There’s nothing wrong with enjoying yourself over Christmas and the New Year—the time where there are seemingly endless parties and too many opportunities to overindulge. But now that the festive season is at an end and we’re into January, it is time to face the world once more. Here are a few tips on how to get started:
1. Clear your cupboard
Relying on your willpower to resist that leftover cake? But honestly, how long can you hold out before giving in? If you haven’t gone through the load of sugary treats or leftover dinner and feel bad about throwing them out, it might be best to donate them to a local food bank. In case you’re wondering where to, we have Foodback of Indonesia here.
2. Reset your eating habits
Over the festive season, you probably have consumed way too much carbohydrate foods, both good and bad. As you skimp on exercise during this period, the carbohydrates that your body doesn’t use for energy are stored as fats. To reduce these carbohydrate stores, you can start doing regular exercise and reduce on your carbohydrate intake. Keep your meals simple and clean by consuming lean proteins, leafy green vegetables, fresh berries, whole grains, nuts and seeds. Give your digestive system a break and replenish those nutrients that may have been lacking over the last few weeks.
3. Start your day right
Starting your day with a healthy protein-packed meal will maximize your metabolism, help you feel fuller longer and regulate your blood sugar and insulin levels. Eat a hearty breakfast and a light dinner to regulate your appetite and eventually, lose weight.
4. Drink more water
Drinking more can boost your body’s ability to burn fat and boost your metabolism by 30%. It also will naturally curb your appetite and craving for those sweet treats you’ve been indulging over the holidays. Water fills your stomach with zero calories and as a result, will leave you feeling fuller. Aim to drink 8-10 cups a day (about 2-2.5 litres).
5. Start easy on your exercise regime
It’s important to get back on track as quickly as you can after the break—the more you continue to laze around, the harder it is going to be to get back into your usual routine. Don’t commit to any hardcore routine immediately, otherwise you’ll push yourself too hard and your intentions end up in failure. Try to incorporate short exercises in your morning or evening routine—even 10 minutes is better than nothing. There are many short exercises online that you can easily follow at home. A good mix of high intensity cardio, upper body and lower resistance work is recommended to keep your body balanced. Do the exercises 5 times a week, and slowly start doing it for longer periods as you get stronger.
6. Take note of what you eat everyday
Recording every single bite or gulp holds you accountable on your dietary habits. It helps you figure out the unknown calories that are sneaking into your diet and helps you make a better choice the next day. If it is a fuss for you to have a physical notepad, there are many useful mobile apps such as Lose It! and MyFitnessPal to record your food intake.
7. Don’t deprive yourself
You may be tempted to go to extreme measures to undo the damage, but truth is, sticking to a reasonable goal will do you good over the long-term. When you deprive yourself, you force your body to switch into starvation mode and conserve energy, thus burning fewer calories. You’ll also end up wanting food more, which might lead to binge-eating. You can’t live on a restrictive diet for the rest of your life. Remember that healthy eating is about the choices you make, in moderate portions. Allow yourself to have a small treat once a week to keep yourself sane—it is not going to add another inch to your waistline.