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Summer Vacation or Fitness?

Sheikh Nadir Siddiquee
Sheikh Nadir Siddiquee

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Another Vacation has arrived and we are looking for some rest and good time with family. We deserve it. Don’t we?

So will this be another month of dumping our stomach with food more than it’s required?? 

No workout even when we have ample of time to do so?

By the end of the vacation, do we not want to like how we look in the mirror?

All our Lives, we have some excuses or the other:

- No time for workouts
- No time to prepare meals
- No time to spare some time for ourselves

When the vacation comes:

- We are busy watching some web series
- We are busy sleeping
- We are busy doing nothing
- We are busy over feeding ourselves 

Now I don’t mean that we shouldn’t do this but let’s understand how could we do it better.

A Scenario: 

Few months back, you decided to start with a Diet and training so that you could look better during your vacation. The Coach asked you to focus on long term goals but still you decided that this one is real urgent and you would go for the short term goal and later focus on the long term one. Well the later doesn’t ever come.

So you followed the short term goal and created a huge deficit and lost good pounds. You look great and fit. The pictures are awesome. It feels like it was all worth it.

Now as the vacation passes, you realize that the relationship with food is very haywire and you have no control over yourself. Also since you aren’t on a mission to burn Calories, you aren’t doing any training.

At the end of the vacation, you realize that you have gained too much. May be at times more than what you lost and so quickly. Now it feels like all that hard work before vacation went in vain and there is no point doing it all over again. You decide to accept as you are in terms of fitness unless someone points it out.

Well now let’s discuss what happened here.

As you would have noticed, we Coaches in the group always recommend you to follow a long term goal rather than a short one;yet we see queries on losing 5 kgs ,10 kgs in a short amount of time. Unfortunately majority of people who use the ultra low Calorie diets make progress but gain it all back.

So the thing is our Metabolism adapts to our lifestyle. If we eat more, it adds some mass and adapts to higher Calories and if we eat less, it adapts to lower Calories by losing some mass and becoming energy efficient.

The problem with lower Calorie intake is that our Total Energy Expenditure drops by reducing our Calorie expenditure(you wouldn’t even realize this), dropping few essential hormone levels. This means your maintenance Calories which was comparatively higher earlier has gone down now and it is easier for your body to gain it all back. Also since the loss was quick, to prevent such scenario in future, your body added more fat cells during the quick loss.
Now everything comes back too quickly and rather some more.

How to fix this?

- Aim to follow a long term goal
- Create a smaller deficit for fat loss and lose at a good rate of not more than an average of 0.6-1% of your current body mass per week.
- Do not cut down on food drastically
- Keep the food items realistic and which you could follow for life
- Take periodic Diet Breaks( eat around maintenance for a week or 10 days) during the fat loss process. 
- Be patient with your goals
- Workout to get stronger and feel better rather than just for the sake of burning Calories. Make it a part of your daily activity like brushing your teeth

How would this help?

Since you would be losing slowly, your metabolism wouldn’t drop too much. Also in case you added muscles, your metabolism would actually go up and you would now maintain at higher Calories. This gives you a scope to eat anything within your maintenance Calories during your vacation time and yet maintain your shape.

Also since you are doing your workout for health, you would prefer to continue doing it even in your holidays. 

This is Lifestyle. You could enjoy and continue to stay fit. You are dieting but yet you do not feel so. 

This is how I do it. I am not on restrictive eating but planned intuitive eating even while I am injured.

Let’s take a pledge this summer vacation to plan things well and maintain or achieve a better self by the end of it and continue doing so for our Life so that in the next vacation we could enjoy more and still be better than today.

Take- away: Fitness is a Lifestyle and you do not need a vacation from it if you understand it well.