The festive season is here and, with plenty of delicious food being served up, there’s lots of temptation and it’s an easy time to go off track with our training and diets.
Here are 10 tips to stay on track over the Christmas period, but also to allow you to enjoy yourself with friends and family.
1. Drink plenty of water
Hydration is essential for a healthy body and mind. If you are going to continue to train over the festive period, you need to keep hydrated to perform at your best. Did you know that if your body is even 5% dehydrated you won’t benefit as much from your workout?
2. Carb cycling
If you are going to have days where you will be ditching your usual diet, aim to ‘carb cycle’. This means on days when you are having a blowout with the family, count them as your high carb days and aim to be good between these days.
3. Diet soda
Although the sweeteners in diet soda aren’t great for you, they are fat and sugar free. Enjoying a selection of drinks is the norm at Christmas, but by switching regular soda for diet, you are cutting out the guilt and calories.
4. Eat in
If you have a choice, it is usually better to eat at home. You can at least monitor what is being cooked and the chances are it will be fresher and healthier than food you buy out.
5. Counteract with exercise
If you are going to go all out and eat more than usual (increasing your calorie intake), put a little more time into your exercise, especially cardio, to burn the calories!
6. Go walking
A winter walk is a great activity to do with the family. It keeps you active, burns calories and can also help with digestion after dinner.
7. Focus on spending time with your family and not just on the food
Yes, Christmas is a great time to enjoy food, but more importantly, it is about spending precious time with your loved ones. Make that your main focus and you are more likely to stay on track!
8. Eat a bigger breakfast
If you are planning on eating more, focus it on the morning. It is proven that keeping your carb intake to the morning gives you more chance to burn them off through the day and, therefore, you’re less likely to gain weight.
9. Offer to be the nominated driver
If you and your family plan to go out for a few festive drinks, offer to be the driver. This will eliminate your temptation to drink and you will also be doing a good deed and be thanked for your generosity.
10. Make the most of all the high-protein snacks
What a great time of year to pack in the protein, with turkey, cold ham and nuts to nibble whenever you desire! A great benefit to doing this, aside from the protein content, is keeping our blood sugar levels stable. If our blood sugar levels are too high, so are our insulin levels, and this increases fat storage. So, reach for the protein snacks and enjoy the benefits.
Christmas time is definitely a time to enjoy yourself, but with the above tips and tricks, you can have a great time and keep away the guilt of sabotaging your diet over this festive period!