Of course, I understand where people are coming from when they ask this question. However, I think it’s all too easy to place fitness professionals on a (in my case, arguably somewhat precarious) pedestal.
The phrase ‘practice what you preach’ comes to mind: how can I inspire others to be healthy (‘health’; that somewhat ambiguous and abstract concept, but let’s not get into that), if I spend the weekends with a cocktail in hand?
Well, in my opinion, I’m practicing exactly what I preach. I’m 24 years old, and enjoy a night out as much as the next person. It just so happens that I live in a city where both food and alcohol are a prevalent component of most weekend plans.
Yes, alcohol is very calorie-dense.
Yes, I will probably go and eat an extra burger if I’ve had a few drinks.
However, manipulation is key: there is always a solution.
Here are a few factors I like to implement during a boozy weekend, in order to minimise the negative effects of one-too-many rosés.
- Always train the next day. Always, always, always. No excuses: you got yourself into this position, so ya better move ya damn peach.
- After point 1, you’re probably thinking I’m mad. If you struggle badly with a sore head and can’t face the gym, get out and go for a walk. I tend to train in the morning and then walk in the evening. I like to grab one of my besties, take to the beach (the countryside/city will more than suffice if you live outside of Dubai), and have a catch up. Before you know it, you’ve accumulated 10,000 steps, and you know alllllll the gossip from the weekend. Double whammy.
- Be clever with your alcohol choices. Ok, so perhaps rosé is ya jam (obvs). So, why not start with a couple of glasses of rosé, then switch it up to something a little lower in cals. Think spirits and soda (add some fresh lime juice if you need a lil extra pozazzzzz), diet mixers, etc.
- Don’t eat like a moron when you’re hungover. You’ve had your fun, now it’s time to reign it in a little. We’re fortunate in Dubai that we can get pretty much anything delivered, so if you’re feeling like a total lazy bum and don’t want to cook, opt for something fresh, as opposed to a dense, oily, calorie-laden fry up. You’ll feel better for it. I promise.
- Eat moderately less/move more in the coming few days. You guys know by now that calorie restriction isn’t my favourite activity, so I always opt for moving a little more. Either way, it’s about re-establishing an adequate energy balance (calories in vs. calories out) to avoid weight gain.
Weight loss requires a lifestyle overhaul: there’s no point at which the hard work stops permanently. Yes, you can ease your foot off the gas a little from time to time, but the reality is, you’ve got to be fully invested.
I’m a big believer in allowing clients to enjoy the things they love, whether that may be a pizza or a pint (or both, in many cases). The moment that fat loss becomes excessively restrictive, is the point at which adherence dwindles.
Society propagates short-term transformation ideals every day. But, ultimately, if you want to maintain any sort of positive development, this is a long-term process. Surely, then, it’s of utmost importance that we learn to manipulate certain lifestyle factors, in order to incorporate the things we enjoy?