Written by Chloe Thurston
Just as the saying goes, Christmas is a time to be merry and joyful. We all have the same big mental debate leading up to Christmas – do we continue our usual diet and fitness routine, or is it ok to stuff our faces and indulge over the Christmas period? It is completely normal to be worried about the impact the Christmas period might have on your diet because you have spent all year working to get to your physique and strength goals. Holidays come with presents and laughter but then there is also the added food, alcohol and parties.
However, Christmas doesn’t need to be an excuse to throw all your hard work away and it doesn’t have to be an excuse to be miserable either. Here we have 10 top tips to help you out this Christmas!
#1 Get Orginal
If you are away this holiday season and can’t get to your usual gym or can’t do your usual workouts- get creative. This is no excuse for you to not do anything. There is plenty of at home workouts that you can do. No weights? Fill up a gallon of water and use that as a dumbbell, use the stairs to do elevated lunges, use a doorframe to do pull-ups or even pick up a niece/nephew and squat. You don’t have to completely give up!
#2 Stay Active
Get up and get active. If you stay sitting on the sofa all day eating food and watching TV then yes you are going to put on weight. Why don’t you try going out for a nice family walk, go out with the kids on their new bikes or even go for an early morning jog before everyone gets up. If you stay on your bum all day then it is only going to make you feel guilty
#3 Plan Ahead
If you are going to someone’s house for dinner then take something that you have prepared yourself. It is polite and you also know exactly what you are eating. Also, if you know that you are not going to be able to go to the gym a particular day then schedule it for another day or even just make the workouts you can do slightly more challenging to make up for it. However, if you miss one or two gym sessions it is not going to affect your progress.
#4 Hydrate Yourself
To make sure that you are keeping your liquid calories in check then use water or diet drinks. This will help you not only stay hydrated but enable you to keep track of your calories. If you want to have one or two drinks, choose a drink that you can sip slowly (wine) or if you are looking for a mixed drink then use vodka, lime or fizzy water as a lower calorie option.
#5 Try Healthier Recipes
Why not try finding some alternatives to some of your traditional holiday treats? That way it is a win win situation. There are so many different recipes available, therefor you have no excuse. Check out Myprotein’s recipe category for extra healthy goodies!Get the family involved and then everyone can be healthy this holiday too.
#6 Eat Strategically
If you know that you are going to be eating a lot of fat and carbs in the evening then make sure that for the beginning of the day you are eating high protein and low fat/carbs. This way you are not going to go to the meals ravenous but instead you will be satisfied.
#7 Water, Water, Water
Just as it is important to keep yourself hydrated during the rest of the year, it is just as important over the holidays. Water is needed to ensure that your body can function to it’s optimal level and keep any false senses of hunger at bay. If you find plain water boring then why not add some BCAA’s or some berries?
#8 Limit The Treats
When going to the party buffets or the meals out with friends, remember that you have control over what goes onto your plate. All year long you have used your nutritional knowledge to pick the right choices, so why change now? Just because it is Christmas and everyone else is stuffing their faces with mince pie after mince pie doesn’t mean that you need to eat yourself sick. Why not choose a fruit salad for dessert? Why not choose to skip the starter? Why not choose water over the glass of wine?
#9 Don’t Skip Meals
If you decide to skip meals then you are setting yourself up for failure. If you are choosing to not eat all day and to save your calories then it is only going to lead to a binge. The reason behind this is that you become so hungry and consumed with thoughts of food that you automatically put more food on your plate or over eat to compensate. Try opting to eating light during the day. Have an egg white omelette for breakfast and a salad for lunch. Try sticking to high protein and low fat options so that during the evening when it is hard to miss the fatty meals then you wont feel as guilty.
#10 Relax And Enjoy!
This is the biggest tip of them all. This time of year only happens once and is a time to be grateful for the friends and family that you have around you. Don’t let yourself be consumed with thoughts about food and the gym, just focus on the people that are around you. You don’t want to look back in 20 years time and wish that you had more fun with your family.