Fitness first: A HomeTeamNS Fitness Workz trainer offers simple, effective tips to burn off the festive flab.
TEXT: NICHOLAS JACOB
Festive and holiday periods are times to revel, refresh and reconnect with loved ones and head home with happy hearts and full bellies. While it’s easy to pack on the pounds during festive periods – after all, who can say no to a cheat day (or two) – the holidays needn’t always be about overindulgence.
HomeTeamNS Fitness Workz trainer Aidid Haidil shares his perspective on why it’s so easy to put on weight during festive periods, how to watch your calories amid the merrymaking and, when all else fails, how to trim that tummy in the aftermath.
TIP #1: UNDERSTAND YOUR INTAKE
The main drivers behind festive period weight gain are typically twofold: Increased food intake and reduced exercise. While the obvious solution for those watching their weight is to simply eat less and work out more, it can be hard to resist the temptation to indulge in.
According to Aidid, understanding the complexities of where your calories come from can make a huge difference in your consumption habits while celebrating.
“Some foods may seem small and light on calories, but may in fact be packed with calories from the ingredients they contain,” he advised.
Festive favourites like cakes and snacks, for instance, are often full of butter and sugar – both of which are incredibly calorically dense. Besides food, the fitness trainer also advises watching your liquid calories. Sweet drinks can make a big impact on weight gain, containing high amounts of sugar and being very easy to consume in large quantities. Keeping track of your intake can also help you keep the kilos off.
TIP #2: THE MODERATION MINDSET
It’s not a must to refuse every snack that comes your way. One can still partake in all their favourite foods and traditional meals so long as they maintain a mindset of moderation. In this regard, mindfulness is key.
Aidid himself has a few tricks up his sleeve to minimise weight gain while still enjoying festive food, especially with Hari Raya Haji incoming.
“I select a small plate and pick the foods that I am most interested in. Once done, do not immediately take another serving, but wait for a while to allow your stomach to digest the food and to tell your body that you actually ate enough.”
He adds that eating a light meal before heading off to any festive celebration can help you get full faster, lowering your overall calorie intake. Family members can also help one another cut calories amid the festivities.
“If your family members are the ones cooking, consider with healthier alternatives, or reducing the quantity of ingredients like salt and oil,” shared Aidid.
TIP #3: A POST-FESTIVITY DETOX
Sometimes, the festive period will end and, despite your best efforts, you’ve piled on the kilos. The best thing to do is to be conscientious in your lifestyle choices.
“Start with the basics of eating right – three meals a day, no skipped meals – and just staying active with light exercises. Also, remember to drink plenty of water,” said Aidid.
He recommends simple ways to move more like brisk walking, swimming, jogging and playing sports. Hitting weights at the gym or doing resistance training at home with bodyweight workouts can also be a great way to build strength while you cut fat.
TIP #4: CONSISTENCY IS CRITICAL
Above all, ensuring that you maintain a healthy routine sustainably over the long term makes the biggest difference. When it comes to workouts, Aidid advises against anything too intense. Basic exercise sessions two or three times a week, each not lasting more than an hour, work best.
“Train smart and with proper form and technique, and know when to stop. Don’t overexert or overtrain – these are major causes of injury these days,” he added.
Staying motivated and consistent by creating a daily routine and sticking to it is a surefire way to see results. He says that while one typically sees results in just a month, he recommends sticking it out and progressively improving for at least 3 to 4 months.
Of course, just like how you come together for festive celebrations, it never hurts to involve your family in your fitness journey.
“Set a goal. Support one another. Share progress pictures. Motivate each other on both good and bad days. Change the lifestyle at home. Be more active together – that is how family members can influence not only themselves, but others around them to keep fit, get fit and manage their weight,” he concluded.
Need a place to stay motivated? Sign up for a gym membership with Fitness Workz now.
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