Earlier on in the year I went for a week way in Cornwall. I ate and drank pretty much anything I wanted, needless to say I experienced a little Weight gain.
And by a little, I mean nearly 3kg. Doesn’t sound that much? In the space of a week, and for someone as small as myself, it’s like gaining double! Needless to say I set about shifting the weight gain when I got back, immediately going back to my usual nutrition and exercise habits. These are the same habits that we teach in our Transformation program, which you can check out here:
Needless to say when I decided to spend Christmas and New Year in Northern Italy my first thought was about how much weight I would gain! After all, it’s easily done. Especially when you spend two weeks in a place with amazing food. Plus we would be staying with family, and it’s true what they say about the Italian appetite! I ate what I wanted, drank what I wanted, and had a wonderful two weeks.
And guess what happened when I stepped on the scales on returning?
Zero weight gain.
Not a single pound.
Obviously I was chuffed, but I was also surprised, and sat down to think about the differences between my two weeks in Northern Italy, and my one week in Cornwall. How could there be such a difference? Here are the 4 biggest reasons behind how I maintained my weight, and how you can too.
When we think of Italy, we think of the pasta, the pizza, the wine, the cheese, and the olive oil. All wonderfully tasty things. Now don’t get me wrong, I did have Pizza, 4 times in fact. But every other meal I ate was home cooked, using fresh ingredients. Northern Italy isn’t like the south, which is what everyone thinks of as stereotypical of Italy. In the north there’s a lot of meat, vegetables and healthy fats – all great things for controlling your weight.
Did I eat bread? Sure I did. But it was fresh, and often stale the next day, meaning it was lacking all the preservative crap you find in your store bought loaf! Biscuits? Sure, but again, freshly baked, using nuts and spices. The difference between your store bought biscuits? MINIMAL SUGAR!
Desserts? Fresh fruit, all which we peeled ourselves, making it harder to overeat. No calorie laden puddings here! Although we did enjoy some panettone in the snow!
Because we ate a lot of home cooked meals, the portion sizes where easy to control. You ate what was on the table and on your plate! There was always plenty to eat, but because we were eating 3 good meals, there was no need to snack during the day.
The other notable thing is the size of the glasses. No pint glasses here! In fact, I’d say the glasses were smaller than half pint – meaning that the glass of beer was a hell of a lot less than the bottle we tend to drink normally! Drinking calories is an easy way to gain weight, so using smaller glasses helped hugely with this. Aside from the occasional beer or wine, we drank water. Lots of it!
How many meals do you eat in front of the TV? In the car? In front of the computer? Lots I suspect. Every meal we ate was at the table, together as a family. How is this relevant? Firstly, it makes you appreciate your food more – it feels like an occasion when you’re all at the table together. It also means you eat slower!
Which is hugely important when trying to lose weight! On average it takes 20 minutes for your brain to recognise that your stomach is full, so smashing through your meal in 5 minutes means your likely to consume more food in order to feel satisfied, whereas eating with other people gives you time for conversation, and refection, meaning that you eat slower and savour your food.
This is self explanatory! From walking around villages and monuments, to 5 hour hikes up the mountains in 3 foot of snow! I certainly burnt through a lot of calories in my trips up and down the mountains. See below!
So what does this mean for you?
It means that when you develop good habits, the type of habits that we coach in our Body Transformation Program, you CAN enjoy your holidays and the festive period without gaining weight. Life isn’t about forever being on a strict diet and constantly focusing on what you can’t have.
It’s about building new habits, and knowing how to maintain your weight during times when you’re not trying to lose it.
Could I lose weight doing this? Sure, if I made the right nutritional adjustments and added in some training sessions.
With our Body Transformation Program you get the best of both worlds – we’ll help you lose the weight in the beginning AND we’ll help you keep it off long term so you can enjoy life and live it to the fullest.
We’re taking applications now, so follow the link if you fancy a free week with us…