How to maintain a health and fitness balance over the festive period.


It’s the second of December and Christmas is approaching very quickly.  How many of us have said “I will go on a diet or start my fitness campaign on 1st Jan”, allowing us a guilt free Christmas and New Year?  Did you know that the average person gains 5lbs over Christmas?  Most people convince themselves that it will be ok and the extra pounds gained from the high calorie festive food can wait.  I love my food and over indulge like everybody at Christmas, but I balance this by staying active throughout the festive period. 

Here are some ideas on how to get through the festive period without drastically affecting your health and fitness:

1.  Earn your treats.  Keep exercising throughout December.  If you don’t feel as if you can maintain your current training routine, adapt it to suit your commitments.  Schedule a few HIIT sessions which don’t take up too much time, but will get your heart pumping.  Go for a lovely brisk walk on Christmas morning with the family to burn off the inevitable calories!

2.  Light lunch.  If you are going out for dinner, make lunch a light meal.  It will aid your digestion as well as your calorie intake.  Think about only having 2 courses instead of 3, or pick a light starter.

3.  Enjoy yourself.  Set realistic diet plans over the festive period.  Have the treats that you really love, but in small portions.  Skip the croissants for breakfast on Christmas Day and have scrambled eggs and smoked salmon.  It’s a healthier treat and will give you more energy to cope with the day ahead.  

4.  Alcohol.  This is the main reason why people gain weight over Christmas.  Quite often people forget the calories in alcohol but will turn down the chocolate or extra slice of cake, thinking they are being good.  It’s probably more likely the alcohol contains more calories, depending on your tipple!  Stay clear of creamy liquors and go easy on the mulled wine (245 calories per glass!).

5.  Water.  Drink lots of water, even when you are out.  It will help to satisfy your appetite, keep you hydrated and also prevent a possible hangover if you over indulge on the alcohol!

6.  Maintain your weight.  Don’t try to lose weight over Christmas because watching everybody else eat will just make you miserable.  Instead, aim to maintain your current weight.  Be mindful of your food choices and portion sizes.  If you have a tin of chocolates put a small handful in a bowl and put the rest away to avoid temptation!

You can still have a great time and stick to your goals.  Everything in moderation!

Have a great December!

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