In case you hadn’t noticed, Christmas has snuck up on us again this year. And it is really easy to let things go. You have more than likely spent all year trying to work out more, watch what you eat and lose fat. But there is something about December that makes you throw all this out of the window. With so many Christmas parties and with mince pies are available in abundance I can understand it. I mean we all go a little bit mad at Christmas.
But, before you know it, Christmas will be long gone, your clothes are tighter than you would like them to be, you will be heading into February at speed and you will be left wondering…
Just how did I let it become this bad?
So, with Christmas fast approaching I thought it best to impart my little pearls of winter wisdom with you all.
I hope you find the following 10 tips helpful. I recently went through them in a FITBOX LIVE broadcast so if you would rather listen to them (I’m sure in my very own rambling fashion) you can click this here.
My Top 10 Christmas Survival Tips
Use Flexible Dieting
Flexible dieting has received a bit of a bashing by some people over the years but I feel that it can be a really helpful tool for limiting calorie intake. I don’t want to teach you something that you already know but, if your calorie intake is more than the calories you burn off as energy, you will store the excess as fat.
It really is a simple as that.
Flexible dieting is where you spend periods of time fasting. For example, you may skip breakfast because you are having a bigger lunch. There is nothing wrong with this, it’s just a way of limiting your calorie intake. Flexible dieting works really well for some people.
Over the Christmas period, you know when you are going to be having a high calorie intake. Such as an office party. It is more than acceptable to skip a meal before or after this to try and limit the damage.
Eat Protein at Every Meal
Protein is really important for the body. In fact, it is a nutrient that the body cannot do without. Not only are our muscles and a lot of our connective tissue built from it, a bonus result is that it when you eat it, it makes you feel fuller for longer.
Eating protein gives you a great double bonus. Lean protein sources will aid in your bodies recovery and maintenance but will also stop you from eating so much during meal times. No mean feat when you have all those Christmas meals to think about.
Doing this allows the body to tell you when it is full and doesn’t need any more food.
When you have eaten enough food, the body releases a hormone called Leptin. This then tells the brain that you have had enough and you stop eating. The problem is that this process takes around 20 minutes.
If you, like me, shovel your food in quickly, the body doesn’t get a chance to stop you from over-eating. You finish your whole plate, and are half way through seconds before you find yourself fit to pop. Take your time when eating this Christmas. Your waistline will thank you.
Get Smaller Plates
It’s been proven that if you eat from smaller plates you tend to eat less food per sitting. I mean, there is only so much turkey you can pile onto a side plate and you are less likely to keep returning for seconds, or thirds or even fourths. I know what an all you can eat Chinese food buffet can be like!
Also, think about eating off darker coloured plates. It’s been proven that this reduces the amount we put on our plates as portions appear larger than they are. It’s magic!
Take a Breath Before Going for Second Helpings
Just take your time whilst eating. Christmas is a long period; the food won’t be going anywhere. Allow your body a little time before diving back in. Let me bring you back to point three.
Take water with all your meals. You should be doing this at all times and not just Christmas.
The water helps to fill you up whilst you eating and aids your digestion. It also rehydrates you. This is really important during the festive period as I’m sure most of you will be drinking alcohol as well.
Pack them straight up and shove them in the freezer. Don’t leave them lying about the fridge. They are just begging to be eaten. Come on, do yourself a favour!
Use Tall, Thin Glasses
When drinking all kinds of alcohol. It’s the case that people who drink out of Champaign flutes don’t drink as much. Even if you are drinking beer, you tend to fill it up less often and you won’t be left holding a warm drink. Give it a try.
Alcohol Makes You Cave
If you are anything like me, alcohol makes you cave into your cravings. We have all been there. Half past two in the morning in the queue for the kebab shop (I’m sure I have a photo of me around here somewhere) after a couple of drinks down the local. However, it’s not only during the evening you drink that you are likely to cave into your cravings but also the day after. All the body wants is calorific food that is normally processed and full of sugar and salt.
Let’s not forget, it’s Christmas and you have worked blinking hard all year. You are going to be bombarded by fitness companies trying to make you feel guilty so that they can grab your business in the new year.
My advice is this. Own your decisions. What I mean by this is if you decide to eat a mince pie, then enjoy the mince pie. Don’t eat it and feel guilty about it for the next three hours. This will only trigger a vicious cycle.
So, there you have it. My top ten tips that I hope will get you through the next couple of weeks relatively unscathed.
Have you got any tips of your own that you use to get you through the holidays? If you do, post them below so we can all benefit from them!