An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, especially in this case. The number one most effective way to deal with holiday weight gain is to not gain the weight.
"But Cris, you're ruining my holidays! I have to indulge during the holidays; that's what it's all about!"
Hmm.. Hard to help you then.
I used to think the same way.. Whoever told me that I should watch what I eat at Christmas was a Grinch trying to put a downer on what makes me happy. Loser.
So what happens after the fact? Crap I overate and packed on more pounds. I do this every time! Now I have to lose it. I always have trouble getting rid of the extra weight.. still haven't got rid of the extra weight from thanksgiving..
It's like you're stuck watching a repeating video loop; get excited about the reward from overeating, regret overeating after you're done, have trouble losing the extra pounds, gain more weight every year. Repeat.
About 95% of the population does not do the prevention part. Let's assume that we'll all do the prevention thing next time :-)
What do we do about the extra weight we've gained so far?
Number one: stop overeating! Spending extra time at the gym isn't going to help shed pounds when we replace the burnt off calories with leftover gravy and Christmas cake.
What activity is the best for losing fat? You'll drive yourself nutty trying to associate a specific exercise with fat loss. Just get active and don't overdo it.
The goal is to eat fewer calories than you expend and continue doing so until you reach your fat loss goal.
Both weight training and cardio burn calories and will contribute to a caloric deficit so long as you keep a lid on your eating. It can take you 30 to 60 minutes to burn off 500 calories exercising and only 5 minutes or less to eat 500 calories. If I was pushed to give a nod to either weight training or cardio for burning off more calories during a 30 to 60 min workout I would say.. it depends.
If you compare hammering weights to a lazy walking pace then hammering the weights burns more calories. If you usually don't do weights and you hammer it you're going to get hurt so it isn't worth it. If you compare moderate steady state cardio with hammering weights you'll come out with about the same calories burned over 30 to 60 minutes with maybe 100 extra calories for the cardio.
Those who are into endurance activities like cross country skiing, running, and cycling, will easily burn off 2000 calories in a 2 hour session; but they've slowly built up the fitness to do so.
If you're a regular exerciser and can tolerate pushing harder you can burn off 700 to 1000 calories in an hour without pushing yourself too far.
The main point is get active and burn off more calories than you eat.
Great! So how many calories do you need? Take your weight in pounds and multiply by 10. That's how many calories your body needs to maintain your current weight, but this calculation assumes little to no physical activity.
Spent an hour shopping? Add about 300 calories to your daily needs.
Example: You weigh 170lbs. You need 1700 calories if you sit around all day. To lose weight sitting around all day, subtract 15 to 20%.. you'd need to eat 1350 - 1450 calories to lose weight.
Went to the mall? 1700 + 300= 2000. Let's throw in a few conservative calories for household activities and general moving about: 2000 + 200= 2200.
2200 - 15 - 20% = 1750 to 1850 calories.
Yes you can lose weight without exercise! Woohoo! Not so fast.. Studies show weight loss without exercise increases the loss of lean muscle mass, tendon mass, and bone mass. That's not so good. Weight loss with exercise and balanced nutrition comes 100% from fat. Do it right and you can even add some muscle while you lose fat :-)
There's no rush!
Safe and healthy fat loss is 1 to 2 pounds per week. Keep in mind that a 2 pound loss in a week requires a 1000 calorie deficit every day. This can be done fore sure, but if you're a yo - yo dieter then you already know rapid weight loss is a guaranteed 100% failure.
A 1000 calorie deficit is more prone to leaving a person feeling hungry and perceiving that they are deprived, which increases the desire to get off the diet and return to more overeating.
A 500 calorie per day deficit is an easier way to delete our extra fat deposits.
How do you do that?
Cut as much processed foods as possible.
Take a moment to measure some of what you eat so you can understand how many calories you are eating.
Use the Internet to find the calorie values for foods you eat.
Example: Google calories turkey sandwich
Don't want to count calories or measure your food? You should because without measuring you can only guess, but if you're stubborn about it then the next best thing is; whatever you eat, eat 20% less.
Exercise a little bit every day; try for 30 to 60 minutes of continuous movement.
Avoid rapid weight loss
Not sure if you're doing the right thing? Send me an email or ask a question by leaving a comment here and I'll respond with an answer.