Are you bored of seeing people tell you how you should manage the festive period in order to stay on track with your goals?
Christmas is a great time of year, with a wide range of social occasions and lots of great tasting food and drink. It’s cold outside, and a warm mince pie and hot chocolate are the things dreams are made of.
You might be thinking this is irresponsible for a fitness professional to be telling you this right now. What about weight loss and your health?
The thing is I’m also a realist.
Yes you can count calories over Christmas, but who on earth is whipping out their phone at Christmas Dinner to log 6 pigs and blankets and a mountain of roast potatoes?
Ultimately , the way you navigate the festivities will depend on one thing: your goal. Unless you have very specific weight loss goals e.g. you have a boxing match on the first of January, your only goal should be to have a good time with family and friends and enjoy the food you are able to put on the table.
With that being the goal of the festive period, here are a few ways you can help yourself out so that when January comes around you haven’t got to lose a stone just to get back to where you started at the beginning of December.
Have A Solid Breakfast
Is breakfast the most important meal of the day? No
Should you have one? Maybe
If you find that you’re halfway through a tub of celebrations at 11am because you’re insatiably hungry, I’d suggest having a decent breakfast.
A couple of slices of bacon, a couple of eggs and a slice of toast will give you about 450 calories, with a decent serving of protein and fat which should keep you full until lunch.
Focus On Protein And Vegetables
Turkey breast is incredibly lean. Vegetables are low in calories and usually pretty filling.
If maintaining your weight is important to you through Christmas, focusing on your protein and vegetable intake throughout your main meals is very easy way of ensuring that you don’t fill yourself with a ton of easy to eat, higher calorie foods and thus control your calories without even thinking about them!
Get Out And About
Wrap up warm and head out with the family to get some fresh air rather than being posted up in your living room all day.
Alternatively, if you’ve had enough of your family by boxing day, wrap up warm and head out to get away from them - you can’t choose your family after all.
Either way, maintaining some form of activity levels will help your health and fitness regardless of weight loss.
If you go into Christmas with a restriction mindset, you will last five minutes and end up binging which will really mess things up. This will probably spill into January and will not help your relationship with food at all.
However, if you approach this time of year with a relaxed, mindful attitude the chances are the damage will not be that bad come January.
Food and drink are there to be enjoyed, so do exactly that - you know when you’ve overindulged, and you know that feeling isn’t great so focus on enjoyment. If you do get to that overindulgent stage, no dramas, just remember it for next time.
All in all, I’d be pretty surprised, and a little disappointed if I’m honest, if you get through the Christmas period without any weight gain. Enjoy it, accept it and start addressing getting back to normality when you can. This doesn't include 'getting rid of the leftover biscuits' in January though.
Ultimately you will regret it if you restrict and exclude yourself over the festive period, so have fun.
Have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!