So Christmas is upon us. It's just over one week away! How did that happen?? You've been busy working, making food for school Xmas parties, taking time off to watch nativity plays, practicing lines with your children, shopping for presents, cleaning the house in preparation for family staying over and squeezing in some exercise (hopefully!)
December is such a busy month and it's FULL of indulgences. When we are busy it's just too easy to grab something quick to eat and with chocolates lying around, they're often your 'go to' snack to keep you going through this busy period.
It's estimated that we will eat approx. 5-6000 calories each on Christmas day!!!! Say, Whaaaaat?! I'm crying a little inside at this. 6000 calories equates to about 2.5lbs then there's Boxing Day and all the extra alcohol we'll be drinking as well.
BUT fear not because I am here to give you some TOP TIPS to help you to put on as little weight as possible and follow all my rules and you will stay just as you are - perfect :-)
1. Don't start Xmas NOW!!! It's still over a week away. Back away from the mince pie. Start eating all those extra calories from now til the end of December and you're in way too deep. Continue eating healthy foods as much as you can. Yes, you have Xmas parties and nights out booked but when you are at home or at work continue to eat healthy homemade meals for as long as you can.
2. Don't ditch your exercise routine just yet. Continue with your regular exercise regime right up til the big day. I know that it's a busy month but fitting in a few short runs or an exercise class here and there is possible. MAKE it possible. You might not feel like doing it but you will Thank yourself for it afterwards and It'll give you some much needed time for yourself.
3. Do depletion workouts. During December you're going to have more nights out involving alcohol and lots of food. Burn this off BEFORE you go out and NOT the next day. No matter how much you promise yourself you are going to go for a run the next day, the chances are that banging hangover will not let you. You're blood sugars will be low the next day and you'll feel lethargic SO burn the extra calories off before you go out. Make this workout a hard, H.I.I.T style workout if you can.
4. Don't think 'Sod it! I've been bad today so I might as well eat rubbish for the next few days/week/2 weeks" - Like, where's the sense in that?? The 'all or nothing' attitude is crazy. Accept that you're going to overindulge slightly but that's no reason to just throw away a full week to complete overindulgence.
5. Xmas doesn't last til January. Have a couple of days off to enjoy the food and maybe stop exercising then get back ON IT. Don't roll it into January. The longer you eat badly and go without exercise, the harder it's going to be to get back on it. It's going to feel like HEEEELLLLL!!!
6. Start making an exercise diary now and get a few friends involved. Pick some times you can all agree on and then meet in the park, at the gym, on the beach and do a run or a workout together. One of the ladies in my classes has opened up a 'December Fitness' group page on Facebook so that they can all post their workouts on there to help encourage each other to say fit in December. It's a proven fact that you're more likely to train if you have a buddy to workout out with.
7. Start each day the healthy way. Other than maybe Xmas Day try to start each morning with a healthy breakfast - a smoothie, some fruit and yogurt, small bowl of porridge etc That way if things do go downhill after that then at least you've had one healthy meal that day!
8. Proteins and Carbohydrates provide us with approx. 4 calories per gram. Alcohol has 7 calories per gram. So many of the extra calories you'll be consuming will be from the alcohol that you drink. And that's without the mixers added to it so choose your tipple wisely. Beers, cocktails and wine are all pretty high in calories. Spirits are much lower in calories but be aware of high calorie mixers. Choose soda water, tonic water or low sugar versions of lemonade or coke. Or if you're hard core, have your drink 'on the rocks' (I accept no responsibility for how drunk you get from this!) It's always worth choosing a caffeine free version of coke too. This will make your hangover a little less painful the next day.
9. Don't overfill your fridge. I know you want to enjoy delicious food and lots of it (me too!) but just think before you put it in your trolley. Do you NEED double cream, single cream, squirty cream and bailey's cream?? No, pick one and put the rest back and buy a tub of Greek yogurt. If you ARE going to have one too many mince pies then at least have the 2nd one with yogurt instead of cream. Little things like that can make the difference of 100 calories.
10. Set yourself a goal. Buy your New Years Eve party dress now. Know that you have to fit into it and it will be at the back of your mind when you feel like ditching your workout or reaching for the chocolates too many times over Xmas. Try it on periodically over the holidays and if it's feeling a little tight, cut back a little or get in an extra workout.
11. Ask Santa for a FITBIT (or something similar) or if you already have one, get it on and make sure you hit a minimum of 10,000 steps per day. Set challenges with your friends. See who can get the most steps done between you all over the entire week. Or just make sure that you go for a nice, long walk each day. At some point every day, get out of the house and get some fresh air.
OK, so I can feel lots of eye rolling and groans from people but I also know than many of you are like me and DO want to stay slim, fit and healthy over the Xmas holidays. I LOVE food and will most certainly eat too much but i'm also committed to doing plenty of exercise to make up for this. If you're like me then try some of the above tips, call a friend a meet for a run every other day. Put plans in place and stick to them. I promise you won't regret it. Nobody ever regrets doing a workout - it can only make you feel amazing (afterwards!)
Have a WONDERFUL Christmas and a Very Happy New Year.