Christmas is coming! And amid work, and children, and preparing for Santa’s visit is that nagging feeling: what on earth am I going to wear? You have THAT dress hanging up, the one you really want to wear, but you want to wear it with style…
Well ladies, fear not, because that’s exactly what you can do if you follow a few easy steps that will help you lose those stubborn pounds in time to strut your stuff during the party season.
Cut out the festive treats!
Firstly, the food issue. Do people at work bring mince pies and tins of chocolates in every day? Do you indulge every day? As difficult as it sounds, you need to cut that right out. Bring your lunch and a couple of healthy snacks – fruit, yoghurt, or nuts – and put them on your desk in plain view. When the 11am mince pies are handed round, make sure you stay strong and reach for one of your healthy snacks.
If you absolutely must indulge, ensure you only have a healthy lunch – a soup or salad. The same goes for the sweets and boxes of Christmas chocolates at home – out of sight, out of mind. You’re probably hiding them from the kids or they’ll make themselves sick, so hide them from yourself as well. Get hubby on board and insist he hides them! It sounds crazy but it will be worth it when you slink into that party looking fabulous.
Get your trainers on
As much as we’d all love our own personal trainer and nutritionist to neutralise every calorie in by burning two out, it isn’t going to happen. But that doesn’t mean you can’t do it on your own, and one of the best ways to do this is by joining a gym.
You’ve probably got limited time to exercise, so first of all, look at gyms near you, the closer it is to where you live or work; the easier it is to call in. If your current way to unwind is to collapse with a glass or three of wine, why not try taking an evening class instead? Doesn’t sound very relaxing? Maybe not, but the endorphins released through exercise will make you far happier than the toxins (however lovely) in a glass of Pinot. So put the kids to bed, leave the hubby quietly expanding on the sofa, and go and kick some butt at the gym.
Try something new
Gym classes are a great way to get structured exercise without needing to come up with your own regime. But if the gym near you happens not to do evening classes, or you can’t get to one in your lunch-break instead, then you’ll need some ideas to get going.
You want an even split between cardio training and weight training. That means pumping iron. Cardio plus resistance training is THE best way to lose fat and tone muscle and combining them will ensure maximum fat burn in minimum time.
But, I do not want you doing 100 bicep curls with a 1lb weight. 1lb weights are absolutely off limits – if you can pick up a toddler thirty times a day you are lifting considerably more than 1lb, so don’t do it in the gym. Start with at least a 4lb weight and ask the gym instructor for some simple routines. You won’t get massive muscles. I promise.
Using compound movements – exercises which work several muscles at once – is the best way to keep burning fat whilst maximising your time in the gym. Combine lunges to tone legs with bicep curls to tone arms, or squats with shoulder presses (holding weights at ear-height and pushing them up above your head). Have a go on the rowing machine, which works all the major muscles and is a cardio workout as well.
Shy away from the goodies and towards exercise, ladies. It really is that simple and when you see pictures of yourself in THAT dress, you’ll know it’s all been worth it.
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