My wife and I both put on some winter fat last month. We knew what we were doing. We went into December with the goal of looking decent at the beach (which we accomplished), and with that vacation as the start (I put on 6 lbs in a week), we simply gave up for most of the month. Family holidays. Christmas cookies and treats. Evenings with friends. Stress. Bottom line is we simply mailed it in on food for the month. First time in a long time we did that.
I aggravated my shoulder injury pretty bad, which limited my total exercise for the month to a couple of runs. Holly did a couple yoga sessions, maybe a couple workouts on the bike trainer. It wasn’t enough to stave off the excess calories from the cookies and mashed potatoes and pizza and alcohol. Not by half. I have been afraid to weigh myself since earlier this month, but we’re ready to get back at it. Due to other circumstances this year, including motivation (or lack thereof), she probably has a longer way to go, but she’s pumped up right now.
Here’s what we’re doing.
- First, we both realize that we didn’t put on the winter fat overnight, so we’re going to take the long approach. This is almost always right.
- Back to a paleo-ish diet. Cutting out sugar, flour and pizza, and all the crap we’ve been eating the last month (egg nog is heavenly). My wife made a big batch these cheesy egg muffins with a small amount of coconut flour. We made a big batch of chili (no beans) today, and brought up some other hog cuts from the freezer to thaw for the week. Good diet starts with good shopping choices and cleaning out the pantry.
- I’m doing “Dry January” for the third consecutive year. The excess calories from drinking can’t be understated. Plus, when you’re working out, drinking stunts recovery and ability to produce testosterone, in addition to adversely impacting sleep. See what Chris Pratt did giving up beer for 6 months (and more for sure, but combined with personal training/diet he went from fat to fit for Guardians of the Galaxy)
- We’re working out with regularity and with goals again. My wife was struggling to figure out her workout path the last 3-4 months of the year, but she’s dialing it in. She’s been biking 1-2 hours at a pop, is starting a TRX class once a week locally, and will probably continue to do yoga. For me, I’m limited in my weightlifting or other activities (would really like to get back to MMA classes, but can’t until I’m healthy). This means I will be doing more running (which I like, despite the cold weather here in the midwest) and what weight lifting I can do (such as squats or lunges, bicep curls, and some limited bodyweight stuff) while starting rehab this week. (full diagnosis is unknown beyond some sort of rotator cuff tear, as they didn’t do an MRI – hope it doesn’t require surgery)
- Weighted vest walking on days I can’t work out and it’s not too cold.
I say diet is the way to go to dropping weight, so if you dial that in first, with working out supplementing that for caloric deficit (if it isn’t too stressful), you’ll find more success than simply doing one or the other. Now is the time to start working on any excess Christmas weight you put on if you want to look good by spring.
Set goals, make them measurable and realistic, and it doesn’t matter what program or diet you decide to do – just do it and be consistent. Sites I like for those that need a start are Nerd Fitness and Mark’s Daily Apple. They have two different vibes, but both are good starting points on diet, fitness, and lifestyle.