Is this your plan for Christmas, getting as fat as a Panda? I hope NOT!!
I consistently see 3 times of year that trigger people to gain weight that they often never lose- Summer time, holidays and……. Christmas!
Gaining weight of course isn’t really a bad thing. Gaining weight and never losing it, and then gaining a bit more over the next few months, and a bit more over the next few months and on, and on and on, is the real issue.
Here are 10 rules to avoid piling on the junk weight over the Christmas period.
We’ve all done it but it’s not good for your health if you’re currently carrying excess weight and aren’t currently active, and can lead you to take drastic action starting into a new year, which, more often than not, you’re unable to stick to it.
#1 Don’t start to analyise everything you eat.
Keep your usual habits, eating your main meals containing unprocessed foods. The more you obsess about your food the harder it will be to stay on track. Watch your portion sizes, enjoy your treats, keep the good stuff flowing in, stop eating when you feel 80% full (well, most of the time) and the rest will follow
#2 Eat lean proteins and vegetables with most of your meals
Make use of all the extra food stocked up in the house as if we were approaching the end of the world- don’t let it go to waste!
The best thing about Christmas is Turkey and Brussels sprouts (i think so anyway) and if thats all you eat for a week then you wont go to far wrong 😃
But seriously, try use all the unprocessed food to your advantage and fill up on nutrient dense foods such as fruit, veggies, turkey, smoothies, nuts, eggs, etc.
# 3 Stay hydrated.
The busier we are or the more when stray from our usual schedule, the more likely we are to forget to drink our water. So make sure we get or 2 liters minimum every day- make it non-negotiable!
#4 Keep your training schedule.
Don’t leave the craziness of the holiday period get the better of you. Keep your training consistent and stay in the routine of exercising. Get your gym sessions in and try get out for a walk or jog to keep the body moving.
And if you don’t currently have a fitness routine, getting started before the new year is one of the best tips I can give you because you’ll avoid the short-lived novelty of the new year. Most people that ‘start in January’ end up quitting after a few weeks once the novelty wears off, which is sad to see.
Set yourself up for new year success by starting before it arrives.
#5 Don’t feel guilty about enjoying yourself.
Have what you want to eat and enjoy it- but you must pick your battles.
Don’t be one of those people who completely writes off December with the mindset of eating whatever crap they want, drinking excessively, eating very little veggies, fruit, water, healthy protein, etc.- so many people still have this mindset and it’s toxic.
Of course, you have to have rules in life, but seeing super-restrictive isn’t the way either.
Eat the nutrient dense foods that build a healthy body, but enjoy the festive treats as well as this make it easier to avoid all these things on regular basis.
#6 Stay in control of your alcohol consumption.
If your planning to meet up with a few friends or have a Christmas work party, set yourself a limit and stick to it. Avoid week-long sessions where you’re on the drink every night.
Pick your battles when it comes to alcohol. There’s nothing wrong with enjoying your nights out, but every night for a week will send your body into shock and set you up to fail with whatever health and fitness goals you have planned.
#7 Never go to a party or friends house hungry.
Avoid going places when you are really hungrys as you’ll won’t be able to to resist the urge to eat whatever is the easiest- chocolate, sweet, mince pies, convenience foods, etc.
Have a small meal a few hours before to stop you snacking on party food. This makes it a lot easier to stay no to the mountains of food being put in from of you.
And of course, there’s nothing wrong with enjoying party food and drinks, you just don’t want to do it every day due to be starving as that habit will keep on getting re-inforced long after the festive season has passed.
#8 Remember the festivities should come to an end.
A few days of enjoying yourself never killed anyone, but people get caught up a bit too much with it all the parting and the next thing they know its been 2 weeks since they have exercised, drank any water, eaten a vegetable or piece of fruit, had a good nights sleep, etc.
Its very hard to get back out of this routine and people can easily fall in to a rut with their health and fitness that can affect them for months and years to come.
#9 Don’t start looking at the scales.
Obviously you will eat a little more than normal at this time of year, but don’t start jumping on the scales everyday and worrying about how much you weigh and killing yourself because you put on a few pounds.
SA healthy weight isn’t a static number that never changes. We coach clients to think of a healthy range that you can fluctuate between- going up or down a bit is perfectly fine.
As long as you’re a healthy weight and taking care of your basic needs such as exercise, sleep, water, nutrition, etc., don’t worry about the scales jumping up a bit.
If you’re currently carrying excess weight and planning on ‘starting in January’, gaining even more weight isn’t something I’d recommend as you’ll end up in the new year in a deeper rut.
#10 Reinforce your habits- don’t let them slip
Remember all the work you’ve put in to achieve to get to where you’re a now and keep working on them- don’t let them slip.
There’s no point putting the effort into building life-changing habits, and then taking a month off from them- you need to maintain them or you’ll be back at square one again.
Habits are developed over a period of weeks, months and years, not over a few days. So avoid any new years resolutions and start now if you plan to change your health and fitness lifestyle.
So these are the rules we will be following over the Christmas period and will see us through to the New Year feeling fit healthy and re-energised for 2019
Are you going to implement these now, or are you going to ‘start in January’?
From all of us at Steve McGrath Health and Performance, have a happy and healthy Christmas.