What's the craic!!! So its that time of year again that a lot of people dread. Those of you who are currently on a weight loss plan, or those finally at their target weight who are afraid of gaining it back. There's way to enjoy Christmas and not let it derail you! Below there is a few tips of how to survive Christmas through all those extra social gatherings, parties, tasty foods, and less time to squeeze the gym in, and come out the other side in tact.
1. Eat Smart While Drinking
Fun fact to start this one off, 'When you drink alcohol (any type, any type at all!!!) your fat burning system in the body is inhibited, so that your body can focus purely on breaking down the alcohol in your body.' So with that in mind, limit the amount of fats you eat the day you drink. Why? Coz of what we just mentioned, you can avoid fat storage from the shut down fat burn systems by limiting the amount of fats in circulation, good or bad fats! What should you eat? Protein and carbs. Neither of these get stored as fat, they'll get broken down. Remember,.....carbs dont make you gain weight. Overeating makes you gain weight. So munch on protein and carbs they day of a drink session, to keep you full (dont overeat) and that full feeling will help you steer clear of the munchies!
2. Be Smart About What You're Drinking
Beers, some wines, and colorful cocktails, usually come packed with a high calorie count, all from added sugars. Most spirits, are lower in calories and their calories come directly from the alcohol content, rather than added sugar. If your adding a mixer, pick a diet version (not that they're healthy) but they're the better option, not rammed with sugar which brings bad health issues, and pretty much a 100% drop in calories from the regular full sugar versions. So if you're watching what you eat, be aware you also need to watch what you drink. As I write this and speak out-loud, our office manager Emma says "Just take shots"
3. Stay Active
Sometimes with holidays, comes extra errands, more social gatherings and less time from your regular routine, so just do what you can. And do more in your sessions. If you usually train 4-5 times per week and over Christmas you're lucky to get 2-3, make those 2-3 count! Do more in them, take lest rest, add extra sets, push that extra mile. If you're stuck away from your gym, go for a walk, go for a run, interval sprints at lamposts, use your resistance bands at home or find a flight of stairs and go up and down as much as you can! Just get moving. Tip - your body is a fat burning machine directly after you train, and depending on how hard you pushed, you could keep burning for up to 48 hours after. So if you know you have a day ahead where temptations will find you and win haha, get that workout in, make time for it, get a head start of staying in shape.
4. Control Your Portion Sizes
If you really are dead set on not gaining excessive weight over Christmas and staying on track, control your portion sizes. Make smart substitutions when you can with food choices. Don't take leftovers home with you. If you're hosting, give them all away haha. If you get bored and hungry a little later that night, you'll have no temptations at home.
5. Feck It, Ya Gotta Live
Get rid of the guilt! Sometimes you just have to live. If you've been committed to your goals and program all year long, you need a couple days to let loose and blow off steam. Have fun at parties, with family, eating good food, having fun socially. You've earned this break! If you can't cut yourself some slack at Christmas,....when can you? To be honest, if you are such a gym and diet die-hard that you can't stop for one day, you more than likely have a bad, un-healthy relationship with food and self image. You've worked hard all year so take a couple days break, enjoy the festivities, be smart about food choices when you can, follow the rules above, but if you want to eat some cookies, or get a second plate of dinner, or go out a second night drinking in a row with your mates, also listen to your heart, coz you have these few days to let loose and get it out of your system. Don't let it last more than a couple of days and then get straight back to it!
I love Christmas, there is a 100% chance I wont be in the gym, and I will be eating whatever is on offer at my christmas parties! We're all human after all.
And we have a phrase from back home in Ireland, "Fuck it, its Christmas" hahaha.
Enjoy yourself!! Merry Christmas Everyone.