After Christmas and New Year, it is quite natural to fall of the fitness wagon with late night parties, binge eating, unlimited desserts or family holidays. We try and start the New Year with a resolution to be more disciplined and committed to our fitness regimen but somehow feel it takes ages to shed the weight gained during festivities. Is it really difficult to lose the sudden weight that one would have gained during this season or is there a better sustainable way to do so? Read below to know some research based strategy to lose the weight post a holiday binge…
The amount of weight gain is also dependant on your calorie intake before the holiday. If you have always been restricting your amount of food and calories, binging without thinking too much can lead to a sudden weight gain. This is also because your body is used to certain calorie load and an overload can lead to quick weight gain especially when there is minimal or no exercise and your sleep-wake up schedule is haywire.
The best way to start the weight loss process is by gradually cutting down on the calorie load. Mostly people start with aggressive dieting and restrict the calories leading to “binge and restrict pattern” which can also lead to developing an unhealthy relationship with food. A proactive method to achieve the same is by following a carb/calorie cycling. According to a study published by the British Journal of Nutrition in 2013, restricting your calorie/carb intake twice a week is twice as effective when compared to restricting your overall calorie/carb intake throughout the week. Five days a week a slightly restricted calorie intake coupled with two days of very low calorie/carb intake helps in losing weight especially after a holiday binge. The two-day low calorie approach can be done anytime during the week. It is best to avoid doing it on consecutive days since this can cause binge eating on the third day. Also prefer low intensity workouts on these two days to avoid muscle loss. This approach for 12 weeks showed significant fat loss along with improved metabolic health.
Along with the above approach, remember to cut down on alcohol and desserts. Increase your salad and vegetable intake till you get used to the reduced portion size. Also include one or two servings of fresh fruits as a snack in between meals. This way you do not feel starved during this period. Exercise is non-negotiable. Remember to set short term realistic goals which make the process easy and achievable.
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