5 BIG tips to survive Christmas

The 5 Best Ways to Survive the Christmas Gluttony

Every Christmas we all seem to over indulge. We feel like crap once it’s over and then we make a New Years resolution to drop the weight we have gained over the festive season.

What if I told you that it doesn’t have to be that way? That you don’t have to be all or nothing over the holidays?

Well I’m going to keep this short and sweet so that you don’t get bored before getting to the 5 points.

Here are my BIG 5 ways to minimise the damage over the Christmas break.

1. Intermittent fasting

This is a method I’ve used myself multiple times. In fact I still use it regularly and most times when I’m away on holidays. It’s a very simple way to burn fat for longer in the morning and cutting overall calories.

All you do is have breakfast later in the day. I would normally not eat anything until lunch time. Skip the toast, cereal and orange juice and make the first meal of the day the Christmas lunch. You will survive until lunch, I promise.
So you basically don’t eat anything between your dinner the night before and lunch time on the big day. Cutting out 500-1000 (obviously depending on your normal breakfast) that you can have later in the day.

All the 5 ways starts the day with a hard workout. I’m not talking going for a jog either. You should hit the weights with high intensity and if you don’t have access to weights, do some high intensity bodyweight stuff. There’s a sample workout that is my go-to when I want to get a quick workout in, at the end of this report.

2. Don’t eat the carbs

This way you will feel less bloated and not fill up as fast. Most people want the turkey and ham anyway so skip the bread and potatoes, or whatever it is that you have, and go for more of the protein. Cutting out the carbs will automatically cut calories as well.

Workout in the morning, before it all starts. It’s a must.

3. Only eat your favourites

Too often I see people eat everything in sight, even though they don’t really love all of it. Be mindful with what you put on your plate. If you love the ham, but could take or leave the turkey (just examples) don’t have the turkey.
If you aren’t really a sweet tooth, don’t eat the sweet stuff. Simply just enjoy more of the things you really love and don’t go for all of it. Skip the Christmas pudding.

Again, train in the morning!

4. Cut the alcohol

Ok, this one would be the toughest for many of you. But it’s obviously through liquid calories we would gain most of the weight. If you cut out all alcohol, you could eat whatever you want and don’t gain any weight.
You could also choose to have some drinks but you don’t have to keep up with that uncle of yours who always seem to drink a slab.
This is a big one but a tough one if you do drink alcohol. It would obviously work and you could enjoy all the food. So this would mean you choose if you want the food or the beer more.

You know it now, you have to get that workout in….

5. Eat and drink everything

Probably my favourite! Ha, except number one which works the same, this one is what I’d choose. Although it would be a combo of number 1, 3 and 5 for myself.

One day of overeating will not make you fat. You have to enjoy Christmas. If it’s only for the one day, just enjoy and don’t stress about what you ate.
It’s if we eat the same way for the whole week that the real weight gain happens. Honestly if Christmas Day is the only day you have a big one with food and drinks, just enjoy it and don’t stress about it.

Train in the morning though, this way you’d make sure all that food goes to use for your muscles.

So there it is, short and simple but it’s definitely going to help you minimise the damage.

Here’s that sample workout that you could do in the morning, it’s going to bust your butt, but you’ll feel better for it.

Descending Ladder

1A. Push ups

1B. Squat (jumps)

1C. Mountain climbers

1D. Burpees
1E. High knees on the spot or sprint

Start at 20 repetitions of 1A followed by 20 of 1B and so on. Once 1D is completed, go back to 1A for 18 reps. Repeat until 2 repetitions have been completed for all exercises. Deduct 2 reps each round.
You can start at a lower number if you want to do a quicker one.
1E stays the same each round so if you do high knees do 50. If you choose a sprint, don’t go further than about 20 seconds, but go hard.
Rest as needed through but try to complete it as quick as possible.

