Ahh it’s that time of year again. Festive plans with the family, loved ones and friends filled with an overload of food consumption, alcohol, deserts, chocolates and let’s not forget the finale… the vegging out on the sofa in a food coma whilst the Christmas movies play in the background.
Then soon it will be January the 1st, where you will be looking down at the aftermath of all that glorious gorging you’ve put yourself through and the guilt starts setting in. The famous words then start to echo… “I need to lose weight, summer will be here soon!” And you attempt to start a new lifestyle and if you are lucky you may see it through until Easter sets you back again. It’s a vicious cycle that can easily lead us to losing complete control of not just our weight but our health too.
I’m not here to tell you not to enjoy yourself and eat the things you want to eat, I’m simply here to show you ways you can do that but still stay in control so that when the New Year comes you have less of a mountain to climb to reach your goals.
Here’s 5 things you can do this Christmas that will help you reduce the potential weight gain, whilst also enjoying yourself and not having to go without.
1 . Become really N.E.A.T
N.E.A.T is an acronym for “Non-Exercise Activity Thermogenesis” and is a great way to burn additional calories over the holiday if you take the opportunity to increase it. In fact out of all the ways you can burn calories, NEAT is right up there as one of the biggest influencers. As you may know, if calories intake exceeds calories burnt you will put on weight. So why not find ways to burn additional calories before your big feast by doing something really NEAT J ?
- Go for a morning walk with the family
- Chop up some logs for the fire
- Take the kids and dog to the park
- Play activity games like Twister, Hide and Seek, Tag
- Challenge everyone to a dance off (Ha ha worth a go, could burn over 200 kcal alone with an energetic boogie.)
Okay so these may not be the best idea for N.E.A/T, but you get the idea. Find reasons to be active Christmas day, not just to be in a carb coma all day. Any movement, including fidgeting can help burn calories.
2 . Eat a big clean breakfast
Bring on the poached eggs, salmon, sourdough toast, avocado and even oats, bananas cinnamon. Studies show that having a good wholesome breakfast will mean that you will less likely to over consume later on. Keep your protein intake high, have an additional egg and that will increase your satire hormone level leptin and will help stabalise your blood sugar levels. Have a healthy breakfast and stay fuller for longer so you’re less likely to have seconds or thirds on those roasted potatoes and stuffing.
3.) Stay hydrated
One of the biggest mistakes people make around the festive season, is not drinking enough water and over consuming on alcohol. I know Christmas is a time for enjoying yourself and I’m not here to stop you. I just want to help you make slight little adjustments that can make a big impact on helping you keep the unnecessary lbs off.
If you become dehydrated on the day, that may cause side effects where you can feel lethargic and your blood sugar levels could drop. The problem with this is that your natural response to this may not always be to grab a glass of water, instead you may grab the bucket of chocolates as your body will want to get your blood sugar levels back up as quickly as possible. So stay hydrated, try and consume 2 – 3 litres by sipping on water throughout the day. Not only is water great for your skin, but it can help you feel fuller for longer. Feeling full means less likely to over indulge in unnecessary calories.
4.) Everything in moderation
Now this is probably the hardest to achieve. All that glorious food ready to eat, as the light glistens on those roasted golden potatoes next to the cranberry sauce and stuffing. Is your mouth watering yet? Moderation will be key here. Enjoy your food but don’t over eat. Don’t stuff everything in your mouth in one go so that you impersonate a squirrel scoffing too many nuts. Take your time and eat slowly, there is no need to eat as fast as you can. Savor the taste and perhaps opt for a smaller plate size. The bigger the plate the more you are likely to load it up.
When looking at your plate match your carbohydrate intake with your protein intake. SO everytime you go to grab a potato also take a slice of turkey and some veg. Turkey is a great lean meat high in protein as long as you have not drenched it in butter. And as you know the more protein you have, the more fuller you will feel. Your body has to work hard to digest protein which mean you will be burning calories in digesting it. (Thermic effect on meals.)
Desserts, see what your options are, and savour the taste. Don’t scoff, chew and allow yourself 5 minutes before you decide if you want more. Allow your body time to signal if you are full or not.
When it comes to snacks, watch what you put in your mouth. Have a few chocolates but you don’t need to empty the entire tin as easy as you feel it would be. Get some protein bars that are low in sugar or have some walnuts etc at your disposal.
5.) Day after Christmas, start getting back on track with some light exercise.
Why wait for the New Year to begin activities. Take the family to the park and exercise or go for a jog. Wake up ready for action. Even if you are going for another Christmas meal take the same steps as the day before, big healthy breakfast and plenty of water before hand. Start your training regime Boxing day not New Years, let that be the gift to yourself, the gift where you promise to start taking better care of your health.
In conclusion, I hope you have an amazing Christmas, please stay safe, do not drink and drive and spend every moment you can with your family and enjoying yourself. I want to see you in the New Year ready to rumble and to be looking at getting in the best shape of your life. Fitter stronger and healthier.
Coach Laville x