I love the Christmas period. I am excited for the time off with my family and loved one, presents and of course - the food & drink. Christmas is almost a synonym of eating and drinking to excess, it is almost as though people completely forget about health, pausing their health and fitness aspirations to the new year.
The main issue people have over Christmas is both the amount of calories consumed and the amount of not very nutritionally dense food consumed. This will generally lead to any increase in body weight (mainly body fat) and a loss of performance. Every year I make sure I both enjoy my time over Christmas, but not allow it to completely undo all the work that I have put in that year! Below are a few things you can do to make sure you do not fall completely off the rails this Christmas!
1) Do not wait until New Year to work on your goals - It is very common for people to say "there is not point starting before Christmas, I shall start exercising/eating well in the New Year". This is a silly thing to do, why push yourself even further back from your goal for no reason? If you hire a Coach and start effectively exercising as soon as possible you will not only reduce the "ill effects" of Christmas, but actually start productively working towards your goal. Don't wait, the extra exercise and accountability will prove very useful over the festive season.
2) Don't stop exercising - As we know, exercise holds many health benefits (obviously). One thing it also does is burn calories. By continuing to exercise, you caloric requirement will be higher. If you are planning on eating in excess over Christmas, then exercise will ensure that your caloric surplus won't be too high. Increasing your general energy output will also massively help with the management of Calories. Try standing up more and going for more walks! All of this will not only help with energy balance but it will more than likely leave you feeling less guilty about treating yourself too.
3) Don't just eat for eating sake - If you're not hungry, don't eat - just because it is there it doesn't mean you have to eat it. Plan when you want to eat and stick to it.
4) Eat more Protein - Protein has been shown to have higher satiation level, meaning that it will keep you feeling fuller. If you want to reduce over caloric intake, increasing your Protein amount will help you stay away from cravings
5) Chose lower calorie drinks - We all like a drink over Christmas, especially if you are at a social event. However, by chosing low calorie spirits and low calorie mixers we can both enjoy a drink but limit our caloric consumption.
6) Use intermittent fasting - A really easy way to reduce caloric consumption is to simply fast. If you know you have a social event or a big meal in the evening, skipping breakfast will allow you to eat more in the evening without going over your caloric requirements.
7) Ensure you do eat nutritionally dense foods - Do not just live off cake and beer! Make sure that within your calorie requirements you leave room for quality foods too!
There you have it guys, a few really easy ways to manage Christmas!
If you have any questions on this topic please get in touch!