The festive season and associated end of year madness is upon us. It’s a great (but hectic) time catching up with family and friends with the odd Christmas party and function thrown into the mix. Our culture has created a real focus on eating and drinking around these occasions. Whilst I love it I’m often asked how do I not put on weight at Christmas time?! Here’s a few pointers so you don’t regret having that extra brandy snap and you can enjoy festive season without body composition changes….
Be active early and engage family to join in
Being active early in the day will set you up for success in the festive season. When you exercise earlier you don’t allow yourself the opportunity for excuses to take over and push exercise to the side. You’re also more likely to make healthier choices around food having done your exercise. Personally, I know I eat better after exercise. Following exercise my body feels good so I am motivated to fuel myself with healthier choices.
During the end of year madness you may find that you’re exercise time is taken up with attending functions and catching up with people. Be realistic at what you can manage. If you are finding you’re less active, put a plan in place to address your physical and mental health through exercise. Try a lunchtime circuit in the park close to your work, 3 x 10minute doses throughout the day or arranging a catch up over a walk instead of a drink. Another great option is to always join in with the kids if they’re playing a game at a function. That way you’re active, engaged and not so focused on where the chip bowl is.
Stand away from the snack table
There’s a lot of end of year and Christmas parties in full swing with delicious food and drink. My advice, do not stand directly by the snack table! Easy access often leads to over eating. Always try and use a plate. You will know how much you’re eating as opposed to a constant graze not knowing how much you actually ate. If you do over indulge don’t beat yourself up and shower yourself in guilt. Wake up fresh and make the changes you want to in order to nourish yourself.
As a hungry athlete and now hungry pregnant lady I have to say I’ve been guilty of making the most of the nibbles. I know though that in order for me to feel good I don’t need to eat a main meal in canapes plus a main meal! Saviour each bite and taste your food so you feel satisfied. Enjoy the love that’s gone into preparing it for you.
Preparation is key
If you know you’re heading to a function avoid arriving hungry! It’s a recipe for a bee-line to the food table and potential for stuffing ones self before you get to the main course stuffing. Have a quality normal breakfast including some good protein so that you already feel satisfied and you don’t have to binge on sugary treats.
If you’re heading away for a festive season function make sure you take some exercise gear and appropriate clothing. Being prepared gives you options and is a way to eliminate excuses.
Have fun and remember what it’s really all about….
The festive season is a time to enjoy and celebrate. It’s a time to let your hair down, have some amazing food and toast to another year under your belt. More than that, it’s about spending time with your loved ones. The greatest gift you can give to someone is your time. The festive season hopefully affords you the time to be able to do that.