I wrote a great piece for you guys on some Christmas tips and tricks to avoid unnecessary weight gain this festive season but stupidly I only saved it to my USB stick which is now lost. Well, I’m not going to let that stop the message getting across, so here goes….
Don’t Be a Turkey
I love the festive Christmas season and all of the festive food that it brings!! So I’ve been training hard in the lead up to Christmas and New Year, in which I know I will indulge more than usual. Nobody forces us to indulge but for me, it wouldn’t be enjoyable to turn down every mulled wine and mince pie that I was offered. It’s not everyday that we eat these things, so if you enjoy them, eat in season. Quite simply, keep things in perspective to avoid the post-Christmas gut guilt!
Get your balance right between consumption and exercise and you really needn’t lose that much progress (if any) over Christmas and New Year. Given the departure from my typically clean diet that is already happening, it is the obvious time to take a well earned break from training and relax. This break fits well with my personal circumstances as I have to get down to some hard marathon training in the New Year to ready myself for London 2011. If the break isn’t essential for you then keep upping the exercise over the holiday – you’ll have more energy from extra calories and it will take away guilt you may feel from indulging. The bottom line is not to sit around like a stuffed turkey this holiday!
It’s a simple but effective rule free tool that goes beyond Christmas. You know you have a big occasion coming up which you want to enjoy (i.e. drink alcohol or eat loosely), but you’re worried about the ‘damage’…
With one survey claiming the average number of calories consumed on Christmas Day is 7,000…yes! 7,000 per person, you can see why the annual Christmas binge gets lots of attention. Hopefully you are not going to hit 7,000 calories yourself but we are all likely to exceed our typical intake. 24 hours prior to the occasion is the time to prepare. Keep you diet clean and exercise well in the lead up to your New Year’s party and you will turn up feeling fresh and relaxed, knowing that you have made an allowance for a few drinks!
Of course, this approach should be used in moderation. You may not wants to fast 24 hours before the party, or you could be drunk after one, so find a sensible middle-road for you and drink plenty of water! This ‘tool’ is not an excuse to go crazy at the big event though, otherwise you would just be undoing all of your hard work anyway!
Bite-size your Exercise
I’ve already touched upon the importance of continuing to exercise throughout the holidays. It’s a matter of personal preference but I find it more manageable to go for shorter, sharper bursts of exercise. Firstly it takes up less time during a busy month and secondly it allows more time for rest and enjoyment. As much of the UK lies covered in snow, the quick, high intensity run may be off the cards but there are many alternatives, including turning your living room into a home gym (as I often do, annoying the hell out of my partner!). Think body-weight exercises – planks, lunges, prison squats (hands on head), dips (off a chair or sofa). It just takes some imagination and you don’t even need to miss Christmas films if you don’t want too!
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