By Luke Teuma
UK Personal Trainer
So its getting closer to Christmas, the advent calendar is out, the celebrations are in the cupboard and you know you’re going to really pig out soon. SO WHAT! It’s the holidays, no doubt everyone has a bit of a blow out with food and drink as its a time to celebrate, be with family and be festive!
But that doesn’t mean it has to last all December, and even after that too. Here’s how to keep on track this Christmas!
#1 Face reality: you’re going to treat yourself!
Let’s face it, the majority of us will be eating more excessively than usual, but that’s the key, you don’t usually eat like this! So relax, don’t feel bad about eating all the malteasers out the celebrations box, enjoy your glass of wine whilst you watch the Easterner’s Christmas special.
The most important thing over the holiday season is to maintain your positive mindset; what weight you’re trying to get to, what PB you want to hit next, whats goals are yet to be achieved. If you feel bad whilst eating these foods and drinks you’re potentially putting a sense of doubt and negativity on your current mindset.
Remember, calories are burnt and diets can be switched back to normal in days. Have fun, eat well, and maintain the long term goals you have set out to achieve.
#2 Know when to stop
Going back to the celebrations box… It’s probably not the best idea to eat ALL the malteasers, which brings me on to my next point. There will be so much to choose from with almost unlimited amounts to get through, but that doesn’t mean you have to be greedy!
Over-indulging over several days is only temporary and won’t affect your hard work forever, but it can make getting back to where you was harder. Keep in mind portion control to still make the amounts you eat and drink measurable whilst still indulging in what you like.
#2 Don’t stock up on too much food
Big family, small family, however many people are having to be fed. Stock up on what you need, not like the world is going to end.
You’ll most definitely find if you have lots of chocolate, sweets and alcohol left over – your Christmas binge may last for an extra few weeks just because its there!
So be careful on how much you buy to avoid tempting yourself into making Christmas a whole month long!
#3 Carry on training
This is a very common occurrence; just because its winter, the hard work doesn’t stop! To achieve goals, its vital to give 100% therefore this season is no different!
Every little helps, so its important to keep your activity level up in order to still use the excess calories you’re putting into your body. This could consist of a brisk walk on a Christmas night, a walk round to your friends house to wish them a merry christmas, or even a small 20 minute bodyweight circuit!
Anything to keep you moving! On the other-hand, if you eat more than usual and exercise less than usual, the ratio is now going against you, keep the fire burning to make getting back into your usual routine a quick and easy process.
#5 Don’t let Christmas run into January!
It’s very easy to stay in the festive spirit going into the New Year, but bad eating habits need to stay there! As I mentioned, the most important thing this season is not to stress over what your doing wrong, but thinking about how you’re going to make up for it and progress once its over!
If your training dropped to once a week in December, up it back to your usual amount or even more in January, just to try and reverse the extra calories your body has had to take.
If you’ve overdone it on the alcohol, cut it out for the next month or two! Whatever works for you, know how you’re going to get back on track to counter balance the indulgence instead of developing an all or nothing mental approach. Be sensible in the holiday season when you can, and plan how to progress when its over.
Take home message
Enjoy yourself over the holidays, eat the foods you don’t usually eat, drink the drinks you don’t usually drink, but keep your eye on your goals to get back into them quick!
Keep moving to ensure you’re still burning calories on a day to day basis, keep a positive mindset all throughout, and enable yourself enough time to get back into routine to smash your goals for 2016.