The festive season is full of parties, food and alcohol and although it is the time to be merry it may be worth taking a few measures to ensure our waistbands don’t expand to the size of Santa Claus! No one wants those post-Christmas blues because they have put on a few extra pounds so try these neat tricks to stay on top.
By making a few good choices when you have a tipple or have a meal you can maintain a reasonable calorific income.
1. Alcohol: Spirits with a mixer or prosecco rather than wine and beer. Drink lots of water during this time.
2. Nibbles and Starters: go for the nuts and fruits when snacking. Look for the protein and salads for starters and try and avoid the bread.
3. Main Course: The trimmings are the bit that can tip the scales in terms of calories. So focus on the protein of the meal, for most the chirstmas turkey and then have lots of vegetables (especially the carrots, sprouts and swede). There is no reason why you shouldn’t enjoy every part of your Christmas dinner just keep a check on how much you are having, portion control goes a long way on keeping the calories in check.
4. Desert: you can either go for the healthy option, such as fruit, give it a miss, share with a friend or plan the meals at which you intend to have whatever desert you want.
5. Keep moving, it’s easy to go from one place to another always sitting down, from the car journey to the relatives house, why not meet in a park or at a local nature reserve so everyone gets some fresh air and exercise. Christmas party games are another great way to keep active.
6. Short workouts. Don’t let a lack of time be your reason for not working out over the festive season. If you can’t make your usual 1 hour sessions try and complete a 20 minute high intensity workout.
7. Get walking. You’ve finished your Christmas dinner and you want to sit in front of the tv, get up, out on your gloves, hat and scarf and go for a walk, that sit down afterwards will feel even more deserved after stretching your legs.
8. Stop eating when you are full. It’s so easy to over indulge and have ginormous plates of food at this time of year but you should still stop when you feel full.
9. Don’t skip meals. Even though you may know that you will be having a more extravagant meal than usual don’t send your body into starvation mode because you know you are going to eat later on in the day. Also try to eat slowly so your body realises when it is full.
10. Drink a glass of water. Before a meal and when drinking alcohol a great way to reduce the amount that you are eating and reducing dehydration is to have a glass of water.
11. Portion control. Try to not overeat. Often you can make good choices but eat much more than usual and that alone can stack on the pounds. Quality not quantity.
12. Go for a run or a cycle ride.
Hopefully this will help you enjoy your Christmas parties and Christmas dinner a little bit more this year safe in the knowledge that you are more likely to feel good going into the New Year.
As always, please get in touch if you need any help formulating a plan of action...
Vicki is a Personal Trainer, Coach and Swimming Teacher with the aim of helping others achieve their health and fitness goals.