Tips to shed the December kilos

Picture: iStock

Having a good time and getting into a routine are two of the most important aspects of keeping fit.

We are back and fresh from the festive season; that time of the year when we indulge and as luck would have it, bulge.

People tend to be quite disciplined throughout the year. But come December, all this falls by the wayside. The eating becomes out of control because we have braais, we visit friends, family and there is just no shortage of desserts. Let us not forget about the alcohol bingeing that happens at all these events.

Now, it’s January and we are frustrated that we do not look as good as we did on December 1.

The trick is to think about your core values and what you want out of life. Perhaps you rank health as a priority and want to feel and look good and have more energy. It might still be difficult to go straight back to gym.

Then don’t force yourself to go. Instead, find something you enjoy – maybe yoga, running or dancing might be more your style.

Having a good time and getting into a regular routine are two of the most important aspects of keeping fit.

You cannot expect to lose all the kilos in a few days, aim for 1 to 2 kg a week, depending on your weight.

Mentally prepare for weight loss:

Before you get to enjoy the physical changes that come with healthy weight loss, you first must undergo a mental makeover that helps you break your old bad habits. Remember that you want to stick to your healthy diet for the rest of your life.

If you “diet” and set unrealistic expectations, you’ll probably regain any weight as soon as you go off the plan. But if you make attainable lifestyle changes, the lost pounds will stay away. Having the right mindset starts with knowing why you want to lose weight.

It could be as simple as wanting to look and feel better. It is important that you want to do this for you. It could be for health, maybe to prevent or control diabetes or hypertension.

Getting psyched up about the very real rewards of weight loss builds motivation.

When you are ready to start eating healthy and losing the weight, consult a dietician or medical doctor.

Make sure the choices you make are healthy for you.

Working with a dietician or doctor will enable you to find a weight-loss programme that best fits your lifestyle, your dietary needs and any medical conditions you have. Once you’ve decided on a weight-loss plan, map out all the steps needed to implement it.

At the beginning of each week, write down a meal plan for your diet that you’ll use as your guide for grocery shopping, cooking, eating out and avoiding unplanned indulgences. Exercise is also an important component of your getting back in shape endeavours.

You can start by working with a personal trainer or just setting up a free consultation through your gym.

This will help you map out an exercise routine that you enjoy and find ways to fit it into your schedule. If you believe you can do this on your own, again write down a plan beginning of each week.

Plan your cardio days, high intensity interval training days, upper body, leg days and ab days.

The more realistic you are about your weight-loss goals, the more likely you are to reach them.

A good mindset is to focus on losing 1 to 2 kilograms a week and maintaining that consistent rate of weight loss over weeks, if not months. If you haven’t exercised for a while, starting off running a marathon would be a huge mistake.

If you’re out of shape, even running a kilometre on your first day could backfire.

Start small and then ramp up your schedule. It is important that you believe in yourself and know you will be back on track. You may have failed with weight loss in the past, but that doesn’t mean you’re going to fail now.

Sure, there will be days ahead when you’ll eat more than you should or skip a planned workout, but it’s essential to stay positive and move forward with your plan. If you overeat one day, don’t berate yourself, just get back on your programme.


Up to 80-90% of your weight is because of what you eat so if you correct your eating habits, you have won 80%+ of the war. As tempting as it sounds, do not skip meals.

This just slows down your metabolism and forces your body to store fat to keep the energy going.

Start your day with a big, healthy breakfast, ideally packing some protein to keep you full for longer.

Write down everything you eat. If you’re faithful about recording what you eat, you’ll see patterns and routines emerge. You can analyse them to find solutions to the problems that have derailed your previous efforts to lose weight.

Dr Dulcy Rakumakoe. Picture: Refilwe Modise

Dr Dulcy Rakumakoe. Picture: Refilwe Modise

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