So that's a good start guys. Should you still go wrong somewhere with this or choose No. 5 over multiple days and you feel like you'd need some help dropping it in January, you can always join our

28 Day Challenge. 

Register below if you want to know more.​

BIG 5 No. 2 – Press/Push

No 2. in our series on what the BIG 5 stand for is Press/Push.
These are movements such as the push up or overhead press. In the video I go through the BIG 5 of these movements, the ones we use most. Basic exercises but very efficient.

Check it out.

BIG 5 No. 1 – Squats

Squats. The BIG 1 one the BIG 5.

This is the first part in our five part video series explaining why we're called BIG 5 Fitness and showing you some different variations of the movements that are our favourite for fat loss and body composition.

Hope you enjoy. Sorry for the poor sound quality, we'll try to make this better in the future.

Hell on earth

I spend every Wednesday doing something fun with Sadie, my two year old daughter. We go swimming, to the zoo, playgrounds and more playgrounds.
It's fun, I love being able to spend time with her, time that I wouldn't have if I was still working my IT job. I feel fortunate being able to do this.

(Bare with me, there's some valuable lessons at the end.)

Yesterday though, I took her and her four year old cousin to a play centre.

This place was crazy. Didn't help that they had free entry all week I guess, so there I was with the two wild ones trying to make sure they didn't break anything (bones, heads etc) surrounded by about 500 hundred other kids and 250 latte sipping mums.
I don't think I saw one other male adult in there, but maybe they were just hiding in the pool of balls under the trampoline.

I would have described this as hell on earth. Not anymore. BC ( before children) this would have been my worst nightmare, now however I am able to totally block out any other noise, cries and I only hear my own kids. And their cousins.
So even though this would have been a nightmare for me a few years back, same as going to the Yarraville Club for a counter meal (they have a playground inside the restaurant!) I am now able to totally enjoy it and learn a few things as well.

At the Yarraville Club I learnt that people are tight asses. I mean this in the nicest possible way. On a Wednesday they have steak night, so cheaper steaks and there are always groups or couples there that don't have kids. I don't get it. They sit there, annoyed with the noise, the running around and the playground. I have even had complaints to my face.
I get that you want a quiet time and no kids running when you go out for dinner, I do myself, however I choose to go to this place so that the kids can play while we're eating.
I would never ever go there with my wife if we had a baby sitter and would have never gone in before we had kids either. The playground stares you right in the face as you're walking in!
Lesson: Don't settle for cheap if it's not the right place for you. Pay more for quality.

Yesterday at the play centre, Sadie kept trying to keep up with her older cousin and as soon as he disappeared, she'd start crying. It happened a lot! She kept trying though, wouldn't give up and went to all the places, in the big kids area, that he did. Go go go!
Very resilient and consistent in her efforts and after a while she was keeping up. She got better at climbing the stairs, going down the big slide and jumping on the trampoline with 10 other bigger kids. (Limit - max 1 child at any time...I was supervising though so perfectly safe)
Was a successful day and she had a great time and next time she'll get up
all those obstacles right away.
Lesson: Never give up. Be consistent and you will get to where you want to be. Consistency will improve you.

So take away what you want from these stories. I know what I will save from it.

Don’t be obsessed

Add Video

Automatic weight loss after 30

It's said that we lose 3% of our lean body mass each decade, after we turn 30. If you don't know what lean body mass is, this may sound like a positive thing.
Really, I'm going to lose weight by doing nothing else than having a birthday? Sounds fantastic.

However, your lean body mass is muscle and bones so the problem with this is that your body fat percentage goes up automatically, if you have the same amount of body fat.
So even though you're losing weight (which you most likely won't due to decreased metabolism) it's not the weight you want to lose. We want to drop fat, not muscle.

To prevent this from happening, you need to exercise and you need to exercise with resistance. Could be body weight exercises but preferably you'd use some extra resistance such as barbells, dumbbells or kettlebells and you'd progress up in weight as you get stronger, adding on more muscle to you body.

