With Christmas just around the corner, how can you plan to make sure you stick to your goals during the festive period? So your family is coming round and your mates are planning Christmas drinks; stick to our 12 days of Christmas ideas and make sure that you don’t lose all your hard work in the final stretch of the year.
Time is often precious and in short supply at Christmas, but on busy days like this if you can only workout for 30mins or so that is better than nothing. Super-efficient, high intensity interval training, (HIIT) is the ideal workout for a busy schedule, this can be sprints, or weights. What is also great is running, skipping, or body weight exercises don’t require any equipment to get it done, and you can do it anywhere.
Examples include using the rower to conduct 10 sets of FULL out sprints for 10-20 seconds followed by FULL recovery before starting the next set. Or using dumbbells/barbells to conduct a circuit style complex, followed by rest before going again.
Remember though that HIIT is a taxing workout, especially compared to LISS, and therefore recovery is key.
Drink plenty of water to keep yourself hydrated. There is nothing wrong with drinking alcohol over the festive period, but remember alternating every alcoholic drink with a glass of water will benefit you. This will help you to stay sober, hopefully end up drinking less, aid with fat loss, and help to maintain performance when you do workout over Christmas.
Drinking plenty of water before you go to a party will also prevent you from snacking on loads of party food. Herbal teas and coffee without all the cream and milk can help with safety and kerb food cravings throughout the day as well.
And remember not to drink on an empty stomach.
Here’s a tip for minimising excess calorie consumption during the festive period. Many days over Christmas are based around eating a large portion of your calories at one time, instead of spreading them out. Of course over Christmas we eat a little more than normal anyway, therefore have a nutrition plan for the day! If you know you will be sitting down for a big meal in the evening consider lowering your calories or even fasting before, saving the majority of your daily calories for this meal.
Look to fill the meals you eat before the big feast with mainly protein as this will ensure you consume adequate protein for the day and will make you feel fuller. You should still eat, and even enjoy your food, so you can enjoy sweets and festive treats in moderation!
If you’re a sucker for a Christmas pudding like myself or maybe you love mince pies, enjoy a sensible portion then stop. You don’t need to eat till you vomit. It’s totally unnecessary to gorge sweet stuff all day and night, and wake up feeling awful.
These extra calories are only going to be harder to lose, so why not minimise the damage?
Don’t waste precious calories on high calorie snacks like crackers, nuts or biscuits. Be selective and choose only the foods you really love, or that you associate with the Christmas.
If you don’t put your food choices on a plate from the buffet, you have no idea how much you are really eating. The worst thing you can do at a party is stand around the buffet constantly picking at it!
If you find yourself binging and eating more than you should have, all is not lost. Rather than chucking in the bucket and thinking sod it I am just going to continue eating for the rest of the day, forget about it and move on! Learn from your mistakes but do not fall into a binge-guilt cycle. Next time, eat a salad first, start a conversation, and move away from the food. The next time starts now!
It’s the Christmas season, you’ll be eating out more and eating more rich foods, so set your goals over the next few weeks to maintaining your weight!
That way, you won’t be too disappointed if you don’t lose, if that is your goal. Know what you are aiming for and decide your goals now and be very positive and determined.
You really do not want to be putting on loads of weight over Christmas if you’ve started taking care of your body and your health in the lead up to Christmas. Be selfish about it, this is your goal and the benefits are always yours.
Liquid calories from soda, fruit juices, alcohol and other sweet drinks tend to be filled with sugars adding to their calories so bare that in mind, when choosing your drinks with food.
Not only will this ensure you are consuming adequate protein to preserve muscle and aid with recovery, but it is accepted that calorie for calorie, protein has increased satiety and a higher thermic affect, the energy used to digest, compared to either carbohydrate or fat. This induced satiety may help to improved appetite control, helping you to eat less. And who doesn’t love all the meat at Christmas
Go straight for the veggies first and fill your boots and if there are high fat dips, dip in moderation.
Filling over half your plate with filling nutrient dense vegetables before serving the rest of your meal, will help you to control your portions and make you feel fuller for longer. This is also true for protein as it has the highest satiety factor.
Remember, enjoy your Christmas by exercising portion control, moderation and balance. Don’t aim to lose loads of fat over Christmas (unless you have a competition or photo shoot post Christmas) and instead aim to maintain your results and keep active during your time off. Then once the holidays are over, training and nutrition goes back into full swing!
Now if you’re planning on going off your nutrition plan over the week, just do it in moderation, I will be utilising moderation non stop. Don’t make up reasons why it’s okay to eat this or drink this. Don’t beat yourself up for indulging. Don’t punish yourself with extra long hours of cardio or a starvation diet leading up to the feast. Make the decision to indulge in moderation, be happy with that decision and enjoy your week with family and friends. Then when the time is over, relish those times and get back on track.
Should you choose not to go off plan, be happy with that decision as well, don’t be moody and “poor me, I can’t have that because it’s not on my plan”. Your decision, no one else’s. Everything we do in life is a choice. Make yours, be good with it and move on