How to enjoy Christmas without piling on the pounds!
Have you worked really hard to get to your current condition? Or do you want to avoid putting on too much extra fat over the Christmas period?
Naturally, we all enjoy some treats in December! With the approach to Christmas and New Year and the accompanying social events it can be too easy to put on the pounds.
This blog aims to give you some helpful guidance and tips on how to avoid putting on the pounds and to maintain your current condition, whilst still enjoying yourself with friends and family!
Typically, we all find excuses during this time to ‘hibernate’, sitting on the sofa watching Christmas movies in the warmth whilst eating a few to many naughty snacks!
As a result, it is important to keep ourselves in check, keeping out activity levels up and fuelling our body right to allow us to enjoy a guilt free treat or two!
Don’t Neglect Yourself
What do I mean by ‘maintenance’?
Maintenance is when you stay in the same shape or condition that you are currently in. With an exercise programme, you can maintain your physique by continuing to do the same level of exercise intensity whilst keeping the same diet. As soon as one of these variables alter, you may find yourself gaining or losing weight!
If you want to eat and drink more without putting on weight, then you have to increase your activity and exercise levels, simple. However, this may be less appealing this time of year when your friends and colleagues invite you for a drink!
Remember to always make time for you and your happiness. Try not to completely stop exercising and start eating convenience foods 24/7, keeping a balance is key. By maintaining your activity levels, your body and mind will thank you as it will be able to deal with eating those higher calories more on occasion!
During the Christmas period, try increasing the intensity of your workouts. You can achieve this by having less rests between sets or by incorporating HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training), which is effective in burning calories and fat.
This gives us a realistic way to keep maintaining our current condition without drastically increasing the hours you spend in the gym. If we put more effort into our workouts, our calorie expenditure will increase.
However, if you are determined to ensure those pounds do not creep up I will give you a 30 minute home workout you can do at the end of the article!
For those of you who love to lift.. incorporate supersets, circuits and giant sets into your programmes. These training techniques are designed to stress the muscles in your body by demanding more from them. More specifically, supersets and circuits allow you to complete multiple exercises without having a rest between them which forces your muscle and heart to work harder. Typically, you would then have 30-90 seconds rest before repeating.
If we are going to be successful at maintaining our bodyweight and conditioning, we need to ensure that we do not completely fall off the cliff with regards to our nutrition and diet. Try being consistent with your meals during the working week and have a few treats over the weekend.
Socialising with friends, family and colleagues is where the main temptations lie. So if you find yourself going out for food and drink a lot, try suggesting another activity to do instead such as having people over for food where you can cook something more nutritious. Alternatively, opt for lower calorie foods and drinks where possible.
If you want to take it to the next level, then you can try back-loading your calories. This is when you save a large part of your daily calorie allowance for the social event you will be attending as you know it will involve eating and drinking lots! However, be careful to still have some food during the day to fuel your activities.
Then you can pick the times where you are going to have more of a satisfying treat and really enjoy it, guilt free! Such as the seasonal mince pie or glass of mulled wine!
The below is an example of a bodyweight circuit workout you can try at home. Complete each exercise for 40 seconds getting as many repetitions completed as possible in the time, then have 20 seconds rest to get yourself ready for the next exercise.
The 60 seconds rest should be taken once all 9 exercises have been completed. For the full 30 minute workout, repeat the circuit 3 times.
40 seconds, 20 seconds transition
Lying Toe Touches
Tricep Dips (Hands on stable sofa or chair)
Complete 3 rounds, having 60 seconds rest between each