Now it would be amiss of us to tell you not to enjoy Christmas treats in order to keep your body looking trim and toned. This would be very hypocritical considering I myself am looking forward to drinks and great food with family and friends. We suggest you do the exact same, have fun with friends and family however be sensible. Follow these few simple steps to make sure you minimise the damage
- Alter Your Goals. Aim To Maintain: It is very hard to lose weight over the Christmas period and still enjoy the Christmas festivities. This is a time to gather with family and friends and reflect on the year gone and enjoy each others company over great food and often a few (too many) drinks. If you have a weight loss goal, don’t just put it on hold and forget about it over the Christmas break. tweak it so that instead of trying to lose weight over this period (which you will most likely not succeed in if you enjoy Christmas pudding and lamb roast as much as I do) Your goal becomes to NOT GAIN WEIGHT over this period. Be mindful of your weight and before Christmas and try and maintain it by the time Christmas/new year period is over.
- Don’t Starve Yourself: I used to be of the mindset that I am coming up to a big lunch or dinner so I should skip breakfast to make up for it. Only by the time I got the large meal I was so hungry that all ‘smart food’ decisions went out the window and all portion control was sidelined. What I learnt later that was if I had a big breakfast and snacks before the bigger meal I was less inclined to overeat and was more capable of letting the fattier foods stay on the table.
So Tip 1 to minimise damage during the Christmas festivities is DON’T SKIP MEALS OR STARVE YOURSELF BEFORE A BIG MEAL
- Be Active: Just because It is Christmas don’t use it as an excuse not to get out and be active. If you can get out for a run around Christmas morning then do so. If you need to spend time with the kids then get them some outdoor toys so they will want a trip to the park to go and use them. That way you kill two birds with one stone. You enjoy some quality family time while being active
- Drink Water:Just because Jesus turned water into wine doesn’t mean we should try and drink as much of it as we can to celebrate his birth. Try and keep the H2O levels up as well. This will help you feel full without having the calorie effect. Also if you are having a few vinos your head will thank you for the water the next day.
- It ISN’T The Last Supper: Don’t treat Christmas Lunch/Dinner like the last supper. You will dine again. Rather than waging all out war as to who can get the best and most food on their plate, take your time. Enjoy the company of family and friends and instead of racing to see who can clear the plate the quickest, have a good conversation while eating. This will allow your stomach time to realise when it is reaching satiety (full). This will also make sure that when you get up from the table you don’t have to loosen the belt buckle and food coma on the couch.
- Limit The Unhealthy Snacks. Often we eat snack type food just because it is there. The smell of Christmas lunch/Dinner cooking its final hour has sparked our hunger and we tend to snack and fill up on crackers, cheese and dips before we even get to the main meal. To try and maintain portion control be conscious to avoid filling up on the weighty snacks before sitting down to a meal.
- Have a Post Christmas/New-Year Plan in Place: The BEST way to enjoy a guilt free Christmas/ New-year period is to make sure you have a plan in place for when you are going to aim to resume your fitness goals. If you have a plan to maintain your weight over Christmas and you do in fact put on a couple of kilos. You are less likely to let it effect you if you already have a training / nutrition plan in place for the month after. If you are going away, set a date that you will return to the gym. Aim at picking up a few extra sessions post Christmas to make sure you get back to your pre Christmas weight quicker. If you spend the first quarter of the year just trying to get back to the weight you were before going on holiday then you are wasting time that should be spent getting to your overall goal.