Are you looking for some help losing some weight after the holidays? Martial arts training can help you out.
It’s officially holiday season, which means that most of us are probably in for a lot of parties, family get togethers, work events, school events, and almost non-stop access to delicious holiday treats. Which can also mean, sometimes that our indulgence (or maybe even over-indulgence) in rich food and beverage and a break in our usual routines can sometimes lead to our clothes and martial arts supplies not fitting quite as comfortably as they used to. This isn’t the end of the world, but if you’re feeling uncomfortable – or if you’re looking to make weight for your next martial arts tournament – here are some tips that will help you lose those extra holiday pounds.
1. Get back to the gym.
If you train fairly regularly, there’s a good chance that the only thing you need to get back to fighting weight, so to speak, is to get back to the dojo and get back into your regular training. Part of what makes the holidays so challenging for dedicated exercisers and martial artists is that the season almost always disrupts your routine in some way, either through gym closures or other demands on your time. Which can lead to a combination of working out less and eating more treats. Which also means that, once the holiday treats and distractions are done for another year, you can get back to your regular routine and a weight that’s comfortable for you fairly easily. Plus it means that you get to return to something you love and show off any new martial arts supplies-related gifts you might have received during the holidays.
2. Try something new.
If that’s not enough, you could always shake up your routine by trying a new class at your dojo, or maybe a different martial art entirely! Challenging your mind and body in new and different ways can help you to avoid plateaus, stave off boredom in your martial arts training, and lose weight. Or, if you’re not ready to try serious training in another discipline just yet, maybe a combat-inspired class is what you need. Non-contact MMA, boxing, and kickboxing-influenced fitness classes and internal training sessions are all very popular for their ability to keep you entertained and challenged while you burn a significant amount of calories per session. So find a new workout or technique that appeals to you, grab the appropriate martial arts supplies, and celebrate the gift of martial arts this holiday season.
3. Eat like a champion.
Irresponsible last-minute weight cuts filled with sauna visits and training gear like sweatsuits aside, most martial artists already have a pretty functional attitude toward getting and staying close to your weight goal through healthy eating and regular activity. So if you’re looking to lose weight after the holidays, eating like a champ as well as training like one can hep to get you in the zone: Don’t fast. Don’t take any shortcuts. Replace any so-called “empty calories” like french fries in your diets with nutrient-rich foods like vegetables. Eat small, regular meals throughout the day that balance complex carbohydrates with protein and healthy fats. And, most importantly, don’t starve yourself! You can’t train smartly or effectively if you’re running on empty.
As Reader’s Digest points out, staying hydrated is an easy and excellent way to help regulate your food intake if you’re looking to manage your weight: “People often mistake thirst for hunger, so next time you feel like noshing, reach for water first. Drinking also helps you feel full. Some experts suggest sipping water (or iced tea) just before you sit down to a meal. Continue drinking as you eat to add volume and weight to your meal.”
As an added bonus, water can also improve your training because it keeps your temperature regulated and your body working more efficiently. So if water bottle isn’t already part of your gear bag, it might be time to add one to the martial arts supplies on your wish list.
Gaining weight over the holiday season isn’t the end of the world! And doing anything drastic like fasting or jumping into a new workout routine too fast can lead to illness and injury. Stressing out about your weight can also lead to elevated cortisol levels, which can lead to weight gain, bloating, and cravings that can throw you off of your weight loss plan. So give yourself a break, train responsibly, and enjoy whatever it is that you choose and enjoy the stress relief that training in martial arts supplies you with!