Darkness and cold looms over the country and our enthusiasm for exercise dwindles as we wrap our bodies up in cosy clothing and hide our figures from the hallway mirrors!
But even in winter we have to keep the long term approach to losing our baby bellies and regaining our oh-so-wanted figures.... Keep up the eating plans and regular exercise – don’t waste all your efforts!
My philosophy is simple – Understand the training methods to arrive at the results. So bear a few things in mind over Christmas:
1. Fight cellulite with sensible eating and regular systematic training – nothing overly dramatic!
2. Plan ahead and schedule your training sessions around kids’ holidays and Christmas events
3. Do not starve yourself or attempt any kind of low calorie or fad diet. Losing weight on a diet involves losing fat water and lean tissue - a major contributor to the slowing down of your metabolism. When you start eating normally again you will end up gaining MORE fat than before the diet!
4. Instead, eat a light snack or meal every two to three hours. Eating frequently speeds up your metabolism; your body will burn fat more efficiently and store less
5. Eat a little bit of everything that you enjoy. Keep it healthy, selecting the foods that you eat carefully. Cutting out the food and drinks that you love is likely to lead to bingeing within a few days or weeks. So enjoy the mince pies and desserts and by planning ahead, you can eat well and still keep in shape over Christmas
6. Do not cut out carbs, especially over winter. Just eat reasonable portions and vary the type and amount of carbohydrates that you eat. Avoid massive plates of pasta – instead try half a plate of vegetables /salad and then half pasta or rice... Go easy on the sauces!
7. Weight train regularly to decrease body fat and define your figure – you won’t become too muscular! Weight training increases your metabolism and ensures body fat is burnt - even when you’re not exercising
8. Keep your cardio at a reasonably low intensity; ideally longer workouts at a lower heart rate. Invest in a second hand exercise bike, place it in front of the TV and use it every couple of days over the festive period
9. High intensity fitness training is not a viable weight loss tool – most gym goers cannot sustain the frequency and intensity of these workouts needed to lose weight long term. I recommend one session every 10 days
10. For the best figure shaping results, do your cardio and weight training on separate days
11. Avoid crowded gym classes where instructors cannot monitor your progress or correct your body alignment when exercising. Injuries cause most gym goers to cease exercising, which is exactly what you do not want to do.
12. Don’t compare your body to other women’! Every one of us has a different shape and metabolism so work within your own limits and always be realistic!
13. Remember that your fat took a while to build up and it will take a while to lose it. There are no quick fixes. Aim at 1 – 3 years to regain your pre pregnancy figure as it entirely depends on your genetics, how large your babies were, how your skin survived the stretch and how it has reshaped around your abdomen, whether you had a c-section or natural birth and how resilient your skin is now you are slightly older. Persevere and you will reap the rewards. I promise!
Slow weight loss and gradual body shaping will not happen overnight. So don’t let it all go just because it’s dark outside! Remember – regular workouts are essential, eat healthily and frequently.
Be patient. Be vigilant. Be healthy. Be positive. Be gorgeous. Be yourself.
Livia holds regular seminars to guide and advise ladies on the best approach for body shaping and fat loss. For details on her next seminar, or for more information on fat loss and body shaping programmes, visit the FitFreedom Facebook page
First published in ABC Winter 2011