That tin of Quality Street on the coffee table. The smell of freshly baked minced pies out of the oven. The bottles of Baileys and Prosecco lining the fridge door…
The temptation is real. So is the opportunity to have the best of both worlds.
While Christmas might well be the most magical time of the year, it’s also often the most glutinous, booze-filled and, let’s face it, exhausting period in the winter calendar. With all that goes with it, the upcoming festive period presents reduced opportunities to feel fit, healthy and energised, sometimes leave us feeling unmotivated and slugglish.
But fear not, all is not lost!
You can still party until the wee hours of the morning, knock back a shot of limoncello and tuck into a bowl of Christmas pudding and maintain a healthy fitness regime and eating plan.
Don’t believe us? Take a look at our top tips for staying fit and focussed throughout the Christmas period.
1. Think about what you eat and drink
With so much food and drink right at your fingertips, it can be tempting to overindulge.
Whilst indulging is only natural, a little mindfulness can go a long way. Be aware of your body and if you feel full or bloated and sluggish, stop eating or drinking. Tapping into the way you feel and what your body is telling you, will help you to stave off binging and keep your nutritional intake balanced.
2. Make sure you get a good breakfast
Prioritise protein servings throughout the day. Indulging in food and drink is inevitable on some days and we’re often missing meals to over indulge later in the day. Do you often think why? How often do you take a moment to recognise hunger signals? Try and keep the same structure and of meals as you normally would but focus on hitting your protein in each meal, even if its just protein. Maybe a protein shake for breakfast, a yoghurt for a snack and some chicken or fish and salad for lunch, helping keep you feeling fuller, satisfied and less likely to over eat later in the day. Managing Calorie intake is key, increasing protein intake will help manage hunger better.
3. Take a walk
It might be a challenge to keep up with your regular workouts, especially with the extension of lockdown and not having regular facilities open to you, but that doesn’t mean you get to stop moving altogether.
After enjoying a big lunch, or watching the Christmas specials, why not walk it off for an hour? The movement will help to keep your heart healthy and burn a few extra calories, not to mention the benefits of a breath of fresh, winter air! Daily walks are also a great way to reset, take stock of your surroundings and re-enter your day refreshed and revived.
4. Drink plenty of water
This one seems a no brainer but is harder than you think, especially at Christmas time but as we’ve said before, water really is a miracle worker when it comes to health and fitness.
Drinking plenty of water can help to keep your metabolism moving, meaning that you are less likely to pile on as many pounds after Christmas dinner. What’s more, with more alcohol flowing than usual and later nights on the cards, keeping hydrated is essential for staying awake and alert to enjoy all the fun during the day.
5. Enjoy yourself!
Balance is everything.
Whilst it is important to eat healthily and stay active (even though it’s Christmas), there’s also such a thing as “everything in moderation”. Make sure you take the time to enjoy yourself during the holidays and embrace the time you have with friends and family, even though things may seem pretty different this year.
Above all, it’s important to remember that we get to choose our perspective and focus, at any time of the year.
Rather than focusing on what you ‘can’t’ have, or who you can’t spend time with, focus on your goals and the things you can control. Taking a moment before each outing or family zoom quiz to remind yourself what Christmas is really all about. Choose to enjoy this time to yourself, with family by making happy and healthy holiday memories – we always get to choose.