Even if you are looking after your weight during the holiday season, it doesn’t mean that you have to miss out on all the fun. We have rounded up five super important tips so you can enjoy the holiday without packing on the pounds.
• Change your mindset
If you have spent most of the year working hard to get in shape, the last thing you would want is to start the New Year back to square one following some unwanted Christmas weight gain. Despite this, most of the people confess of going all out over the festive season, eating and drinking everything in sight, just to wake up in January asking why in the world we didn’t rehearse more harm constraint.
Commit yourself to a different approach this year by refusing to abandon your health-conscious attitude and getting through the festival without the extra padding – your body (and mind) will thank you for it when you step on the scales and onto your bike in the New Year.
Before you protest, we are not about to suggest you to try to lose weight or relinquish festive fun. Instead, your mission is simply to maintain your weight, a feasible objective which will spare you from expecting to surrender yourself to the New Year slimming down adventure.
• Go thin on festive drinks
When it comes to gaining weight, boozy nights are as guilty as they come. Not only that alcohol is high on calories, it also lowers blood sugar level, triggering hunger, and because alcohol lowers inhibitions, you are more likely to end up falling prey to the buffet table or late-night kebab when you have had a few drinks.
Effects are even more amplified if you drink on an empty stomach, and can last until the next morning, which makes an undesirable breakfast and a day on the couch all the more probable.
To avoid piling up excess calories in the bar, stick to single measures and small glasses of wine, choose a low-calorie mixer and steer clear of premium and strong lagers, sugary juices, syrups and alcopops. Calorie-laden festive drinks should also be avoided. A mulled wine contains almost as many calories as a Galaxy Bar, while a post-dinner Baileys is equivalent to a bag of crisps.
If you do hit the bar and end up with a hangover, drink plenty of water or diluted fruit juice – the fructose helps the liver metabolise alcohol. Hangover-relieving breakfasts include eggs (they contain an amino acid which reducing a hangover-causing toxin in the liver), bananas or honey on toast.
• Load yourself with the good stuff
There is something about Christmas which attunes our minds to the delights of mince pies, cheese and chocolates, but rather than focus on what you cannot have, try placing the emphasis on festive foods which get the green light.
In love with Christmas breakfast? Make it a festive start with protein packed eggs – a breakfast rich in protein switches off hunger and will most likely reduce the urge for hogging on unhealthy food.
Festive drinks like butternut squash and parsnip are a good choice for lunch in the run-up to Christmas.
• Don’t go for mindless eating
The hand-to-mouth action which accompanies Christmas television is a killer when it comes to over-consumption of calories – it does not take long to polish off a dozen Quality Streets, but it is a habit which will see you say hello to 550 calories.
Scientists believe that we consume more when we combine eating with other exercises since we neglect to perceive the signs that let us know we are full. Worse still, research shows that people who are distracted while eating tend to suffer from ‘eating amnesia’, forgetting what and how much they have eaten.
Avoid eating in front of the television or adopt the one handful rule, and then move away from the plate, bag or tin.
• To earn it you have to burn it
If location or weather issues scupper your best intentions, take to the streets for a run, or try a mini-circuit in your front room. Not only will a post-dinner ride offset the heavy meal and disperse family tension, it also gives you the opportunity to earn (or burn) a few extra festive treats, which means you can eat without the guilt.
Try to stay with your typical preparing routine – according to govern number two, you may choose to give yourself four or five days off, however focus on keeping up whatever number rides as could reasonably be expected, regardless of the possibility that they are shorter or at a lower force than regular. It goes without saying, but in the same way that you should not abandon adhering to a good diet propensity; neither should you surrender your bicycle or other practice responsibilities amid the occasions.
Rather than mentally writing off the next five weeks in terms of your food intake and activity patterns, think like a lean person. Enjoy tasty, good-quality treats in controlled sums, however adjust them with nutritious summer nourishments including plates of mixed greens, fish and crisp natural products. Look as the time off over this period is an excuse to move your body more and you will be well on your way to a fitter and healthier 2017.