Ever come back from the summer holidays, look at your waistline, and wonder where all that new fat came from? Maybe your waistbands are tight or that lovely dress just doesn’t fit anymore? Perhaps you’re saying to yourself, “How in the world did this happen?! I didn’t eat that much….”

Well, you may not have overeaten, but that belly came from somewhere. Here are a few facts that may explain what happened:

  • During summer, our metabolism slows down. We don’t need as much energy to heat our body when it’s warmer, and a lowered metabolism means less calories burnt.
  • Those hot summer months can make us a little lazier (let’s be honest about it). We exercise less regularly. Who really wants to work out at +40°C!
  • The summer heat makes us more likely to cool down with a cool drinks, cocktails, and even ice cream, all of which have a ton of hidden calories (or, in ice cream’s case, not-so-hidden calories). At the end of the day, you’ll wonder, “What have I eaten today?” And the truth be told, it probably wasn’t too much. But your calorie intake was far more than sufficient. Take the fresh fruit cocktails so many of us drink on the beach, for example. While they may cool us nicely, they usually contain a significant amount of calories. Just one piña colada can contain between 240 and 500 calories! And while iced coffee is generally between 80-120 calories (not insignificant), just one scoop of ice cream will land you another 230-310 calories.
  • Our water retention is higher during summer and that can give us a few extra pounds. It’s possible that a part of your weight gain will disappear when the weather cools down. And if you’ve recently changed environments, your body might have packed on a few extra reserves as well.
  • Another reason you might have been surprised by your weight gain is that we tend to wear looser clothes in the summer. When we do so, we often don’t notice our weight gain so quickly. We also tend to hold to our eating regimens a little less tightly in the summer. We want to feel free and not think as much about discipline. This can lead to paying less attention to the little failures we might have on keeping to our eating regimen.
  • Just to remind you, the so-called “buffet style” of eating is very dangerous to keeping your calories down. It’s hard to keep track of how much food and drink we’ve consumed, especially when we’re just taking “little bits” of this and that. We all know that large quantities of food equal large amounts of calories, but those little tasters can really add up!

The result?

The summer holiday is over, we put on some of our old clothes and oh no! It can’t be true! Please make it not true!

And we freak out.

Sound familiar? Trust me, even people with a lot of discipline face this feeling.

The way to turn it back

If this you then I bet you want to get back to the real you as quickly as possible. Yesterday wouldn’t be soon enough, right? So if you’re wanting the quickest most efficient way to return to your normal weight, here are a few things to keep in mind:

  1. Remember, your best chance to make temporary weight gain stay only temporary is to address it right away. It’s a lot easier to lose 5 -10 pounds now, than to wait until later, when you’ve already become accustomed to that extra flab around your gut and thighs.

So get into action TODAY.

  1. Make a photo of your belly or the place where the weight gain is visible. Put it in a very visible place (a screen saver on your computer is perfect!) and attach a reminder: “No food or drink is worth this.” Then put a picture next to it of how you want to look. Print it out, and remind yourself every day of how you want to look. Remind yourself again, again and again!
  2. Measure yourself regularly on a scale, no matter how hard it is to see the actual result. Don’t be discouraged if the result is not straight improvement. You should see a downward trend in just a bit more than a week!

Commit to the plan. A realistic one!

Yes, a realistic one…..Loosing 5 kg a week is not realistic.

Let’s look at this with a simple, easy to remember explanation.

Let’s assume your target weight is 55 kg and now you are at 58 kg—that’s a difference of 3kg. To shift just 1 pound or 0.5 kg of body fat, you need to ‘lose’ about 3.500 calories. So, 1kg is apprx. 7000 kcal. 3 kg is 21000 kcal. Still with me so far?

Now let’s assume that for your normal metabolism and activity requires 2200 kcal/day, which is a standard for a female person. If you reduce your intake from 2200 kcal to 1200 kcal (by 1000 kcal/day), you can lose this extra 21000 kcal in 21 days (your body will take it from your reserves). This means it will take approximately 3 weeks to lose this weight. But reducing your diet to just 1200 kcal is harder than you think—it only amounts to about 5 muffins for a whole day, and that much of a decrease runs the risk of causing your body to shut down and go into reserve mode. You also need to be careful not to lose muscle, instead of fat. (In general, crash diets are very dangerous, and though you might see very good results in the first week—mostly from losing water weight, not fat—your body will most likely shut down with many undesirable side impacts, including later weight gain—the so called yo- yo impact.)

And if trying to loose just 3kg is runs this risk, going below 1200 kcal is completely irresponsible. The diets that promise to make you lose 5 kg within a week are neither realistic nor sustainable, no matter how great it would be if they worked.

For real sustainable long-term result, your best option is to combine daily light exercise with a controlled diet. And simply removing carbohydrates from your diet is not the answer. Carbohydrates are required by the body to prevent the constant desire for food. So instead of engaging in extreme dieting, include “smart carbohydrates” in your diet such as whole grains, fresh fruits and vegetables. Hard cardio exercise is also not recommended during this period. Start with a slight walking, cycling or swimming.

The Plan

So with all that under your belt are you ready for a plant that will get you back to your old size and in shape for the new autumn collection? Here it is:

  •  1200/day intake based on the food choices below

  • 30 min light exercise everyday (avoid cardio)

  • Drink plenty of water (min 3 liters per day and make sure you take 2 glasses at least 30 min before lunch and dinner)

  • No alcohol

  • No added sugar (in coffee or tea, no cakes, no biscuits)

  • Limit processed foodAfbeelding8

The food below is very high in nutritional value and will make sure that your metabolism keeps running:

There is no better feeling than feeling your body slimming!

Within a couple of days, you will already feel a visible result.

Remember, there is no better feeling than feeling your body slimming. It will boost your self-esteem and confidence.

Keep smiling and keep your vision of a slimmer you always in your mind!

From Tanja (certified dietitian & nutritionist) & Gabriella


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