Sure, when the weather’s burning tans into butts of skimpy bikinis on the beach, we have incentive to stay in shape. But what happens when swim trunks get tucked into bottom drawers and all exposed buttocks slip back into inaccessible jeans for the coming Autumn? It’s a scary time – the approaching holiday season. Pounds of delicious, festive foods threatening to keep you warm with gradual layers of chub that seem to accumulate into legitimate pudge by Spring’s unveiling. Instead of having to retrace your footsteps when swim weather returns, try maintaining your trophy bod through the colder times. It’s much easier than one might think when salivating over a slop of mashed potatoes, a lot less painful than abstaining from fun altogether and way worth it (for purposes of winter-woman-hunting). Just adhere to these common sense guidelines. 

1. Maintenance
If you’ve already managed to procure a six-pack this summer, you’ve fought the greatest battle thus far. The next, much smaller, much more tolerable battle, is one of maintenance – the need to continually force yourself to remain regimented with your chocolate cake and beer intake. Many people think that once a sufficient amount of weight is lost, you can careen around consuming everything forbidden, mowing down mountainous, unnecessary portions without putting fat back on. These people are poorly mistaken. (Weight loss is not magic. There’s no in-shape-forever spell. We’re sorry). The largest portion of this plan’s potential success is dependent on your will power, meaning – how much you’re willing to work out and for how long. A trick to keep you motivated is to buy or print out a calendar and, before you go to bed, write the exercises you did that day on it.  Your ego won’t let you leave too many blank days before you get back in the saddle again. 

2. Adjusting To The Weather
You might be thinking that without the sun’s motivation, the option of lengthy, outdoor runs and the every-weekend beach blast (includes volleyball, swimming, running and anything athletic while fun), you’re doomed to a soft, fleshy stomach. You might begin thinking of abandoning your routine and discipline altogether, thinking of ice cream, of congratulating yourself with a series of luxurious, ridiculous snacks. Don’t do it. You’ll regret it come nighttime, when your new lady friend isn’t half as impressed as the last girl was when you unhooked your shirt buttons. Stay strong. Adjust your workouts to the indoors and persist using stationary equipment and totally sweet resistance training. The indoors leaves you with two options – Home or the Gym.

3. Working Out At Home
Working out at home is for those who aren’t particularly thrilled about the idea of everyone watching them go for broke over their body. Working out can demand some pretty intense exhalations (nothing quite as bad as women doing yoga, however) and this might feel embarrassing for many. In this case, you’ll need to work out at home, which requires a specific kind of will power, because the weight’s all on you (hah!…?) to get the job done. Work out as early in the day as possible. When you’re freshly rolling from bed and remind yourself that right after breakfast you’ve got a date with them weights, you’re more likely to actually do it. By the time afternoon rolls around, you’re busy and can too easily justify your cancellation with greater concerns. If you’re clueless about how to successfully work out by your lonesome, visit a personal trainer for a preliminary session or two in order to rip off a routine. Once you’ve got this memorized, stop overpaying and suck it up – it’s all for the six-pack, remember? (NOTE: Say this to yourself as much as needed while struggling)

4. Working Out At The Gym
No matter how determined, some people just can’t get themselves jazzed up enough to excel in exercise without the help of nearby bodies exerting similar force. For this, there is the gym. The gym should become part of your weekly travels. Just as you casually go to the bank or that cheap, neighborhood sushi restaurant, you should go to the gym. Whether it’s before or after work, the high-energy atmosphere will kick you back into gear and keep that six-pack visibly cut through the colder months. Also, hot girls go to the gym. And no one wants to lose a six-pack while surveying new populations of hot girls. So if you’re severely lacking incentive, you can see (if you’re human whatsoever) this trick should work.

5. Taking Classes
Gyms and studios offer athletic classes to those who want to sweat off fat, while nursing the illusion of fun. Boxing, karate, (or something more manly) aerobics and body-boot-camp workshops give you set times and demands, which is helpful to the man who wants to give up working out in exchange for constant winter cuddling and coffee cakes. You’ll find that you burn a surprising amount, feel delightfully energized and don’t dread the fat-liquidating process nearly as much. For those confident enough to take yoga (and suffer through the moaning sounds), try it. There’s a plethora of fit women and zen relaxation to boot (see also: The Fitness of Sex)

6. Making Allowances VS Falling Off The Wagon
No one, however attached to their newly tight torso, wants to sit out the winter’s offering of holiday feasts without so much as occasional indulgence (without pumpkin pie Thanksgiving’s othing more than an awkwardly short weekend).This kind of total abstinence seems a torture totally not worth the trouble. Besides, those who obsessively hold back their cravings so strictly will only find themselves on a late binge, bursting with hunger by the time it’s too late. This means – live well! Eat the whipped cream! But don’t fall off the wagon. Falling off the wagon means reincorporating whipped cream and pumpkin pie into frequent meals (which translates to reincorporating excess fat to your tum tum), which means losing all that you worked for through summer. Instead of setting yourself back to the bottom of the ladder, stay hovering somewhere around the top. So long as you’re remaining active and eating reasonably well, you (and your six-pack) will survive the harsh winter.