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Top 25 ways to lose weight after the holidays (and stay healthy all year)

The holidays are over and you realized you gained a couple of extra pounds. Now what?

Fitness

Top 25 ways to lose weight after the holidays (and stay healthy all year)

Top 25 ways to lose weight after the holidays (and stay healthy all year)

The holidays are over and you realized you gained a couple of extra pounds. Now, what?

You finally got on the scale after weeks of overeating, nonstop indulgence, and mindless snacking while binge watching Netflix. You’re not happy about it and like most people this time of the year, you want to lose weight and shed that extra, undesirable fat.

Did you know that 75% of annual weight gain happens during the holiday season? “Lose weight” is the single most popular New Year’s resolution.

Most people make it a goal to lose weight after the holidays. In fact, it’s the number one New Year’s resolution. But why is it that most end up giving up along the way? There is a certain level of commitment and steps that must take place to ensure you weight loss goals are achieved. Be mindful that being in shape or staying fit is a lifestyle and requires a behavioral

There is a certain level of commitment and steps that must take place to ensure you weight loss goals are achieved. Be mindful that being in shape or staying fit is a lifestyle and requires a behavioral change if you want the results to be permanent.

We’ve put together a list of tips that will help you lose weight and keep the weight off all year. Keep in mind that this is not a “one size fits all” approach but the advice and resources below should be interpreted as a guideline to help you lose weight, especially the extra pounds you might have gained after the holidays.

1. Start with the why not the how

It’s first important to define and uncover the reasons you want to lose weight, rather than the how. In a scale of 1 to 10 how important is losing weight to you. For the vast majority of the population, weight loss and staying fit is considered something temporary. However, you should consider weight loss as a lifelong journey that will eventually turn into a lifestyle.

Understanding, the reasons behind your weight loss goals will help put things into perspective showing you how important weight loss is to you. Take some time to reflect on your top reasons for losing weight. Try not to worry about the how just yes, as we will cover it all in the sections below.

Benefits:

  • Appearance: Look better to fit in your favorite outfit
  • Health Benefits: Prevent disease(s)
  • Self-esteem: Improve how you feel about yourself

Resources:

2. Set concrete and realistic goals that will help you lose weight

"Discipline is the bridge between goals and accomplishment."Majority of us fail when it comes to weight loss because we often don’t have a set of concrete and/or realistic goals in mind. Most often we tend get over excited at first by committing to losing weight setting unrealistic goals. Then we get unmotivated and give up because of the lack of results. So, make sure your goals are Specific Measurable Attainable Relevant and Time-bound.

Here is an example, “I want to lose 5 pounds until the end of the March.” Following this goal you could potentially lose up to 20 pounds in a year with the ability to track your progress along the way every quarter.

Benefits:

  • Allow you to track your performance for better results
  • Keeps you accountable
  • Provides a roadmap to success

Additional resources:

3. Plan your schedule that align with your weight loss goal

Once you figure out your target weight loss goal, you can then plan how you want to execute your goals. You have to commit to a routine and plug in the exact dates you plan on exercising and your goal for each workout to ensure you are not just randomly showing up at the gym, like most people do.

Benefits:

  • Improves your time management
  • Keeps you on track
  • Know the expectations

Additional resources:

4. Prioritize your schedule to lose weight

Motivational quote: "One reason people resist change is because they focus on what they have to give up, instead of what they have to gain."Plans are a great way to get started. However, plans tend to get thrown off by daily activities and other errands that always tend to take the place of your workouts. So, part of staying on track with weight loss is to prioritize your calendar based on your goals.

If your plan is to lose weight than plan on it and prioritize it. Expect things to happen but align your priorities with your weight loss goal and set an aggressive schedule to ensure you achieve your targets.

Benefits:

  • Stay on track with your weight loss goals
  • Actively pursue your goals
  • Achieve faster results

Additional resources:

5. Avoid distractions

Distraction is the most subtle stronghold that keeps people from losing weight. It comes in many forms and shapes and it will literally anything to keep you from reaching your goals. You have to do your best to eliminate everything that will distract you so you can focus entirely on what matters to you.

You have to build your mental strength just as much as your physical strength to lose weight. Your willpower will dictate how successful you will be in your weight loss journey. Planning ahead of time will help eliminate distractions. You can also plan your distractions by taking steps to ensure you succeed with your weight loss goals.

Benefits:

  • Stronger willpower
  • Better focus
  • Learn to improvise
  • Eat less

Resources:

6. Drop the excuse and start losing weight

There are only two options: Make progress or make excuses.We often find many excuses to not to lose weight. The reason this happen is because our body prefers to stay safe in a homeostasis state. So during your plan and prioritization process with you find your mind telling you to go back to your old ways.

You have to understand that your body does not feel safe when you try to lose weight. However, to achieve your results you have to push through and eliminate all excuses.

