Christmas time can be a wonderful time of the year for many of us. For some it can also be an excuse to quit training, binge eat and chuck their goals out the window. This doesn’t have to be the case though! If we plan ahead, use our days wisely we can still have a great day on Christmas while also staying on track for our goals! Check out our 10 tips to do this below!
1. Schedule your exercise sessions around Christmas!
In terms of your exercise treat it as business as usual! Even though the holiday seasons are upon us, Christmas is one day. Why waste a few days or weeks because of one day? Sure, enjoy yourself on Christmas but don’t forget your goals in the process. Maybe you will change the style of your workouts based on your time commitments e.g., a walk instead of a complete gym session.
Making sure you keep to your physical activity will help keep you feeling refreshed, motivated and minimise the extra Christmas weight that you may gain!
2. Eat until satisfied
How many times have you eaten extra just because the food tastes so good? I am definitely guilty of this however it isn’t the smartest move. Eat until your satisfied not sick. Pace yourself, converse and chew your food (at least 20 chews per bite) this will help you be present and take in your food slowly over the course of the day and prevent overeating.
3. Don’t give in to peer pressure on Christmas day
It’s not a bad thing to say NO once in a while. Sometimes the people around us can be distractors towards our goals, Christmas is notorious for this! Saying no doesn’t have to be rude either.
Saying no is a powerful tool in all aspects of your life. This skill allows you to do the things you want to do without having to feel guilty for trying to please others.
4. Don’t starve yourself before Christmas
Did you know this can actually be quite counterproductive? You think you’re doing the right thing starving yourself, waiting for your delicious Christmas meal and then you end up overeating and consuming more food than you ever intended. You’re human, I forgive you.
5. Plan ahead
We know Christmas is the 25th, this year it falls on a Saturday. So why not be smart in the week leading up to the big day?
You can do this by altering your calories / food intake throughout the week. This may look like reducing your weekday calories (Monday – Friday) by 200-300 calories. This will allow you an extra 1000-1500 calories over the Christmas weekend!
For training maybe you will add in sessions throughout the week and schedule some light training on around Christmas day. You can break off from your normal training regime once in a while, maybe you’ll schedule in a deload and have a recovery week or maybe you’ll change the type of exercise that you do, none the less you can still keep active it just takes a little planning.
6. Aim for high protein sources to fill up on
This may look like eating turkey, seafood, beans and legumes. These sources are relatively lower in calories but high in protein content. What does this mean for you?
Well, your body will be aiding you in burning calories by digesting the protein (thermic effect of food). High protein foods are often associated with being high in satiety as well-meaning you will get full of them, leading to less of a chance to overeat!
Want to find out more about the right calories to focus on for good health?
7. Donate your left overs!
While this doesn’t exactly help on Christmas day, it may help in the proceeding days! Send your loved ones or donate your leftovers to those in need! This is a great way of spreading the Christmas spirit of giving without over indulging. We often over-buy and over-eat on Christmas, this is a useful way to prevent having access to excessive amounts of food and ultimately reducing the temptation to eat more than we need!
8. Be Mindful of alcohol
You know alcohol has calories, right? In fact, it has 7 calories per gram. To put this another way, per 100 grams of alcohol you are consuming 700 calories. This adds up quickly!
5 beers might equate to around 1000 calories!
Be mindful of alcohol and try to mix in some water or lower calorie options.
Some of my common recommendations are:
– Vodka soda water (pretty much the lowest calorie intake you can get), throw some fresh berries and a slice of lime in to Xmas things up a bit!
– Low carb beers
9. Prioritise sleep!
Did you know that getting less than the recommended hours night rest (7-8) can lead to a change in your hormones?
These hormones – leptin and ghrelin are responsible for two key roles, your appetite and satiation. That is how often you feel hungry and how you feel after eating food.
If we get a decent night rest in the days leading up to, and the night before Christmas you give yourself a better chance of regulating these hormones in an adequate way. This will help prevent the urge to overeat!
10. Enjoy yourself
Christmas doesn’t happen every day. To me, Christmas is a time of unwinding, allowing the past year to be celebrated with your close friends and family, and of course eating deliciously tasty food.
With all the above suggestions, keep in mind these are there to help you enjoy yourself while not feeling guilty the next day or week.
At the end of the day if you do overeat, 1 day out of 365 days won’t kill you! You’re human, it’s been a hard year so enjoy yourself!