🎅 The silly season is fast approaching, and with it comes a bunch of hazards for your health and fitness goals. It is a time to eat, drink and be merry, but no-one wants to start 2022 on the back foot. It is a good idea to go into it with a bit of a plan. Have a strategy so you can avoid overdoing it, keep your sanity and still feel great when you come out the other side after all the holiday cheer has ended and the festive dust has settled…
The temptation of holiday cheer can really test your willpower. Remember your goals, don’t lose sight of your final destination. It’s easy to get side-tracked during the holidays, but if you keep your goals in mind, it might just remind you of the journey you are on.
Here are some tips on how you can avoid a blow out and enjoy the holiday season without compromising your health and fitness goals.
🏃 Stay active and keep up your training where you can
Keeping the body moving throughout the holiday season is the number one tip. As you will likely be indulging a little more than usual, it’s great to put those calories to good use. So hitting the gym or going for a walk in the morning before the buffets and staying active throughout the day. There’s nothing like a game of beach cricket to burn off the calories of Christmas lunch.
🍷 Stay hydrated
During the holiday season, it is common to drink more alcohol than water, so it’s important to stay hydrated where you can. Hydration has a major effect on your energy levels and brain function, and can also increase satiety and boost your metabolism, which is very much needed for those days of feasting.
🍖 Opt for protein sources first
When you serve up your plate of goodies at parties/functions and on Christmas Day, which foods do you choose? Filling up your plate with lean protein sources and salads first is a great start. Protein makes you feel fuller for longer and can reduce hunger. By choosing protein and leafy greens, your body will be well fuelled and full enough that hopefully you won’t want to indulge in too many treats later on.
🍻 Beware of the booze
Not only does alcohol add unnecessary calories to your diet, but getting boozy has another effect on us, too. Drinking too much in the presence of champagne, wine, and beer can make us lose our inhibitions around food and start eating irresponsibly. Take it easy with the bubbly before you start saying things like, “Eh, what’s one more slice of dessert?”
😋 Avoid arriving hungry
Another easy way to ensure you don’t have a blow out is making sure you eat before heading off to a Christmas function. We all know that going to the supermarket hungry is a bad idea, going to an event hungry is just the same!. Make sure you have a protein-rich meal before heading out and you won’t be feeling as ravenous when the Christmas pav arrives in all its glory.
⛔ We repeat, step away from the food table
We know that platter looks really good and ohhh that pudding looks divine! But socialising around the table filled with goodies isn’t going to make it easier to refrain from overindulging.
Hanging around the food table will make you more inclined to over indulge and possibly make some poor choices too!
😐 Maintain a level of discipline
When you are eyeing off that pav topped with double cream, remember your overall goals so you don’t fall off the wagon completely. Try to maintain a level of discipline with nutrition and training throughout the festive season. Although you may find yourself at additional social events with the temptation to eat and drink more, that doesn’t mean you need to lose control by piling your plate high with calorie dense foods. Try to remember why you set your health and fitness goals in the first place.
🍰 Don’t completely deny yourself
Everything in moderation! Sometimes indulging in a small amount of your favourite foods can actually help you stay on track. Don’t completely deny yourself of delicious food, it is Christmas after all and deprivation can actually end up causing blowouts. Just pair your treats with exercise.
💭 Plan ahead
You can have your cake and eat it too, it just requires some planning and a little sacrifice. If you know where you’re going for a Christmas function look up the menu ahead of time and track what you want to eat along with what you want to drink. Plan to ‘save’ some calories through the week to enjoy yourself!
😴 Prioritise sleep
Last of all, the holidays are a really busy (and tiring) time of the year so don’t put sleep on the backburner as your body still needs time to rest and recover. When you are tired your body wants to ingest more calories and your willpower is depleted. So catching enough zzz’s is just as important during the Holiday season as any other day!
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