If you are already lean and skinny, you may end up looking like this...​

If you're not, this may be the result...​

Why is that, you may be thinking? Well, because muscle and bones help keeping your metabolism high so it's crucial that we try to at least maintain muscle, if not gain. Your bones will get stronger with weight training too so that's another reason to do it, preventing osteoporosis. 

You can download my e-book below to learn some more details​, what works and what doesn't and also get three workouts that will get your started on building muscle and dropping fat in no time.

Just click the image below to download. Or you can register for our free trial and we will show you everything you need to know, in person. 

Click to download the report

Register here for a free trial

Just one thing

I sent this out to my transformation challenge group, who are going great by that way, but thought I'd share it with you guys as well.

It can be applied to so many things in life. Just do one thing today that will take you closer to your goal.
Fat loss?
Muscle gain?
Get rich?

Whatever it is, try to do one thing today that will move you in the right direction. Our days are filled with making decisions and sometimes we don't make the right one. Have a think before you do things and maybe your choice will be different.

Sugar – The sweetest killer

Sugar is a source of energy for our bodies and is required as part of a healthy diet, however over consumption can have a server impact on our health. Food high in sugar provides our body with large quantities of energy, taking in excess amounts of energy can lead to weight gain and numerous other health problems. Sugar occurs naturally in foods such as fruit (fructose) and milk (lactose) but there are large quantities of added sugars hiding in foods marketed to us as healthy, foods that unbeknownst to us are doing our bodies harm.

These added sugars offer no nutritional value to our bodies but add plenty of calories to our diets. On average, Australians consume approximately 30 teaspoons of sugar each day more than double the 12 teaspoons recommended by the World Health Organization.

Research has found links to high sugar diets and obesity which can increase our risk of heart disease, diabetes, cancer and fatty liver disease. Sugar can also wreak havoc on our metabolism, mood and brain function.

We all know foods such as sweets and soft drinks contain high levels of added sugars however there is an alarming number of supposedly healthy foods such as breakfast cereals, muesli bars, energy bars, fruit juices as well as low fat and fat free products that contain high levels of added sugars. These low fat alternatives generally replace the saturated fats with sugar to maintain the taste. As we become more health conscious we are turning to these foods unaware of the sugar hiding in them. For example an Uncle Toby’s Forest Fruit muesli bar contains 25.3 grams of sugar per 100 grams. It’s alarming that a quarter of that muesli bar is sugar.


It is vital that we understand what we are consuming; reading and understanding the nutritional panel on food labels as well as the ingredient list is where we need to start. As a guide we want to look for products that contain 5g or less of sugar per 100g, where as any product containing over 15g of sugar per 100g should be avoided.

You should also carefully read that ingredient list, sugar isn’t always listed as ‘sugar’ on packaging. It can be disguised under many different names. Names such as sucrose, maltrose, dectrose and fructose or many other ingredients ending in the “ose,” suffix.  Other forms of sugar are disguised as cane juice, corn syrup, dextrin and malt syrup.

Remember, fructose in its natural form is not bad. When it comes in apples, bananas etc, don’t worry about it. It is when we see it added to processed foods that we have a problem.

Now that we know what to look out for it comes down to making smarter choices. We can limit added sugar in our diets by doing simply that; cutting down on adding sugar in our recipes and in our coffees, using natural substitutes such as stevia and raw honey, swapping out cakes and biscuits for fruit as well as cutting down on processed foods and comparing labels to find the best alternative. If we can start with these few simple things we can go a long way to reversing the damage done to our bodies by something so sweet.

Pat Chirico


World Health Organisation . 2015. World Health Organisation . [ONLINE] Available at: http://www.who.int/mediacentre/news/releases/2015/sugar-guideline/en/. [Accessed 04 March 15].

