With Christmas fast approaching (I know it’s still only November…) you may start to be thinking thank goodness I can fall off the wagon and start afresh in January. Most people abandon their fitness regime, and eating boxes of Celebrations is quickly deemed acceptable behaviour. However, this leaves most wondering why they no longer fit into their jeans come January. But it doesn't have to be this way. With a little planning and a small amount of discipline, you can stop yourself from starting the New Year on the wrong foot.
Check out my top tips below to stay fit over the festive period:
- Working in an office? - Workplaces are usually filled with Christmas treats throughout December but stay prepared and bring in snacks such as nuts, fruit and veggies so that you avoid any temptation. Also, try to still prep your meals so that you don't leave yourself feeling hungry during the day and then succumbing to naughty treats.
- Get yourself a winter workout buddy - Grab one of your friends and make yourself accountable to one and other. It can be hard to get up in the morning when it’s dark outside so enrolling a friend means you won’t want to let each other down.
- December is usually a busy month for most with family gatherings and parties so make sure you plan out your training in advance so that you are more likely to stick to it. Get yourself a workout diary or set reminders on your phone to make sure that you get your training in.
- With many people starting to slack, the gym can be particularly empty first thing so why not head in early and get it done before your day becomes too busy. Working out in the morning is a great way to kick start your metabolism and psychologically will make you more likely to stay or track with eating well during the rest of the day as you won't want to undo your hard work.
- Home workouts - If you can’t get to the gym, do it at home. There’s no excuse then! You can get yourself a workout DVD or write yourself out a body weight circuit. If you own a piece of exercise equipment at home like a bike or cross trainer then you can do a quick sprint workout.
- One of the main reasons people struggle over Christmas is lack of time; if your schedule is tight why not break your training into smaller time frames. You could aim for 20 minutes in the morning before work and a quick 20 minutes during your lunch break. A lot of research shows that short bursts of intense physical activity is a lot more effective at burning fat than long low intensity sessions.
- Family time is a big thing over the Christmas period so why not make that bonding time active by going out for a walk or give ice skating a try!
- Keep tracking your progress - if you see weight gain creeping in you’re more likely to curb your habits.
- Keep a food diary - it becomes much easier to say no to chocolates if you have to write each of them down.
- Try and make healthy alternatives- there are so many healthy recipes around now that should help to make your favourite treats less damaging.
- Drink more tea - it's hard to miss the red cups that have started popping up everywhere and I know a gingerbread latte is to die for but it’s only going to serve to increase your waist size. So why not opt for a warming herbal tea instead, you can opt for a Christmas inspired flavor such as apple and cinnamon.
- If you have a party to go to try and have a filling meal before you go. Try and fill up on a high protein meal that'll leave you full and less likely to pick at crisps and treats.
- Once Christmas is over try and remove all of the naughty treats that are left over so that you don't let any bad habits spill over into the New Year.
Now Christmas is a time for fun but that doesn't mean polishing off everything in sight and it seems a shame to ruin all your hard work in the space of a few short weeks. Working in a gym I see it year in and year out, everyone spending their January running for hours on the treadmill only to never return to the gym for the rest of the year. The best thing to do is to enjoy everything in moderation and move as much as possible even if it is a simple daily walk.
Any why not ask Santa for a new training diary for Christmas so that you can start planning how you are going to smash your goals for 2017!