December is coming up and along come the threats to your waistline. Christmas parties, sugary foods and alcohol will result in a risky increase in calories. Calories that your body will love to store in the form of fat. So what are you going to do to balance this out?
The right answer would be; I’m going to pre-burn those calories! Why would you wait to new year to burn what you put on during the festive season, wouldn’t it be much better to balance it out before hand ? The good news is that it doesn’t have to be hard. There are many things you can do starting today that will increase your metabolism and get you fit and ready before Christmas.
Step 1: Burn extra calories with everyday activities.
An important part of burning calories is living an active lifestyle. Don’t be mistaken. Just because you fit in a 30-minute jog everyday doesn’t mean you lead an active lifestyle. Most calories are being used is being active throughout your whole day. Ofcourse regular exercise is great, but if you sit around for the other 23 and a half hours of the day, your workout does little good.
That is why you want to make it goal to add activities to your daily life to pre-burn X-mas calories. If you spend an extra 300 calories each day just by being active, that is over 9000 calories in a month enough to burn over a kilo of fat ( It is estimated it takes an excess of 7700 calories to burn 1kg of fat)
Here are a few simple things you can do throughout the day to increase your calorie burn and keep your metabolism humming. (Each calorie-burn estimate is for an 80 kg-pound person.)
The Green thumb burn off
The sun is up for longer so instead of watching television in the evening, why not work in the garden? Think of it like this: Why hire someone to do the yard work when you can improve your curb appeal and lose weight at the same time? A half hour of raking leaves can burn 147 calories. Planting flowers or weeding the garden can burn 153 calories. Mowing the lawn (with a push mower) requires a little more energy and can burn more than 200 calories.
I know it is easy to order your groceries online these days, but you’ll be missing out on the potential of burning extra calories while shopping. After all, it takes energy to push a grocery cart around the supermarket, bagging your groceries, and returning the cart. You can expect to get rid of an amazing estimated 240 calories in about an hour of grocery shopping. Just make sure that you stick to your list and fill your cart with healthy whole foods.
Burn calories while getting paid
Many of us have an office job that requires long days of sitting. Your goal is to be more active, that is why throughout the day, get up and move around. Instead of calling your coworker on the phone, walk to his or her office. Rather than sitting in the break room at lunch, go on a sunny walk. Take the stairs instead of standing the elevator and every half hour, do a few squats in your office.
Sparkle and Shine to look Fine
Do you dread house cleaning? Did you know that studies show that a messy house increases anxiety, depression, and stress. When things are in order, it’s easier to relax, have company over, and find missing items. Get off social media (unless of course it is the MariopnPT Facebook or Instagram page) , turn on some music, and dig in. Just 30 minutes of vacuuming can burn 119 calories. Cleaning the bathroom, mopping floors, and dusting furniture can burn another 102 calories. Even folding the laundry will help you burn an extra 72 calories. Better yet… Get serious and rearrange the furniture to make room for the x-mas tree and say goodbye to hundreds more calories.
Walking the Dog in your Active Wear
Maybe you usually let your dog run around in the garden or walk him just until he does his business. Why not taking a few extra steps and walk around the neighborhood? He’ll love it, and you’ll benefit, too. Instead of once a day, increase your walks to twice a day. A half hour walk at a moderate pace will burn off more than 100 calories. Track the number of steps you take and find new ways to increase the number each day.
Treasure Hunting with the Kids
You may normally send the kids out to play, but you’re missing out on their fun. There is a fun little app
called Geocaching. It will show you many spots close by where people have hidden little treasures. Most of the time it is a little container with a log that you can sign when you find it but sometimes there are little toys in it that you can swap. It is a great way to make a walk exciting for the kids.
Step 2: Step it up in the Gym
I hope you didn’t think it would be as easy as just doing a few little things here and there ? I wish it was.
(Actually, I don’t because I would be out of a job). Reality is that a glass of alcohol is easily over 100 calories. Yes, even the low carb beers. That is why we need to step it up in the gym before we indulge ourselves. Even better would be hiring a personal trainer to help you. Someone to motivate you, push you and making sure that you don’t get injured. If you happen to live in South Australia near Marion, you are in luck because when it comes to personal trainers, you won’t find any better than at MarionPT.com.
If you aren’t that lucky, here are a few tips to get you going.
Start with Cardio
Cardiovascular exercise is the key to a fat-burning workout program. You will burn some serious calories by getting your heart rate up. It will also build your endurance and improve your fitness. As your heart and lungs begin to use oxygen more efficiently, your body turns to fat stores for energy. That is exactly what we want isn’t? Empty those fat-stores so we can fill them up again around Christmas.
