With the silly season upon us, so begins the start of Christmas parties, family gatherings and endless festivities. Which means alcohol in abundance, desserts, hot chocolates, extra servings of turkey and stuffing, mince pies, Christmas pudding and who could forget the ham! While we are busy indulging in all of the culinary delights that Christmas has to offer, we may also be skipping out on our regular exercise routine, not getting enough sleep, swapping water for alcohol and experiencing an increase in stress levels. All of this can unfortunately lead to the dreaded Christmas bulge… That annoying few kilos that sneaks up on you and suddenly leaves you feeling guilty and unhealthy after a few weeks of holiday splurging.
Now some of you are probably thinking, ‘who cares its Christmas, the time of year to over indulge and enjoy yourself.’ But on average, people gain 1-2kg over the holiday period and generally the weight stays on. You should enjoy the festive season… But here are a few tips to keep it within reason.
Limit your alcohol intake
No doubt you have a couple of Christmas parties to attend, which might end in a few too many glasses of champagne and a sore head the next day. So if you know you have a party coming up, try and limit your alcohol for the rest of the week. Cut down your drinking after work or the glass you have while preparing dinner. Nothing derails a weight-loss and healthy eating plan like binging on alcohol.
Continue your exercise routine
Just because its the holiday season, doesn’t mean you should take a holiday from your physical health. In fact, with the increase in alcohol, food and stress, completing your usual exercise routine is more important than ever. Not to mention it will give you that much needed break from the endless family festivities and holiday craziness.
- Get your exercise done first thing in the morning before the day gets away from you
- If you cant make it to the gym, at least head outside for a walk or run
- Involve the kids, chances are they are also hyped up on delicious food and increased junk
Prepare healthy snacks
Next to the turkey and Christmas pudding, make sure you leave room for the healthy snacks. Fill your fridge with fruit, pre-prepared veggie sticks and dip, Greek yoghurt, protein oat balls and any other healthy, delicious snacks you enjoy. That way when the cravings strike, you don’t have to reach for the chocolates or left-over trifle.
Offer to bring the salad
If your worried about food options at a BBQ or Christmas party, offer to bring something that you know is healthy and you can enjoy. “Can I bring the salad?” Stock up on the protein and veggies before diving into the cheese and crackers.
- Watch your portion sizes
- Try to maintain your current weight
- Eat a small meal before a party so you don’t snack all night long
- Drink more water
- Get plenty of sleep
- Avoid over-eating
Put simply, enjoy the Christmas season but don’t let the festivities de-rail your health and fitness goals. Remember, food and alcohol don’t last, but weight gain does.