It’s that time of the year again, oh yes and one of my favourite too.. I can’t help it but I am madly in love with the Christmas atmosphere (ho ho ho!) It might have something to do with releasing the inner child in me
But with the Christmas atmosphere here come the calories! And we inevitably put weight on year after year..and as you get older that’s not easy to lose as your metabolism inevitably slows down!
So I wanted to share with you my very personal tips to face the run up to Christmas without putting weight on, and maybe even lose weight!
Let’s start by saying that if you only overindulge ONE DAY, your body will not necessarily accumulate extra weight, meaning that if you only overindulge on Christmas day you are actually OK.
But let’s face it: how many times do we constantly over-indulge during the holidays? Or not even that, over the entire month!!
So THAT’S the problem. Buuuut not to worry, every problem has a solution, and this one (ones rather) isn’t very painful I don’t think.
Here are my 6 tips to stay fit or even get fit (or fitter!) during December. The first 3 are everyday tips, the last 2 are specific for the day of the party and the day after (go check them out first if you like )
Yes you heard me! It doesn’t matter what you do, just move. Walk instead of taking the bus (get off one stop earlier even!), take the stairs rather than the lift, leave the car keys at home, get rid of old junk in your wardrobes and clean them. That’s easy extra calories burned!
And if you want to take it up a notch (i.e. you already have some level of fitness) well then add some HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) sessions – these are basically short circuits which you can do just about anywhere that elevate your heart rate to the max for 30-60 seconds – guaranteed to burn fat and great after-burn effect!
2 – NO SUGAR!
Yep. Completely banish sugar for December (and it wouldn’t be so bad to continue doing so after that ) This includes the most obvious forms of sugar such as that you put in coffee, to less known forms of sugar, such as those contained in pre-packaged foods and take away foods (ALWAYS read the label! You’ll be amazed to see how much sugar is present in practically every pre packaged food)
3 – LIMIT CARBOHYDRATE INTAKE!
No panic! Not the end of the world. Try to eliminate all refined carbohydrates (white bread, white pasta, white rice) and instead opt for wholegrain products (good time to try new foods such as quinoa, buckwheat, millet) but still in limitation. Eat loads of vegetables and go for smart substitutions: pumpkins are in season and they can take the place of grains superbly.
4 – NO ALCOHOL!
Forbidden when not at parties (and there will be lots this month). Alcohol is particularly good at (WHAT?!) stopping fat burning (AH!), so why not try to go for alcohol free drinks, even better if homemade? I love infusing fruit in sparkling water: zero calories and zero of the soda induced cravings !!
RIGHT, so now comes the Party Strategy!
5 – THE DAY OF THE PARTY
5.1) Squeeze a quick (or long if you can!) exercise session in the morning so you kick-start your metabolism. A quick HIIT session is great, but going up and down the stairs will do as well
5.2) If you can, try to limit your calorie intake during the day, but do eat before going to the party. It might sound counter-intuitive but it will help you reduce the craving for the calorie laded treats you’ll find at the party! Ideas of pre-party snacks: 2 eggs on wholegrain toast with greens, turkey with avocado and tomato, greek yogurt with fruit and nuts.
5.3) If it’s a standing party, stay as far as possible from the food and remember you are there to enjoy other people’s company, not to bombard your body with un-necessary food! Always keep a glass in your hand (preferably with a non-alcoholic and not-full-of-sugar drink), that way you’ll be less likely to reach for a plate. Ask the bartender for sparkling water with a few slices of lemon. And if you must have alcohol, well no more than 2 units for ladies and no more than 4 for gentlemen – and remember, wine is the lowest in calories!
5.4) Don’t have doubles of anything – savour the food slowly, and stop thinking you can’t wait to have another slice!
5.5) If you are right-handed, eat with your left hand! It might seem funny but it’s guaranteed to make you eat much less
And don’t forget to drink, drink, drink (WATER!!!!)
6 – THE DAY AFTER THE PARTY
6.1) Do NOT feel guilty: you have a plan!
6.2) Drink water like crazy and eat tons of greens
6.3) Have an aerobic training session (run, dance, anything that will keep you moving for a good 45 minutes – for beginners a long walk in the park is perfect!)
6.4) Go to bed 1 hour earlier: sleep will help your body recover and will prevent you from eating more
Well I hope these tips help (they aren’t so hard are they?!), and don’t forget that I have a great selection of snacks that are absolutely perfect to stay in shape this holiday season !
Happy Holidays everyone!!