How to NOT GAIN WEIGHT over Christmas
It's December. It's cold. It's snowy. It's Christmas! The most wonderful time of the year!
Now I don't know about you but I enjoy my food and a drink at any time of the year, especially around this time. I love a nice beer on the Christmas markets or a homemade roast dinner and hot chocolate whilst watching a film at home. It's what it's all about!
But how can you eat, drink and enjoy the festivities all whilst staying on track with your health and fitness related goal? How exactly can you enjoy the Christmas period without the worry, stress, anxiety or "f*ck it" attitude that may come along with it?
Below I'm going to share with you 5 tips to ensure it doesn't all go south over the next couple of weeks, enabling you to stay on track with a fat loss goal, if you truly want to!
1 - Say No!
Your food choices are completely in your control. It's frustrating when I hear "you've got to have chocolate, it's Christmas!" or "I had to drink/eat this because everyone was". No you don't! You are an adult and you, like every other person on this planet can choose to say no if need be. If you don't want a beer, don't have one. If you don't feel like a desert after your meal then don't. It's an empowering process saying no and we have to be completely responsible for our actions. If like me you fancy some additional food then go for it, but if you don't want or feel like it, say no! It's as simple as that.
2 - Move more
You could perform some cardio on Christmas Day to counterbalance any excessive calories consumed. WHAT?! Cardio on Christmas Day?! Cardio can mean simply moving some more. I tend to take my dog out for a walk for example. You might enjoy a morning jog. You may walk round to a friends or families house. We consume a lot of calories on Christmas Day alone, so getting some extra steps in will always help. Also, train as you do around the bank holidays! So many people throw in the towel in terms of training say mid December and don't pick it back up again until New Year. Most gyms are only shut 2 days, some not at all are open 24/7, don't use it as an excuse if you don't want time off. Train as normal around the break.
3 - Don't eat too much
Again, such a simple point here but a really important one to consider. Stop eating when you are full! You've had a breakfast in the morning, dinner, desert, maybe some chocolate afterwards in front of the TV, how many people then fall asleep largely due to being completely STUFFED. Simply stop eating once you are full. Chances are you won't be moving about a lot on Christmas Day, expending very little calories, yet on average we consume 6000-7000kcals each on that one single day! We don't need to. Try not to eat too much.
4 - Don't turn Christmas DAY into Christmas WEEK!
It's just one day, well 2 if you're off on Boxing Day, but that's it! If you've been training, eating well and working hard 3, 6, 12 months leading up to Christmas, 1 day will do absolutely nothing in terms of affecting progress. Problems arise when eating habits are taken forward, past Christmas, up to New Year, then into January or the poor diet and lack of training, begins early/mid December. It's 1 day, or at the most a couple of days, everything else can be business as usual if you're working towards to a goal.
5 - Accept some weight gain
This is a really simple, yet difficult one to digest at times. You don't have to always restrict yourself throughout these times, be realistic and accept that you may gain a little weight over the Christmas period. Say you have a bit of a binge, eat a lot, drink a fair bit, you can do so without the worry that in the grand scheme of things it probably won't affect progress all that much. You can get back to exercise and resume dietary habits again once Christmas is done and will probably see very little difference. Try not to panic and burn off all of any weight gained over Christmas in one session! Be patient, make and stick to a plan and roll with it. You'll be back on track in no time.
Christmas is a time to enjoy yourself.
Maybe it's a time for you to relax, enjoy your food guilt free, to not train as frequently and to take some time off completely. Maybe you see it as business as usual in terms of training, diet and your daily routine. What is important is that you have a PLAN going into the Christmas period.
Too many people "fall off the wagon", binge out on food or completely neglect training for an extended period of time. January then arrives along with guilt, unrealistic resolutions and extreme fad diet plans. You cannot lose muscle mass and pile on loads of unwanted body fat over a day of 2 eating a higher volume of food. Problems arise when it's done over an extended period of time.
Decide what you want, plan how you want to go about it, don't panic and stick to it. More importantly...