Ah Christmas time! A wonderful time of the year – what’s not to like? Presents, food, drink, parties, family gatherings, food, drink. Did I mention food? Drink? Staying healthy over the festive season is especially hard with all of the above happening – and even more so when they’re happening more than once throughout the holidays.
However, if you are a health-conscious type of person (I hope you are), you might be dreading the thought of Christmas. All the parties, the mulled wine, the snacks can definitely reverse all your hard work throughout the year – but fear not – you CAN enjoy all Christmas has to offer and not have to use that stupid excuse “It’s holiday weight”.
By the way, I can’t resist Ferero Roche around Christmas – I’d actually quite happily sit down watching Home Alone and devour a whole bucket load! But I don’t because I’d be reversing all my hard work throughout the year – no thanks!
Christmas is a time for celebration, a time for giving and receiving – you shouldn’t dread this time of year – you should embrace it. To help you enjoy this wonderful time of year while at the same time not piling on that extra unwanted “holiday weight” you can use these simple tips below:
1. Don’t gorge – nibble! Let’s face it, snacks are even more abundant during Christmas. I bet if you’re sitting near a table with loads of finger food – you won’t even notice yourself grabbing handful after handful of these little calorie bombs! Sit on the other side of the room; this way you’ll have to make a conscious effort to get to the snacks! You’ll still have to be mindful of over doing it but at least you can limit the unconscious part of gorging on snacks by sitting far enough away from them.
2. Don’t just sit around watching Christmas movies – get up and do some exercise! There is no better thing to do during this festive season than to exercise! If the weather permits it, go out and take a quick walk around your house or block. Take your dog for a walk, go for a morning run, if the weather is cold, you’ll be more inspired to quicken your pace and burn a few extra calories in the process. If the weather is too inclement – do your exercise indoors – a simple circuit of squats, lunges, jumping jacks and push ups repeated for a few rounds is a great little burst conditioning routine that’ll have your heart rate firing in no time.
3. Choose your foods wisely – when filling your plate, focus on lean turkey and ham, veggies (mmm Brussels sprouts) and oven roasted (without the duck fat) potatoes. Have an extra portion of veg if you’re still hungry – by the time you finish, you won’t have room for the other foods which are higher in calories and more likely to cause you to gain weight. Also, avoid the fatty and fried snacks they may taste good, but you know you’ll regret them when you hop on the scales.
4. Water, Water, Water! Drink plenty of water throughout the holidays, and if you think your drinking enough, drink some more. This will help keep you vitalised, hydrated (especially after the mulled wine or two) and will help transport nutrients around your body. Here’s a tip – if you have a bottle of say 500ml of water and you want to drink 2 litres of water per day, put four elastic bands around the water bottle, each time you drink 500ml take a band off – when there’s no bands left you’ve drank at least 2 litres that day!
5. Smaller Portions – Don’t eat one humongous dinner on Christmas – split it into two or three smaller meals in the day. You’ll boost your metabolism and actually burn more calories as your body has to kick into action 3 times instead of 1. When it comes to desert – focus on having say a trifle without the cream, or a festive fruit salad. If you must have your cake and eat it split it with someone else – you’ll be doing both yourself and them a favour and you won’t feel as conscious if they are doing this too.
Keeping healthy during this Christmas is simply making sure you follow healthy habits just like any other time of the year. In the end though don’t fall into the depths of depression if you do happen to gain a few pounds over the festive season – but at least with the tips above, you can limit the amount of damage you do. Enjoy yourself!