World Health Organisation . 2015. World Health Organisation . [ONLINE] Available at: http://www.who.int/mediacentre/news/releases/2015/sugar-guideline/en/. [Accessed 04 March 15].

Howard BV PhD &, Wylie-Rosett J, RD, EdD ‘Sugar and Cardiovascular Disease,’ AHA Scientiic Statement, Available < http://circ.ahajournals.org/content/106/4/523.full> [2012]

Yang Q PhD; Zhang Z, MD, PhD; Gregg EW, PhD; Flanders WD, MD, ScD, Merritt R, MA, ‘Added Sugar Intake and Cardiovascular Diseases Mortality Among US Adults’ JAMA Intern Med, vol 174, no 4, pp 516-524, [April 2014]

World Health Organisation [Online] Available at <http://www.who.int/mediacentre/news/releases/2015/sugar-guideline/en/> [4 May 2015]





Why you’re not losing weight

Just thought I’d explain why a lot of people don’t lose weight. Some agree with me on this, some don’t but I guarantee that if you follow this theory, using a slight calorie deficit, you will lose weight.

Sorry about the poor audio quality.

I wore a bandana

So there I was. Driving my own speed boat, t-shirt on and bandana! on head. I wasn’t even bald yet, the bandana was a fashion statement. I was truly in to hip hop in my teens and at this stage, I was 17 years old, driving my own speed boat, boom box on full volume blasting out the latest Public Enemy beats, maybe some Fat Boys (hey, they called themselves that!) and definitely some A Tribe Called Quest. Bonita Applebum.

I was 17, thought I was pretty cool, bandana was sitting just right, my speed boat was maxed out at 35 knots/hour (no other way of driving it!) and Fight The Power was pumping out of the speakers. Couldn’t really hear it over the engine noise though but I’m sure all the people enjoying the sun and the beach, trying to have a quiet time with their families, did.
It also didn’t worry me that the speed boat was a 30 year old piece of junk that no one else thought was cool, it was still funky to me.
Those things didn’t worry me too much.

What did worry me was that it was a superhot day, 25 degrees (yo, that’s hot in Sweden!) and I was still wearing my super loose t-shirt over my translucent skin. I pretended that it was to not get burnt but it the real issue was I was embarrassed about the way I looked.

I had fantasized for years, since probably 12 years old, that I was going to one day have a boat and look like Brad Pitt (in fight club) just having all the girls attention. I didn’t.
My gut was just as loose as my t-shirt. I was fit but it didn’t show.
Pretty much since then, I thought to myself every year that I was going to look like fitness model. Next year. Then the next and so on.
It never happened. I waited too long to get started each year, and gave up once I realised I wasn’t going to make it. There’s always next year.

Now I know better. I know you can’t stop, you can never quit and that’s not just for vanity reasons. Fitness is forever and without it you are never going to be fully healthy.
You may be fully sick bro, like I thought i was on that speed boat, or fully sick from not having taken care of yourself over the years, but you wont’ have maximum health.
Yes, I know you can get injured, I know you can still get sick, but you can at least try to be the best version of yourself.
The strongest and fittest possible.

I still don’t look like a fitness model but I look a hell of a lot better now that I’m about to turn 40 than what i did when I was 17. I’m not ashamed to take my shirt off on the beach either. I might even get a speed boat for next summer, Pump Up the  Volume on Bring The Noice (Public Enemy) and put a bandana on, just to relive my teens the way I pictured myself back then.
Because that’s what it’s all about, feeling confident to enjoy life, enjoy the beach and enjoy summer without sweating excessively because you[‘re wearing a long sleeve shirt to cover up. It’s not about modelling or being Brad Pitt, but finding something a little bit better than a happy medium.

So if you want to join me on that speed boat next summer, register for one of our challenges below and we will help you get started and finding that consistency that’s needed. You will lose weight, get stronger and fitter.
Plus you may get to go on my boat. I may even let you change the music…

90 Day Transformation Challenge

6 Week Challenge