How To Enjoy The Holidays Guilt Free
Classes have been quiet this week, silly season is in full swing! Everyone is rushing from one place to the other and with all the commitments and expectations it’s no wonder getting a workout in gets put on the back burner.
December is always pretty quiet for me work-wise as, and I’ve learnt to embrace, and manage that over the years, and treat it as a rest before the dreaded JANUARY.
I really wish it wasn’t true but it’s so typical that many people barely maintain any semblance of health habits over the Christmas/New Year holidays and then return in a panic. Big franchise gyms love this as they are only selling memberships for access, and don’t really care if you show up or not, but for a coaching based service like mine it’s a bit of a nightmare juggling my time to help everyone who is feeling fat, unfit, fed up, and a little pissed off that they’ve blown out over the break.
If you’ve read this far, thank you, and please do continue, because I’d love to set you up with a few of my key pointers for staying on track this holidays AND still enjoying them (yes, it can be done!). Here we go….
That’s right. You don’t need to eat by the clock any time of year, let alone holidays. The single determining factor as to whether you will gain or lose body fat in a day, week, or month is whether you are in a calorie surplus or not. If you love to have a meal out or a larger meal on “feast days” or holidays, then lighten up and reduce intake the rest of your day. Then enjoy the main event (within reason of course). I tell my clients to allow at least 800-1000 calories plus for a meal out. If your fat loss target is 1600 calories then that’s 2 x 300 calorie meals the rest of the day. And I’d opt for low carb, low fat, high protein and loads of non starchy veg for those ones. Yeah that means no random snacking.
Most of the people I see have jobs with little to no movement these days, sitting at desks, operating machinery…. sitting sitting sitting. It’s a bigger killer than smoking these days! If you’ve got time off work, you’ve got a chance to get more movement in than you usually do to offset any fat gain. It doesn’t have to be a big sweat event, going shopping, looking at Christmas lights or cleaning the house in time for the relo’s all counts – so get stuck into it people.
No joke, my husband actually lost weight on one of our holidays while we drank daily and ate cheese etc – why? We didn’t stop, bushwalking, water park, sight seeing etc etc. (unfair I know).
Wait 10 mins
If you’ve got the chocolate coated almonds, those wafer thingys, lollies and all the treats on display and you’re finding yourself having one every time you walk past, this is a recipe for fat gain. If you feel the urge, set a timer for 10 mins and wait. Chances are, the urge will have passed – it’s science!
Limit alcohol intake
Boring I know, but, as alcohol is technically a “poison” to your body, you metabolise that first. This means that all the cheese you had, roast meat and potatoes and then dessert is stored as body fat. Not to mention it lowers your inhibitions around how much food you eat, and then you usually eat more high fat food the next day, and move less, as you try to recover. A perfect storm.
Ask yourself what your minimum enjoyment level is ( 2-3 drinks usually) and leave it at that. You’ll thank yourself in the morning.
Don’t say yes to everyone and everything. Choose the times, meals and people that are most important to you to enjoy, and limit your indulgence to that time and place. Then get on with your normal nutrition and exercise routines the rest of the time. It really is a game of averages, and if you decide to just drop the ball and give up completely for a period of 2, 4, or 6 weeks – you’ll find yourself with more work to do in the New Year.
Deal with it
Ultimately, most of us will gain some body fat at this time of year as we prioritise family, relaxation, social events and indulging. And there’s nothing wrong with that! These things are in my opinion, an important part of your overall health in the scheme of things.
With the right nutrition and training plan, it only takes a matter of weeks to start losing body fat, feeling less bloated and fitting back into your clothes – so when you’re ready, message me to get started.