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16 December 2016

6 Ways I Balance Indulgence & Fitness over Chritsmas

   Christmas is one of my favourite times of year - the magical decorations, the time spent with loved ones & of course THE FOOD! But with so much delicious temptation about, it's hard not to over-indulge now & worry about it later. Or there's the other route - be super strict, avoid all temptation, stay fit & not necessarily enjoy Christmas fully. Neither sound like the best idea to me! So that's why I thought I'd share with you my plan for this Christmas - how I intend to both enjoy my festive favourites & stay lean throughout.
1. GUILT This is the first & most crucial point to address. If you feel guilty every time you eat a mince pie, that needs to change. This negativity will only drag you down. If you work hard, see that mince pie as a reward instead. For example, if you train hard & eat healthy 90% of the year, a few festive treats won't hurt. Equally that doesn't give you the excuse to over indulge for the entirety of December. That brings us onto my next point...

2. BALANCE Just the same as any other time of the year; balancing your energy intake (food) with the energy your body needs is key. Try to stay consistent with your training, or even increase it slightly to allow for a greater intake of food. Or perhaps eat with a small 200-300 calorie deficit most days, if you know a big meal is coming up, to allow you the room to indulge. If you prefer small, frequent treats instead, try keeping to the calorie deficit in general, but adding a little Christmas treat each day - like a portion of chocolate. Just be sure to not ruin the excitement of the Christmas meal; just because there's little over a week till Christmas, don't use it as an excuse to continuously over indulge, or when Christmas day comes, the food won't seem quite as appealing. So just chose your treats & your indulgent meals wisely.
3. SCHEDULE in EXERCISE Write the days & times down in your diary of when you WILL work out. Be realistic though, but stick to these appointments with yourself. If you have to miss one, it's important not to beat yourself up about it though, but continue going to all your other sessions. A good way to ensure you'll work out, is to book into a class or with a personal trainer - then it's harder to cancel! Also consider adding an extra training session into your week, or upping the difficulty of your training - for example add HIIT training or weights, to use your time most efficiently. 
4. HYDRATE Be sure to drink a lot of water over the festive period - not only does is help flush out toxins, but it can also curb snacking. Lemon water in particular is fantastic for relieving bloating & has amazing health benefits. Green tea is another fantastic option. But it's not just about what we should be drinking, but also what we shouldn't. It's good to be aware of just how much sugar & calories are in our favourite drinks - hot chocolates, coffees, juices & fizzy drinks. Even if you're drinking a diet coke - there may not be as many calories, but you'll still feel bloated from too much fizz. Once again, it's all about balance.
5. PLAN Plan to be going to the gym 'x' amount of times a week. Plan what you'll be eating for a normal, healthy day of food. Plan when you are most likely to indulge - Christmas day, work party, visiting friends etc. Then you know how to plan the balance of keeping fit & enjoying your food. A few good tips here are not to stock the cupboards with lots of unneeded Christmas snacks - only buy the food you've planned to eat. Then if you want to treat yourself to a mince pie, you can, as you didn't just that afternoon help yourself to a whole box of Quality Street for the cupboard! Also if you absolutely love - for example apple crumble - you can plan ahead, to find a healthier option to make, so you can enjoy it guilt free. But as much as planning ahead is a fantastic idea, if you fancy a spontaneous Christmas walk or an early morning jog, do it!
6. DRINK Some people find staying away from alcohol easy, others enjoy a drink with family & friends, especially around the festive period. You can still drink alcohol & be fit - just like you can still eat a donut & be fit - it's all about moderation. So chose wisely when you want to celebrate the most, don't just attend every club night, because it's Christmas themed. Also stick to clear spirits, the purer & higher the quality the better, mixed with soda or tonic water, as these types of drinks will be the least damaging to your fitness. Prior to drinking, be sure to eat high protein based meals, as fat & carbohydrates can be easily stored by the body whilst drinking, as your body will be prioritising burning the energy from the alcohol, in order to remove it from the body first. Another great tip is to order water - if after every 2 alcoholic drinks, you have water, your helping to not only keep your body hydrated, but to also remove the alcohol toxins from your body sooner.
   So they are my top tips & how I am going to do Christmas this year. Remember it is all about the balance - if you exercise hard & eat well, you can also treat yourself, completely guilt free.
   P.S. So today is Save the Children's annual Christmas Jumper Day! So if you haven't already, it's not too late to jump in your jumper & donate to Save the Children! christmasjumperday.org

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