"Diet starts in January"

Updated: Dec 17, 2021

Christmas dinner

When it comes to annoying fitness phrases this one is ranked pretty high on my list. It is right up there with "diet starts Monday" and the good old classic "I'm off plan".

A diet is not a light switch so don't treat it like it has an on and off button.

To achieve long term weight loss it is all about adherence and to achieve adherence you need to feel in control and enjoy your diet.

Here are a four tips how you can still enjoy your Christmas season without feeling any guilt and destroying your weight loss goals.

  1. Calorie Maintenance

  2. Get Stronger

  3. Calorie Cycling

  4. Diet Break

1. Calorie Maintenance

The most popular calorie deficit is 500 calories less then the total number of calories you require to maintain your current weight. For example if your current calorie deficit goal is 1500 calories a day, your maintenance goal should be around 2000 calories a day. Therefore by putting yourself into a maintenance goal you will be able to enjoy more Christmas treat's without actually gaining any body fat.

Please note it is likely you will gain some weight because of the increased carbohydrate intake resulting in greater water retention. However once you reduce your intake again your water retention will also drop. This is not body fat gain or loss!

2. Get Stronger

Why not use the extra calories and energy to your advantage and focus on getting stronger this Christmas! It is extremely hard to continuously improve your strength while being in a constant calorie deficit because you don't have the same energy and recovery. However if you remain consistent with your training through December leading up to Christmas you could find yourself making new personal bests!

3. Calorie Cycling

December is a tough month for our bank balance and we have to be more tactical when and how we spend our money. This same approach can be used for our calories. For example if you have a Christmas party coming up at the weekend why not lower your calorie intake by 250cals a day leading up to it for four days giving yourself a buffer of 1000 calories for the big night out!

4. Diet Break

This approach is probably the most risky but it also has it's place. Instead of suddenly falling off the wagon and feeling frustrated with yourself why not plan your diet break? Your mindset is the most important factor for weight loss so why not take the time to recharge your batteries. You could decide to not track your calories for the month but use all the skills you have learnt from your consistent tracking over the last year. You should have a pretty good idea of what your daily calorie goal looks like so just because your not tracking it doesn't mean you still can't be in control. By not recording for the month but haven't it planned gives you the feeling of still being in control, recharged and extra motivated for the new year!

What is your plan of action this December?

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