So if you are anything like me, right after you stuff that last piece of pumpkin pie down your throat this Thanksgiving you are looking for three things, a pair of sweats, a gun and one bullet.
Maybe that is a bit extreme, but the sweats are a must.
Photo Credit -Bark
Another thing many of us begin to consider, is that soon enough many of us will be getting ready to head to various family events over the holidays. I know from personal experience that heading off to family functions and seeing relatives you haven't seen in a while is much more fun when you you don't feel like a blimp.
Disclaimer- While I am not a fitness model, doctor or bodybuilder, I have lost over 100 lbs and changed my life. I do not claim to know everything, but having struggled with this problem my entire life can give you a great deal of information on what works and what does not. Hence the following...
So lets pick that outfit out of our closet that is bulging at the seams and leave it out in a visible place. After all, you are going to be able to wear it in just 25 days and this Christmas you'll head to see your family looking lean and mean.
I must preface this little guide by telling you that I do in fact feel a bit hypocritical in writing this. After all I've been doing more drinking, binge eating than I have in quite a while these past few months, while my time in the Gym has been minimal. Needless to say I've ballooned up a bit and this is a hindrance that I have decided to put a firm halt too.
If there is one thing I am good at, it is without question making a firm plan and sticking too it. The main reason I can be successful in executing the plans I set forth is because I often times set a lofty and even seemingly unattainable goal.
Last year in the Live Fit series I lost 30 lbs in 42 days by implementing a strict diet plan, daily workouts and intense discipline. I could only do this because I made a plan to lose 30 lbs in 40 days and even though it took me an additional two days to complete the task, I pushed so much harder than I otherwise would have had I set a more attainable goal. The point is set your sights high and you just might get there.
While I won't be going quite as crazy this year, my sights are still set high and I have set a goal of losing 20 lbs in the next 25 days. This will admittedly be a difficult task as I am lighter and have less weight to lose than when I started this program last year.
How will I go about doing this?
In my weight loss quests in the past I've learned a few very important lessons. These 7 lessons are the absolute must haves for me personally and I find that they are great habits that will help keep your eyes on the prize and remain focused. Below I will list these principals and then go on to explain in more depth just why these concepts are so important.
- For myself personally and also for most other people it seems, it is vital to eat the same meals over and over again if you are looking to lose weight quickly.
- Swimming is by far the best fat burning activity I have found.
- A combination of Lean Meat and Veggies will take care of your hunger pangs.
- When in doubt add water and protein.
- No Alcohol or other recreational drugs. (I know, sorry)
- Get some sort of exercise every single day and find a walking route that you enjoy.
- Track everything you possibly can on a white board or in a journal that is in front of your face daily.
Eat the Same Thing Daily
Eating the same meals often is a practice that I have noticed always coincides with my most successful weight loss attempts. So many times I see people try to justify what they are eating by citing its calorie count, the number of weight watchers points it is or that it is an Atkins approved meal. So what diet again was it that you are on? Don't get it twisted. Pick a plan and stick with it. Lean meat and veggies, eggs and protein powder, that is really all you need. If you can stick to this diet it is going to be extremely hard for you not to lose weight and you will have to feel atrocious to eat enough of these items to actually gain weight. Stay away from the starches and sugars that incite cravings and the rest is smooth sailing.
Get In the Damn Pool
Sure hiking mountains burns a hell of a lot of calories, but try doing that every day and then lay in bed for a month with tendonitis while you write a new plan. Low stress on joints, utilization of your entire body and lowered body temperature during cardiovascular exercise are all huge benefits to swimming. I have become quite an avid swimmer and at no time since I started have I stepped on the scale the following day after a swim and not lost weight. Bottom line, this shit works. Get your form down, because yes, it will suck at first. In the end it will pay big dividends in your quest to lose weight.
Photo Credit - Jim Bahn
Meat & Veggies Will Save You
I've been back on the horse for just two days now and have stuck with only meat and veggies. Not once have I been hungry and I have never dreaded eating these meals. Lean beef and steak, chicken, fish and green veggies, carrots and even corn are all acceptable. Don't be afraid to spice the shit out of it with Shiracha, Tabasco, Tapitio and other hot sauces, I know I like the pain these sauces cause me.
When in Doubt Add Water and Protein
Trying to make this work but feeling hungry? Go drink 32 oz of water and a protein shake and let me know how starving you are. I am currently drinking nearly 2.5 gallons of water daily and trying to consume 3 40g protein shakes daily. It is often painful to get this much protein and water through your system and if you are hungry after implementing this step you might want to see a gastric bypass surgeon.
No Alcohol or Other Recreational Drugs
I know, I know. I really do hate to be the party pooper here. If we could all live like Kate Moss and Charlie Sheen while dropping weight that would be wonderful right? Alcohol messes with your schedule, your eating patterns, your motivation, your workouts and pretty much any other element of your weight loss efforts you can think of. Give your liver a rest and you'll be on the path to success. I become some what of a hermit when really focusing and refuse to sacrifice my health by going out and being tempted to drink. If you have the will power great. I choose to stay home.
Photo credit - Lel4nd
Exercise Daily & Find a Walking Route
Go out right now and find a walking route around your residence that you can live with walking everyday. This provides great time for mental clarity and thought and gets you up and moving around. Shoot for 1-3 miles and if you have a day where you are feeling particularly ambitious, just do it twice. Also get to the gym and or swimming pool as much as possible. I shoot for 4 times per week which in find to be more than enough to get in good shape, but not enough to become burnt out.
This is a big one. I have a white board in my room currently where I am tracking the number of walks, swims, lifts, gallons of water, sub bathing(I know right?),weight loss and days of consecutive clean eating. You can do this in a journal you leave open on your night stand as well. Track as much as you possibly can. Every check mark will motivate you to keep pushing on toward your goals.
Following these easy steps, you can easily reach your goals in a resonable amount of time. My goal is 20 lbs in 25 days. I started 2 days ago and I am down 3 lbs so far. I will be updating this section with my progress as well as some tips, tricks and videos that will show my progression.
If you are ready to get in shape for the holidays along with me, don't be shy and shoot me a line in the comments section below. I'll be posting an update one week from today with more info and answering any reader questions. So here is to a better life and better health. Remember, the only person who can change your own course is you.
UPDATE- So I usally try to abide by a no excuses philosiphy when pretaining to these types of things but due to moving three states away, catching an awful cold and the horrible timing of the Holidays, I have delayed this little project until after the holidays which will better coincide with everyone else in the world looking to lose weight. Happy Holidays and you better bet that on Dec 26th its on...