meet Jimmy at the movies? You better have done your homework and cleaned your room…with a smile on your face nonetheless.
Keep your mom happy and you'd likely have no problems getting that "yes" were looking for. Fail to do so, however, and your social life would just as quickly crumble to a zero.
It's the same with your hormones. Take care of them and they'll take care of you…fat burning for days, hours on end. Neglect them, on the other hand, and you can pretty much forget about burning fat at all, yet alone around the clock.
Again, the three best ways to keep your hormones happy and your body in a fat burning state at all times is through nutrient timing, food combining, and planned overfeeding.
2. You're not performing exercise that truly boosts your metabolism.
As you remember, or at least I hope you do…I've been often preaching about doing certain types of exercise to dramatically increase metabolism. And by dramatically I mean for up to 48 hours straight. Yep, that's how I like to workout, I hate wasting time, and I sure hate spending hours and hours doing it. I like it quick, intense and efficient….for days that it!
That said, the type of exercise that yields this kind of benefit is NOT the type of exercise you commonly see being performed for fat loss in gyms all around the world.
You see, if you're doing traditional slow-go cardio or high repetition, light weight resistance training, you are leaving each session with virtually no positive effect on your metabolism.
Sure, you'll burn a few calories during the session, but even 45 minutes of a slow-go cardio on a treadmill only cashes in at 500 calories, or a whopping 1/7th pound of fat (and that's assuming that all 500 calories being burned are coming directly from stored fat, which they aren't). Multiply that by 3 sessions a week and you've burned a little over a 1/3rd of a pound of fat, oh my!
At that rate, it'd take you FOUR MONTHS to lose 5 lbs…and that's what you get in exchange for putting in your valuable time at the gym three days a week.
That ain't even worth it. And above all that, traditional exercise provides virtually NO prolonged elevation in metabolism. In fact, with slow-go cardio, metabolism returns to baseline almost IMMEDIATELY following the exercise session.
If you truly want the time you spend exercising to have a lasting effect on your metabolism (and your waistline), you absolutely must be performing total body resistance training with incomplete recovery. This is the main form of exercise I implement in virtually all my programs, but….you also have to do your part. Which brings me to numero 3:
3. You're not doing anything (or at least not consistently).
No matter how good a fat loss program is, it's not worth anything if you're not doing it. Now, before you skip over this section as blah blah unimportant, it's time for a serious reality check. Why? Because you KNOW this is your biggest problem…and you're not alone.
You see, the cold hard truth is that less than 10% of people who begin a fat loss program actually follow through with it for any length of time. You know who I am referring here to, right, whoo ha ha!
And there are a number of reasons this happens:
Lack of motivation
Lack of accountability
Lack of active engagement
"Life" (you get busy)
Lack of results
Lack of planning
Lack of support
Fortunately, all of these things can be solved and yes, you do have me on your side. All I'm asking for is that you put the work I assigned to you, trust that the permanent changes require time and consistency as much a giving up junk food or lack of time or excuses. If health is your priority....you'll make time for it.
Don't grow poundage in Winter please. Instead, work on sculpting it now to reveal and manifest its beauty in Spring!