Benefits:

  • Helps you attack your weight loss goals aggressively
  • Eliminates your mind blocks
  • Faster weight loss results

Additional resources:

7. Focus on building muscle

Did you know that one pound of muscle burns approximately 50 calories per day? Focus on building muscle to transform your body into a calorie burning machine. Building muscle does not mean building up. You can build muscle and look leaner and meaner without looking like a body building. One pound of fat equals approximately 3,500 calories. If you gained, about ten pounds of muscle in one year you could potentially burn an additional 500 calories per day, which mean you would be burning at least 1 pound of fat per week.

Benefits:

  • Better weight control by burning more calories
  • Increased strength
  • Look leaner

Resources:

8. Commit to a routine

You can't expect to succeed if you only put in work on the days you feel like it.In order to build muscle, you will have to stay consistent with what your exercise routine. There are thousands, if not millions, of exercise routines that you can find online that you can possibly follow. Pick one, find out what works best for you, and stick to it. Remember that any exercise routine will need to be changed after approximately 4 weeks to avoid hitting a plateau.

Keep in mind that exercise is only going to speed up your weight loss process. Your results will directly be affected by the way you eat.

Benefits:

  • Exercise harder every time
  • Know the game plan
  • Check your progress

Resource:

9. Stay active to lose weight

Part of your weight loss routine will be to stay active throughout the day. Most of us, spend the majority of our days sitting driving, at home, or at work. It is crucial to stay active as much as possible to maximize your weight loss.

You can do this by minimizing the amount of down time so you can maximize the amount of active time. Here are a couple of ways you can get more active time throughout your day:

  • Get a pedometer and try set a minimum walking daily goal
  • Park your car as far as possible or walk rather than driving
  • Cancel your TV plan and replace it with an active time
  • Take the stairs rather than the elevator

Benefits:

  • Burns more calories during the day
  • Improved energy levels
  • Fast weight loss results

Resources:

10. Check your progress

Once you follow and implement the steps above, you will need to make sure that you are actually making progress. It’s not sufficient to just exercise. In order to achieve the best results,  you have to constantly ensure you are making progress.

Here are a couple of ways to progress your exercise routine:

  • Repetitions: Increasing the number of repetitions
  • Sets: Increase the number of sets
  • Intensity: increase the weight
  • Range of motion: Increase the range of motion with each of your exercises
  • Tempo: Adjust the speed of your exercise and change it up

Benefits:

  • Improve your results
  • Lose weight faster
  • Make your workouts exciting

Resources:

11. Find an active hobby

Part of staying active to lose weight is to find a hobby that you like that keeps you active. You can naturally lose weight by doing something you truly enjoy, which most of the time does not feel like you are exercising.

Many people think that in order to lose weight you have to exercise and eat right. Well, that only part of it. The most important part is make a health living a lifestyle and acquiring an active hobby goes hand to hand with weight loss. Simply choose a hobby or sport you truly enjoy and it will not feel like exercising.

Benefits:

  • Do something fun
  • Enjoy an outdoor activity
  • Boost your confidence

Resources:

12. Practice mindful eating instead of emotional eating

Emotional eating is when you eat food for comfort, stress relief, or sometimes as a form of reward. This often become a problem as we now have ease of access to load of empty calorie foods that are readily available at every corner store, fast foods, and restaurants.

Instead, try practicing mindful eating by paying full attention to the food you are consuming. Turn off or put away your electronic devices, chew your food slowly, and me mindful of what you are eating. Your body will give you cues of the food you consume.

Benefits:

  • Consume less food
  • Feeling of satiety with less food
  • Improves your digestion and nutrient absorption

Resources:

13. Don’t Diet

Diet is defined as something temporary. You have to understand that weight loss requires a lifestyle change. There are plenty of false promises out there that will advertise easy weight loss in a small amount of time. Some of them might work temporarily but will most often fail in the long term. So how do you lose weight and keep in off for good?

The best way to lose weight and keep in off is to implement permanent changes in the behavior. Changes in your eating patterns have to be carefully planned and implemented in order to deliver the weight loss you want to achieve. Start of with one change at a time until it sticks and then gradually change other bad habits as you go.

Benefits

  • Get long term weight loss results
  • Long term health benefits
  • Change in mindset

Resource

14. Drink More Water

Do something today that your future self will thank you for.Do you usually drink water when you are thirsty? If so, you are too late. Here is what you should do to keep yourself hydrated during the day:

  • 1 cup of water first wake up
  • 1 cup of water 30 minutes prior to every meal
  • 1 cup of water before you to sleep

Benefits

  • Increases energy and relieves fatigue
  • Water occupies the space of food
  • Creates a sensation of satiety

Resource

15. Eat more often (and less)

It’s important to understand the concept of eating smaller sized portions more often. There is a misconception that eating more will make you gain weight. The reality is that eating more healthy snacks will actually speed up your metabolism as your body won’t be fighting to find readily available energy.

So make sure to always carry healthy snacks with you wherever you go.

Benefits

  • Stay satiated throughout the day
  • Sustain energy levels
  • Faster recovery

Resource

16. Eliminate the sugar

Sugar, especially processed sugar, is your worst enemy during your weight loss journey. Sugar is a carbohydrate that is ultimately broken down into glucose to be used as a form of energy or stored as fat. High blood sugar will lead to high body fat concentration, which works against your weight loss goals.

