With just over a week to go, Christmas festivities are in full swing… it’s time to let you hair down; eat lots, drink lots, party and socialise lots and generally have a bloody good old time! It’s a time to celebrate with your nearest and dearest, a time to indulge and be merry, a time to relax a little with your weekly fitness routine, and treat yourself to a mince pie or two!
You’re going to put on a few pounds over Christmas, we all are! Don’t over stress it, just do what you can to minimise any weight gain and maintain physical activity levels as much as possible. Think of it as damage limitation…
Here’s 5 top tips to minimise festive flab…
Easy on the chocolate treats
Easy to say, bloody tough to do… it’s everywhere! Advent calendars, boxes of chocolates brought in to work, tubs of Quality Street everywhere you go and on special offer 2-4-1 at the end of every aisle in all the supermarkets. If the chocolates weren’t enough, then there are the boxes of luxury biscuits to contend with… you need will power of steel to resist! Limit yourself to two or three here and there, it’s all too easy to grab a handful and mindlessly devour one after the other, before you know it you’ve turned into Augustus Gloop and devoured them all! Why not have a go at making your own tasty treats, like protein balls, that can fuel you for longer and are great for snacking on the go. Check out these recipes on Women’s Health website. You could even store them in a Quality Street tub, so it feels like you’re digging in to chocolate treats 😉
Grab a workout where you can
With all the Christmas parties, school nativities, family gatherings and get togethers, it can be difficult to find even 5 minutes for yourself, never mind finding the time to make a trip to the gym! Change up your routine and do home HIIT workouts, just 15/20 minutes is all you need to get your heart rate and metabolism fired up, and get a serious sweat on! HIIT workouts are great as they’re quick and effective, and a lot of the exercises and circuits you can do require no equipment at all, just your bodyweight. Joe Wicks (The Body Coach) is the king of HIIT and has hundreds of videos you can follow on his You Tube channel, check it out and give them a go.
Yes you read that right… drink gin! You’re going to lots of parties, drinking lots of booze… that’s a lot of calories you’re going to consume (empty calories that have no nutritional value). So plan your poison and stick with a clear spirit, like gin or vodka, that isn’t as calorific as something like larger or cider. Drink it with tonic or soda, and stick with the same drink all night… the dreaded next day in the office, with the hangover from hell won’t be as bad that way too! Check out my gin blogs for gins I’ve supped and sampled, my all-time favorite is still Bloom gin, I really like Manchester Three Rivers and Manchester Gin too!
Drink more water
I go on about this to everyone, all of the time… water is life! Drink water in-between your alcoholic drinks, and drink plenty throughout the day, between 2-4 litres. There are so many benefits to drinking water; increased energy, healthier skin, teeth and bones, increased metabolism and improved digestion, to name a few! Next time you think you’re hungry, try drinking a glass of water, it may just be that you’re dehydrated and mistaking it for hunger. I’ve written a separate blog about the importance of drinking water, you can read more about the many benefits here.
Lastly, plan as much as you can
If you’re out for a Christmas lunch and get to see a menu beforehand, choose healthier options such as turkey (minus the skin) and veg, a great source of lean protein! Choose a healthier starter, such as a fish dish and go easy on the dessert – do you really need one?
When it comes to the Christmas food shop, write a shopping list and stick to it as much as you can. Don’t be sucked in to the 2-4-1 Quality Street and chocolate treat offers! Also, never go shopping hungry, you’ll go wild with insatiable temptation.
If you have lots of social events in the week, plan meals around them. Try to have healthier home-cooked dishes and prep meals in advance where you can. More often than not, it’s the dirty, salty, greasy food you crave and eat on a hangover that leaves you feeling the most bloated and bleurgh!
Remember… everything in moderation!