“I wish I could stay lean like you at Christmas”, someone says to me. I don’t ‘stay lean’ at Christmas. I mean, I don’t balloon up either… but I do gain weight: usually 7-12 lbs. On the plus side, that’s 12 lbs at Christmas solely… not 15 lbs through-out the year PLUS 12 at Christmas (like the average person does). AND, usually half of that weight is water retention (due to the influx of sugar and salt). i.e. It’s temporary.
“So what’s your secret?” Oh dear. Another conspiracy theory. I know that they’ve already arrived at an erroneous conclusion. I can see the distaste on their face. It must be my genetics, magic metabolism, or magic muscle-building brew that I had synthesized in the Swiss Alps.
No. No secret here. Nothing ground-breaking that is. Nothing self-righteous either.
It boils down to two simple things:
1. Portion control (as per my previous rant)
2. I simply eat Christmas fare at Christmas primarily.
re: Eating Christmas fare at Christmas Primarily
Odd… but nobody seems to do that anymore. When I was a kid, we only got butter cookies in that last week before Christmas. Black cake (the Barbadian version of the consummate Christmas Fruit cake), was something my grandmother could only make at Christmas (due to having to soak the main ingredient, i.e. dried fruits, in alcohol for a year… as was common practice). Ham, we purchased that at Christmas because… well, it was just how things were done. Cutting ham with the family was icing on the Christmas cake.
Nowadays, in this culture of convenience, we reach for whatever we want. Whenever we want it, it’s at our finger tips. We don’t have to dig or grate cassava. No cracking open, and grating dried coconuts. Hell… no sweat period. We can take a nice, calorie-burning-free, car ride to the nearest supermarket, and reach for pone… or ham, or pie, or [*inserts non-exhaustive list of every delicacy under the sun*]. Every labour-intensive food is available at the snap of our fingers… and, as such, quickly finds its way to our waistlines.
Well… to your waistline.
Me? I stick to eating those things at Christmas. I’ve only ‘dieted’ at Christmas once in my life prior. Don’t get me wrong, my meals at their core are pretty much the same year-round. I don’t binge at Christmas. But, I do swap out the pork or chicken or fish I’d normally eat in some meals for a nice chunk of ham. And, yes, I do ditch the brown rice for sweet potato pie. And, hell yes, there’s cake.
What was I saying?
Ah yes. Practice portion control this Christmas, and you’re sure to have way less fat to deal with at the start of the year. Better yet, if count calories… and eat the stuff you like without exceeding your caloric requirements, you won’t gain a single pound.
From the new year, you can look at adjusting your day-to-day eating habits… gravitating away from foods of convenience to real food. It makes preventing weight gain a walk in the park.
brb… Time for that walk in the park.
Yours in fitness,
-C. Narkissos Springer