Keeping the weight under wraps

You’ve had a great holiday, you’re well rested, you’ve done some good training, you’re ready to take on 2013. That is until you step onto the scale.

“5kg’s heavier!! What the hell?” you say to yourself. “I know I pigged out, but I trained every second day.” Sound familiar?

There is no quicker way to put on weight than the holidays and of course we all know how difficult it is to once it’s attached itself to our waists.

Christmas and New Years are great celebrations and one can be forgiven for indulging and tasting all the puddings on offer on these two days. The problem comes in when we two days of indulging becomes three and three becomes four, etc, etc. And of course it would be one thing if we limited it to one meal, but we end up indulging at every meal, every day.

We start the day off with a greasy plate of fried eggs, chips, patty, baked beans, toast, butter and coffee or milkshake (sometimes both) from the nearest Wimpy or McDonalds. The food breaks down quickly into sugar and we experience the Fields Hill of sugar spikes followed very soon thereafter by the Death Valley of sugar lows. As we drive from breakfast an hour or two later toward the beach we find ourselves craving a chocolate or ice cream. Once we’ve washed the chocolate or ice cream down with a coke or crème soda our bodies again have this massive sugar high followed very closely with a massive sugar dip and then it’s lunch. A greasy burger and chips washed down with another coke and chocolate brownie (it’s holidays after all). Our mid-afternoon snack ends up been a large packet of salt and vinegar chips and perhaps we go for mineral water this time (as we’re feeling a little guilty, of course vitamin water is a good as drinking coke) and then we’re into supper. 500g T-bone, chips, some veg (we must get the nutrients in) and malva pudding and custard for dessert washed down with a few beers or wine and then it’s off to bed to begin the cycle all over again the following day.

And we wonder why we’re putting on weight? Sure, this might be a slight exaggeration of what we’re eating everyday while on holiday but you may be a little shocked if you took note of what you were shoving down your throat.

My suggestion is to keep a holiday eating log. Everyday make a quick note of what you’ve eaten throughout the day, don’t leave anything out. Often we eat extremely badly and when it comes to the end of the day we think quickly about what we’ve eaten and think we’ve had a good day. Sitting down for 5mins max to jot down what you’ve eaten and what you’ve drunk throughout the day will make you more aware of what you’re putting down your throat. When we become aware of what we’re eating we tend to be a little less hasty to shove down anything and everything we can get our hands on.

Here are a couple of suggestions for keeping things a little healthier on holiday:
•    Make sure you keep plenty of fresh fruit close at hand. Take some fruit with you to the beach or where ever you may be going during the day and instead of smashing an ice cream have a fruit.
•    Take plenty of water with you. You should be drinking 1.5-2l of water per day. By drinking water your energy levels remain constant as opposed to hitting the roof after drinking a coke or fruit juice.
•    Limit your indulgence meals. If you know you’re going out for supper have smaller healthier meals during the day.
•    Eat smaller portions more often, so 6 smaller meals throughout the day are far better than 3 large meals. Start with a healthy breakfast, snack of fruit and “naked” bar (available at DisChem) mid-morning, light lunch or main meal, mid-afternoon snack of fruit and low-GI rusks and then light meal or main meal for dinner. If you get peckish after dinner have a small plain yoghurt with honey and small helping of nuts.

A little discipline in terms of eating during the holidays means it’s that much easier to hit your racing weight early on in the new year.

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