6 Tips to Staying on Track This Festive Season
By Myprotein Writer Heather Geary
With halloween and bonfire night, and not forgetting christmas its hard to stay on track with your training and nutrition, these periods are synonymous with treats, feasts and alcohol. But with a little forward planning and self discipline you can enter the new year feeling fit and not like you’ve been on a 2 month bender. Find out in this article six tips to staying on track this festive season.
1.Set Up a Schedule and Plan Your Workouts
Living healthy should be a lifestyle… not something you follow for a few months and switch off when temptations kick in. An easy way to stay on top of your game would be to schedule your workouts… treat them like a doctors appointment, that way you are less likely to skip them. Have you ever heard the expression ‘fail to plan and you plan to fail’? Most people expect to eat more and expect to skip workouts during the festive period, this means they don’t put in any effort in the first place. Exercising early in the morning will not only kick start your metabolism into gear, but that way you have the rest of the day for other commitments. Often an influx of relatives and friends around the festive period can make it hard to get your usual gym session in, so why not try to organise something active everyone can take part in like ice skating or a brisk walk.
2. Plan Your Meals and Snacks
It’s always helpful to carry around a few healthy snacks, that way when you find yourself in the midst of a family party with the usual Christmas themed buffet, you won’t be tempted to reach for the cheesecake when you have a fresh and healthier alternative.
Although this may raise a few eyebrows as everyone tucks into their favourite treats… and then there you are with your Tupperware full of chicken and broccoli, but keep in mind that it is your decision and your lifestyle and that you shouldn’t feel pressured to eat a certain way just because everyone else is.
3. Chose a Cheat Meal
If you are going to indulge over the holiday season sometimes it’s easier to pick a certain food, dessert or drinks to cheat with, that way you won’t find yourself going overboard. Pick your ultimate weakness and favourite sinful meal and… enjoy it guilt free! Maintaining a healthy life style isn’t about avoiding all treats and unhealthy foods, it’s important to maintain a good relationship with food- if you want to have a treat… have one! Just bear in mind what you’re adding to your macros and don’t let it end in a downward spiral.
4. Be Picky When Eating Out
During the festive season many people like to go out and eat at restaurants. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle certainly doesn’t mean you have to live out of Tupperware forever, it just means being cautious! Eating out can be daunting but a few simple tips can help you navigate your way through the menu. If you’re not looking to consume a indulgent cheat meal then try to avoid foods that are described as buttered, cheesy, battered, smothered or fried and opt for dishes that are baked, grilled, sauteed or steamed. A lot of people assume that if they order a salad it is healthy but more often than not that salad actually contains a ton of hidden calories in the dressing so don’t be afraid to ask for it on the side or ask the server for modifications, people with allergies ask for food to be prepared differently so don’t be shy about speaking up.
5. Keep a Positive Attitude
Stay positive! If you fall off the wagon don’t cry about it and feel guilty, get straight back on it! One or two slip ups won’t ruin your entire diet, you are only human and we all give in to temptation, throwing in the towel because you ate one too many mince pies would mean throwing away all your prior hard work.
6. Bear in Mind Portion Control
Christmas is associated with over sized portions and more often than not we feel obliged to eat as much as we can… after all if we’re not bloated and immobilized after our Christmas dinner we didn’t do it right! This is not really the case! You can enjoy your favourite foods in moderation and taking time to eat your food will allow you to enjoy it more and know when you are actually full.
A Take Home Message
With these 6 tips being said remember of course it is the holiday season and time should be spent with loved ones enjoying the festivities! Many of these revolve around food and drink so it is inevitable that you may indulge in a few things you would not normally, and that’s completely fine. It is what we do consistently that determines our lifestyles and progress… a few splurges here and there aren’t going to be detrimental to your progress. It’s all about finding a balance and enjoying your life. Consistency is key, once you have established a pattern it’s easier to keep the momentum going.