The Christmas countdown
So summer has been and gone, and I’m afraid I need to use the C word as it’s only a mere 2.5 months away. Scarily the shops are already setting up their displays so this kind of signals that you need to get mentally and physically prepared.
Christmas is a time to relax, spend time with loved ones and in most cases, to indulge in lots of food and booze. For many this involves a month of bingeing and saying ‘hey it’s Christmas, I’ll detox in Jan’. And how many of you stick to doing that ‘detox’?? Maybe for a couple of weeks but then it goes out the window.
Don’t sacrifice your body this Christmas!
You can keep your figure without being a buzz kill. You just need to keep exercise as part of your daily routine and make a few changes to what you eat. I’m not saying miss that amazing party, but you can still squeeze in a few short workouts without it impacting your party schedule. In terms of food, don’t deprive yourself but make sure you earn what you eat, and make sure you have sufficient protein and carbs to replenish after a workout.
So what are my top tips?
Do HIIT sessions - working to high intensity for a short period really works. But make sure you really work to the best of your abilities, as mediocre efforts won’t give you the same impact. Try doing about 20-30 mins at least 4 times a week.
Plan an exercise routine that is achievable. Aim for about 30 minutes of activity a day. Getting it out of the way in the morning will allow you to spend time with your family and friends later. And it doesn’t have to be high intensity for every workout, just as long as you’re getting that heart rate up in that period.
Get out in the fresh air for a swift walk on your lunch break (will help with the hangover you may have!) or take the kids to the park and run about with a ball.
Re-hydrate - drink plenty of water. Drinking around 2 litres of water a day should be something you do anyway, but being out of your normal routine can scupper plans here, so make sure you try and keep on top of it (even if you’re not thirsty). And if you’re having alcohol remember to alternate water with your alcoholic drinks
Try and resist the office chocolates and save your treats up. Have a stash of healthy nibbles to ensure you’re too full to pick at the not-so-healthy stuff.
Eat proper balanced meals so you can resist the urge to graze on everything when you’re out. Try the 80/20 rule - eat well 80% of the time and indulge 20% of the time, which is totally achievable
Alcohol is full of empty calories (and sugar) so choose wisely. If you have to have it, go for low calorie mixers or a glass of Brut Champagne apparently clocks in at only 91 calories!
Try not to burn the wick at both ends and get your 7/8 hours sleep a night if you can. Less sleep means more cortisol (stress hormone) build up and this tells your body you need to store fat, generally around the tum.
Don’t forget to include strength exercises in your workout and not just cardio. You can burn a lot of calories lifting weights. And you continue to burn it after working out!
If you're not sure you’re getting the right nutrition, then look at taking supplements.
With all those parties, you want to look and feel your best for Christmas and beyond. You don’t want to be feeling crappy in January and dreading the slog of getting that weight back off. Beat those new year’s resolutions and start now!
I am doing a special FestiveFit offer of HIIT based personal training sessions. Find out more
My circuits, PiYo, BumpFit and BabyFit classes will all be running until Christmas too, so come and join them if nothing else. Check out the times/days