This story was originally published on Sporteluxe
Chances are, you’re probably feeling a little out of shape right now.
First it was all those Christmas parties, then a few days later New Year’s Eve rolled around. Just when you thought you were in the clear, Australia Day reared its ugly head.
If you’re like most people, the past six weeks have been a write-off in regards to your health and fitness. Too much fun . . . too little willpower.
But just because you feel like you’ve gained 100 kilos, doesn’t mean the scales agree.
Of course, the dreaded skinny jeans/muffin top debacle we’ve all encountered at one point or another is the biggest tell-tale sign.
But how long does it actually take from the time the chocolate hits our lips for the evidence to show up in exactly the wrong places?
Unfortunately, there’s no absolute answer. Everyone’s body is totally unique and many things factor into how quickly we gain weight, such as our age and genetics – two things we have zero control over.
But, dietitian Samantha Cowan tells me, in general most people only need to eat an extra 250 calories extra per day to gain half a kilogram a week.
Likewise, if you’re trying to shed a bit of holiday over-indulgence padding, start by losing 250 calories a day from your diet, she recommends.
Annoyingly, it really doesn’t take long for 250 calories to add up. A few naughty afternoon snacks or light grazing throughout the day and BOOM! you’re already there.
Even if you live like a nun during the week, those extra calories can hit you all at once when eating out and enjoying a few drinks come the weekend.
But who wants to live like a nun seven days a week? After all, life’s all about enjoying great food from every section of the pyramid.
So instead of restricting food and making yourself miserable, why not start being a little more conscious of what passes your lips each day? A great way to do that is to write down everything you eat and drink for a week. (And I mean everything!)
There’s nothing more startling than the cold, hard truth-bomb a food diary can drop on you. You’ll be surprised at how quickly that seemingly insignificant picking at things here and there adds up.
Take coconut oil, for example: using just a spoonful of it in your cooking a day is adding an extra 120 calories alone.
It pays to be skeptical of health claims on labels. Most times, if your gut instinct is telling you it’s too good to be true, chances are it probably is.
By being a little more discerning when it comes to food labels and minimising unnecessary snacking, you can still enjoy all the good stuff that makes life fun – and still lose those extra kilos.
Want more great stuff like this? Enter your details and I’ll send you one simple, but super useful, health hack a day for seven days. (I’ll never spam you – pinky swear)