Feel a bit soft around the edges after the holidays? Here are 5 ways to fix it
By lunch time Christmas day, you got to that uncomfortable level of full. You didn’t need to eat those last 15x prawns and 5x rum balls, but you thought f%ck it, it’s Christmas, I deserve it.
No doubt, depression has probably set in as you start your first week back at work, not to mention you feel like a beached whale.
Let’s face it, the holidays are a brutal time of year on the body.
Well you didn’t get fat over the holidays from all of the running and the healthy salads now did you? I can’t talk, I went from being in reasonable shape to dad bod in 2.5 weeks, thanks Europe.
It went something like this — Being cold, wine, cheese, being cold, mulled wine, bratwurst, cheese, wine, being cold.
That equates to a huge increase in calories and an even bigger decrease in activity. The result — you are no longer friends with the mirror.
So I guess we are in the same boat — fat loss diet here we come.
Here are 5 strategies to lose those holidays kgs
1. Try the one day diet
Ok so the name is a bit deceptive, it’s actually a one on, one off diet. Also known as alternate day fasting.
This is a strategy where you alternate days of eating normally & days of eating significantly less.
Monday: Eat like a normal person, but favour single ingredient (healthy foods)
Tuesday: Don’t eat until 12pm, then have 2 smaller meals across the rest of the day.
Diet one day, eat normal the next, repeat. It sounds really simple, well because it is, don’t be fooled into thinking you need some fancy diet strategy.
Fasting (for the majority of the population) in small doses is actually really good for you. I put that caveat in there because people turn into idiots with blanket rules and someone will take it literally and try to fast for 40 days straight.
Why you should try fasting
- You will convince yourself you don’t need to eat every 13.5 mins
- Removes boredom eating
- Teaches your body to burn fat better
- Improves insulin sensitivity (the opposite of diabetes)
- You might even be more productive at work, purely anecdotal but I am way better without food, especially in the morning
2. Go Asian
In my opinion Asia is doing heaps right with their food.
Let’s use Japanese food for an example — you walk away from a Japanese restaurant feeling light, but still content. As opposed to going to an American restaurant where you stumble away, trying really hard not to have a stroke.
Here is what you should steal from Asian cuisine:
- Use healthier cooking methods; stir fry, boil or steam.
- Have smaller portions
- Eat with chopsticks (or some method which slows down your intake — like putting down the fork)
- Balanced meals: bit of protein, some veg & a little bit of carbs
- Focus on single ingredient foods
3. Practice poverty
I am a huge fan of this concept.
I first read about it in — Meditations by Marcus Aurelius (one of the best books you will read)
Let’s assume you do it 1 day a week.
The concept is simple — eat the bare minimum & spend as little as possible while doing so — this doesn’t just have to be applied to food either.
Sure you could argue — you could fill yourself up on junk food for cheap, but that would defeat the whole purpose of trying to be friends with the mirror again.
Your day might look like:
7am — walk to work instead of driving / paying for public transport.
8am-12pm — several shitty instant coffees
12pm — rice + beans + whatever veg is on sale
7pm — same as lunch
This concept is something I want to practice more this year. From the several times I have done this previously, the key takeaways were:
- I need way less food to survive than I think
- I am typically a lazy bastard and should walk more
- I spend way too much money on coffee / unnecessary shit
An even better way to do this, tally up the money you would have spent during the day and donate it to charity — double win, because let’s be honest your karma probably needs a top up.
4. Go slow carb
This diet was coined by Tim Ferriss of 4 Hour Work Week fame
Basically it’s lean proteins + veggies + only “good” carbs, that means ditching all of the shitty carbs — you know the ones. They include all of the processed junk you normally go to when you need an energy hit.
A typical day might look like:
Meal 1: Omelette with spinach cooked in coconut oil
Meal 2: Moroccan chicken & chickpea salad
Meal 3: Miso salmon with asian greens.
You can read Tim’s whole Slow Carb article here
5. Eat like the indigenous
Think back to when a large percentage of indigenous people ate off the land — did they eat things they had no knowledge about? Absolutely not, because there was a chance they would get sick, or potentially die (if it was a poisonous berry, animal etc)
They knew what they are eating & why they were eating it.
In modern day society — we don’t have that problem, the result = people just eat ALL of the food, regardless of what it is.
Everyone should have all have a basic knowledge of food, what it does to the body & why you are eating it.
Is bread a protein? carb? fat? — why do you need this type of food…
Put simply — if you don’t know what’s in a food, you don’t eat it. I honestly think people would be significantly healthier if they adopted this mentality.
I know for certain people wouldn’t be eating huge bowls of sugary cereal or croissants & coke for breakfast to fuel them for a huge day of sitting on their arse in their sedentary jobs.
The Wrap Up
If you’re anything like me, you over indulged over the holidays. It’s not the end of the world but it’s time to get back on the wagon — Give any of the 5 strategies a go, hell if you had a huge blowout over the holidays give all of them a go.
They aren’t fancy strategies by any means, but they work. Regardless of what you try, just know it involves being smart about your portions & the types of foods you are eating as well as being a bit more mindful when you are eating.
Originally published at nutritiondonebetter.com on January 11, 2017.