Even more important, carrying around a lot of extra weight places pressure on joints. High-intensity, high-impact exercises like you see on programs like the biggest loser can be tough on joints and increase your risk of injury. That is why I recommend starting with low-intensity, low-impact cardio exercises. Walking, using an cross trainer, riding a stationary bicycle, and swimming are great exercises to get started. These exercises are all easy on the joints and burn a healthy amount of calories at the same time.
It comes as no surprise that exercise can be a shock to your muscles. So be smart about it and avoid excessive soreness and injury by starting out slowly. Slowly increase the length and intensity of your workouts to give your muscles, heart, and lungs time to adjust. I recommend to do some form of cardio exercise around three to four days a week.
Incorporate Weight Training
Building muscle is another vital aspect of a successful gym program. Because the more muscle you have, the faster your metabolic rate and the more calories you burn while resting—not to mention the benefits of strong muscles and bones.
I know that the weight section of the gym intimidates many people, but don’t let a lack of confidence prevent you from reaping the benefits of weight training. Work with your trainer to learn proper form for basic compound exercises, and then develop a circuit of exercises to perform two to three times in each workout. Plan to add strength training to your routine two to three days a week.
Slow and Steady Wins the Race
Sure, quick fixes are appealing, but most of the time they will backfire and seldom bring lasting change. Gradual, consistent weight loss is healthier and more sustainable. Even though the upcoming festivities are our current motivation, wouldn’t it be awesome if you can stick with it and make it part of your lifestyle? Don’t make exercise something you dread. Work to make it an enjoyable part of your everyday routine. Find activities you like doing to and make them a priority in your schedule. Like eating, sleeping, and brushing your teeth, exercise must become a habit you do each day. That is how you build a stronger and healthier you!
Step 3: Cutting Calories the Easy Way
It makes sense that with all the extra calories coming our way in December it is smart to reduce them now. Many of us think reducing calories has to be hard and painful. There is a misconception that your favorite foods are off limits and you’ll never enjoy sweets again. Don’t believe the lies. There are ways to cut calories and still like the foods you eat. Of course, we have to make changes. And while some of those changes aren’t easy, cutting calories can be done with a few simple substitutions.
Try using these suggestions to reduce your calorie intake at breakfast, lunch, snack, and dinner today, tomorrow, and forever.
Breakfast of Champions
Studies show that starting the day off with a healthy breakfast,you’ll eat fewer calories throughout the rest of the day. You can cut calories by using skim milk on your cereal or in your coffee. Instead of eating sugary cereals, or muffin filled with empty calories, fill up on eggs, oatmeal, or a high-fiber cereal. Stuck on breakfast meats? Choose bacon over sausage. It’s actually lower in calories. Make your smoothies with low-fat Greek yogurt or skim milk and skip the breakfast pastries.
Have a light Lunch
It’s easy to get in an unhealthy routine with lunch foods. Your go-to meals may need a little bit tweaking. Sauces for sandwiches or dips are often high in calories. Swap out honey mustard for barbeque sauce. Go easy on the ketchup. When making tuna or egg salad, swap out mayonnaise for avocado. Use an oil and vinegar based salad dressing rather than cream-based.
Also, you’ll want to say “No” to cheese on your sandwich, hamburger, salad, or soup and pile on extra vegetables instead. When making a sandwich with deli meat, turkey is lower in calories than ham, roast beef, or tuna fish, so choose wisely.
Snacks to Slim Down
Snacking can really set you set you back when it comes to cutting calories. It’s easy to overdo it on the calories when you’re tired and hungry between meals. Luckily, there are plenty of yummy and filling snacks that are low in calories. Skip the chips, cookies, and crackers and choose fruit, veggies, popcorn, or Greek yogurt.
Portion control plays a massive part in cutting calories. Try using a smaller plate at dinner and you’ll eat 20 percent fewer calories. Dinner is often the highest calorie meal of the day. Here are some suggestions to reduce calories at dinner but still feel satisfied.
- Choose thin crust pizza over deep dish and load the pizza with veggies instead of processed meats.
- Swap out full-fat butter with light margarine.
- Bake or grill your meat rather than frying.
- Enjoy your fajita or taco fillings without a tortilla and your barbeque or hamburger without a bun.
- Eat your vegetables without added cheese or sauces.
- Choose regular rice instead of fried rice and black beans rather than refried beans.
Think about your Drink
It’s easy to forget that drinks have calories too and some drinks have a lot. A great way to cut calories in your diet is to watch what you drink. Sugar-sweetened beverages such as sodas, sweet tea, sports drinks, juices, and energy drinks will add on calories fast. So safe the calorie loaded drinks for x-mas.
There you have it, that is my plan to prepare for X-mas. Hopefully it will inspire you to take action now so you can reap the benefits later.