The month of ignore-the-gym-and-party-on is here. It came round quick! The work party is looming, ‘treats’ are in abundance in the office, the family Christmas get-togethers, the friends pre-Christmas meet ups, the social drinks and don’t forget all the shopping stress and sweet temptations…
So what if you don’t want December to be a write off? What if you don’t want to put weight on over Christmas? Is there a way? There is and we can help!
Here are our top 10 tips to a healthier party season.
Now this sounds obvious, but I was in the gym this morning and it was oh so quiet.
December is notorious in the fitness industry for being super quiet before the New Year resolution rush, but the number one reason people give for not training more is not having enough time.
Over the festive period, a lot of people have more time off, so why not use it to train more rather than less? (I know not you poor emergency service workers, carers, people in hospitality, retail and so many other professions at Christmas)
And if you have lots of social events this December, all the more reason to workout.
Schedule it in, get up earlier, use your lunch break or use your weekend. You can make it happen! And the small things add up, a 30 minute brisk walk, a 45 minute class, a short run wouldn’t take much out of your day, but you’ll feel the benefit!
2. Preparation is key
Get organised with your food shopping. Cook additional amounts of meals and freeze the extra. Health meals done and dusted!
Outside your social events this December food preparation will help make sure your diet is full of good nutrition and then your body will handle the treats – it’s clever like that!
Leave your training gear out, or put it on first thing. Get your gym bag ready to go the night before.
3. Plan some non-eating events
Notice how every social event seems to revolve around dinner, drinks, or both!
What happened to bowling, cinema, ice skating and movie nights? How about a roller disco or a trip to an art gallery, a sporting event, like an ice hockey game or a physical activity such as segway or a walk and talk in the woods? You’d be surprised how many of your friends are up for something a bit different, so why not suggest it?
4. Have some booze free days
On our weight-loss programme we advise our clients to have five days a week booze free. This is still do able in the party season especially if you put tip three into practice. If you’re out midweek, why not have a night in that weekend instead? Sometimes it’s just about thinking ahead.
5. Don’t buy big tins of chocolates or selection boxes
These are my pet hate at this time of year. Giant tins of Quality Street and Celebrations line the supermarket aisles at cheap prices to lure us in. Don’t fall for it! We eat them mindlessly until they’re all gone, except for that one random chocolate that no-one likes! If someone buys them for you, then just give them away!
6. Always have a healthy breakfast and lunch
So you’ve got a big night out or a slap up meal planned. Ensure your breakfast is high protein like eggs, meat, fish or omelette, and your lunch is filled with vitamins and minerals – like a superfood salad or a chunky vegetable soup.
Then, when you go out for your meal, you know your body has had a load of good stuff already. One night ‘off’ doesn’t need to lead to “oh well I’ve ruined it now… so I may as well have…”
7. Water and sleep
Water and sleep are under-rated in the festive period! Make sure you drink enough water throughout the day. Drink a glass of water between alcoholic drinks and make such you have water on the dinner table. Have a glass of water before you leave the house to go out, and before you go to bed. Try to get yourself a full nights sleep to give your body enough rest to repair itself.
8. Research the menu
Going out for a meal? Look up the menu online and check out what they have so you don’t get caught out. Think meat and vegetables, try avoid bread and always ask for water for the table (see tip 7).
9. Don’t panic!
We’re constantly told the average weight gain from the end of November to the end of December is 7 and 10lbs. Actually in the UK that’s not true, it’s more like between 1 and 2lbs. So don’t think you will gain weight or it’s inevitable. Remember it’s ALL well within your control so don’t panic!
10. Stop when you are full
Sounds obvious, but we have this silly thing of thinking throwing food away is a ‘waste’. You have two waste bins, the one in the restaurant or your stomach. Which one makes a better choice?
Eating food for the sake of it is still a waste. So if you’re full, just stop. I promise you’ll feel better for it!
You don’t have to miss out on any of the fun and socialising this festive period. Make a choice, make a change and let’s enjoy this December feeling GOOD!