Weekly column by fitness experts Adam Wright and Jacqui Watson for the Waterford News & Star, in association with Kingfisher Fitness Club
ANY weight gained or fitness lost over the holidays will return to normal once your eating and fitness habits return to normal in the new year. The more and the longer you step out of bounds the longer it will likely take to bounce back. But in the vast majority of cases bouncing back will be possible. I am in no way trying to give anyone a hard time, goodness knows we’ve had enough of those this year. I just want to be real about it. Having said that:
There’s a big difference between…
1) A week of missed workouts and a bit more food and drink because the gym is closed and you’re celebrating with friends and family (mixing no more than three households of course) and…
2) A MONTH of missed workouts (even though gyms are now open) and a bit more food and drink because “sure there’s only two full weeks left after lockdown 2.0 before the holidays… I’ll start fresh in the new year.”
I’m writing this on December 1. Unfortunately there’s a lag time between when I write this and when you get to read it but I sincerely hope you got back into the gym after it reopened and you’re continuing to nourish your body with health promoting foods and activities.
If you’re not it probably isn’t the end of the world (although this is 2020 and who knows!?) but on the other side of the holidays, when it comes time to get back into things for January, there will be a considerable difference between a week’s worth or a month’s worth of “damage” to undo.
This is for the 10 days to two weeks of the holidays themselves (you know what to do in mid December, gyms are open, I don’t have to spell it out). I’ve put “damage” in inverted commas because it’s not actually damage, it’s normal fluctuations in weight and fitness levels based on changes in calorie intake and activity. It happens to everyone to varying degrees and at different times in their lives. But if you’re someone that would really like their weight to “fluctuate” down in the new year (or back down; I don’t think I’m alone in gaining a few pounds in 2020) here are a couple of simple ideas that could help (note they will still require effort):
Prioritise fruit, vegetables and lean protein (turkey and lean ham are great sources) at breakfast and lunch time.
Get some activity early in the day. Even a brisk walk is something. If the weather is bad a home workout IS a valid option even if they aren’t your favourite. As far as I’m aware recordings of my own online video home workouts will be available to Kingfisher Club customers over the holidays. It’s my own intention to make use of home workouts to keep my eye in over the break, I’ll probably post about it if you want to find me @AdamWrightPT on Instagram or Facebook.
Reserve carbohydrates for later in the day when you may “need ” them more (a few drinks, dessert after dinner, sweets and treats in the evening etc).
Consider leaving the box of chocolates in the kitchen instead of having it beside you as you enjoy holiday movies. Research has shown proximity has an effect on calories consumed (pub med article ID 24560689). If food is close to you you’re more likely to consume more than if you have to get up to get it.
And drink more water. It’ll help with hangovers and a pint of water before a meal has been shown to reduce the caloric intake from that meal by around 20% (pub med article ID 25893719).
I don’t know if this is my last article for this year or not yet but if it is, have a wonderful holiday season. Best wishes from myself and everyone at the Kingfisher Club. Be safe, stay positive, test negative.