Eliminating your sugar sources will help you achieve your weight loss goals faster. Lowering your sugar intake can also yield many health benefits.

Benefits:

  • Lower caloric intake
  • Improve your health
  • Sharp concentration

Resource:

17. Prep your meal in advance

Part of success during the weight loss process is to plan your meals so you are not “forced” to make unhealthy decision. Keep your meals to a maximum of two to three hour apart. Also remember to always split your meals to ensure you are eating more frequently to lose weight.

Benefits

  • Avoid unhealthy choices
  • Stay on track to lose weight
  • Know the expectations of what to consume

Resource

18. Avoid restaurants

Needless to say, this should be completely be eliminated from your lifestyle to ensure you stay on track with your weight loss goals. If you are serious about weight loss you should consider eating at home or cooking your meals rather than eating at restaurants, especially junk food places.

Benefits

  • Achieve your weight loss results faster
  • Get adequate nutrition
  • Save money

Resources:

19. Eliminate sodas

Substitute all sodas with water. I know what you are probably thinking, how about diet sodas? The artificial ingredients in diet sodas will only hold you back from achieving your results. In order to lose weight you will need to eliminate anything that goes against your goal. Sodas, including diet sodas, contain many ingredients such as high sugar or artificial sugar, high sodium, caffeine, phosphoric acid, among others that can be detrimental to your overall health and weight loss goals.

Benefits

  • No calories by substituting sodas with water
  • Avoid all artificial ingredients
  • Lower your sugar craving

Resource

20. Eat the right kind of carbohydrates

Carbohydrates are broken down into glucose, which is ultimately used as the primary source of energy from the brain and muscles. When trying to lose weight, you should substitute all simple carbohydrates, packed with empty calories with low or no nutritional value, with complex carbohydrates.

Ideally, you want to eliminate most simple carbs from your diet to lose weight. However, this can be quite challenging. So the best way is to gradually taper off simple carbs and switch over to complex carbohydrates.

Benefits:

  • Keeps you feeling full for longer
  • Less calories for same amount of food
  • Better nutritional intake

Additional resources:

21. Don’t skip breakfast

Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Eating a healthy breakfast is a sure way to start your day full of energy. Your body needs energy to start day after a long night of no intake. Your meal planning should always include a healthy breakfast to give your body the energy to lose weight. It’s a myth to skip breakfast thinking you are lowering your caloric intake because you will end more hungry eating craving unhealthy foods.

Benefits:

  • Increases your energy level in the morning
  • Improves memory and concentration
  • Better focus

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22. Get motivated with music to lose weight

Your favorite music can be the best source of inspiration during your workouts. So always having your favorite songs during your workout can potentially increase your performance and speed up your weight loss results.

Music has the power of influencing how we feel to deliver better results during your workouts. We all have certain songs that just makes us feel a certain way. Choose your favorite songs, compile a playlist, let the beat drop, and watch your dreams come true. Put together some nice playlists or follow some on Spotify.

Benefits:

  • Increases your motivation
  • Workout at higher intensity
  • Get more out of your workouts

Resource:

23. Find an accountability partner

Having someone with the same weight loss goals can help you both be accountable to each other’s results. Find someone you enjoy spending time with and partner with them to push each other beyond your limits.

There is nothing better than having someone that will motivate you go that extra mile to achieve your weight loss results faster.

Benefits:

  • Better accountability towards your goals
  • More motivation to exercise
  • Burn more calories for a faster weight loss results

Resource:

24. Work harder

Make sure you are 100% focused when it’s time to exercise because when you work harder you achieve better results. At times you might be able to accomplish twice as much if you hard twice as hard during your workouts. Don’t be afraid to push your limits. Sometimes working out as a group can beneficial due to the competitiveness that drives each one to outperform one another.

You can also work by yourself if you built the discipline required to track your progress and push yourself more and more each workout.

Benefits:

  • Faster weight loss results
  • Increase muscle gain
  • Higher intensity workouts burn more fat

Resource:

25. Make losing weight fun

You should try your best to making weight loss as fun as you possibly can to make sure you have long term results. Getting in shape is not easy but there are plenty of ways to make this process fun and enjoyable.

Focus on your end result but always make sure you are having fun as you progress. Try new things, eat new foods, create new recipes, join a new gym, do whatever it takes to make sure you reach your goals.

Benefits:

  • Have fun
  • Enjoy your journey
  • Long term weight loss results

Resources:

What’s next?

We realize that losing weight can painful, frustrating, and difficult. But it doesn’t have to be that way. The guidelines and resources provided in this article, when implemented, will help you stay on track to reaching your weight loss goals after the holidays and thereafter.

This resourceful guide to weight loss can be used as a guide to leading you to better self for a more successful 2017!

Remember it’s not about the mistakes you make, it’s about what you learn from your mistakes. So even if you get off track, shake it off, and get back on track by focusing on who you want to become.

Best of luck to you!

Bruno earned his B.S. in Exercise Science and Human Nutrition from the University of Houston. Bruno is fully committed to applying concepts of exercise science and human nutrition to help others live a healthier lifestyle.

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