The box of roses on the coffee table, the smell of freshly baked potatoes and bubbly bottles of prosecco lining the fridge door...
While Christmas might as well be the most magical time of year, it’s also often the most over-indulgent, boozy and carb-filled period in our calendars.
Whether you’re heading home to your families for the festive season, booking a skiing holiday with your significant other, or planning to hit the town with friends to ring in the New Year, December is full of temptations that can easily wipe clean all of that wonderful hard work and progress we’ve made throughout the year.
I’m sure we’ve all learnt the hard way, that eating without any structure or guideline can result in overindulging which leaves you feeling sluggish, bloated and guilty. There’s a strong undercurrent of ‘but it’s Christmas’ mentality that we all have fallen guilty to in the past. It’s so fun to let our hair down and enjoy ourselves during the festive season, but it’s important to remember to look after our bodies. And no, Christmas is not an excuse to abuse it.
Follow our 7 steps to prevent that unwanted weight gain (and still enjoy dessert).
Only eat when you’re actually hungry
This sounds like a no-brainer, but it’s much easier said than done!
During the Christmas holidays, there is food everywhere you turn, whether it’s a dining out, in the office or at home. It can feel almost impossible to turn down when people are sharing tasty desserts and snacks. But before you reach for that second handful of chocolate covered almonds, stop and listen to your body and what it’s telling you. You will know if you’re eating out of boredom, or simply giving into a sugary temptation.
Don’t go back for seconds...no matter how tasty the buffet is
Remember to eat slowly and enjoy every mouthful. It's easier to combat overeating when you’re mindful. If you are able to choose your food, don't deny yourself anything but allow the proportions of healthy food to be bigger than the unhealthy options.
Stay away from packaged of processed foods
Nobody should ever be deprived of Christmas cake or gingerbread men, especially around Christmas time, but when it's the store-bought kind that's packed with all kinds of additives and preservatives, we’ll pass. Sticking to homemade goodies is always a good option and being mindful of your intake is also important. This small change will contribute to have you feeling and looking your very best, minus the guilt.
With every glass of wine, have a glass of water
It’s easy to forget about staying hydrated when you’re having fun, especially when there’s prosecco involved. Running the risk of feeling dehydrated and a little too drunk can leave you feeling painfully hungry. This dangerous combination often leads to mindless snacking and boredom binge-eating. By drinking a glass of water with every drink, you’re able to pace yourself and think smartly about the food you’re choosing to eat.
Protein, Protein, Protein!
Just because you're indulging doesn't mean you have to go crazy. Staying mindful of your calorie intake will keep you feeling on track. Having a healthy balance of protein will keep you feeling fuller for longer. It will also keep your body prepared for that impromptu workout (post Christmas cake binge).
Adapt your training schedule, don’t skip it.
How many times have you heard people (or been guilty yourself) say ‘I’m taking December off my diet this year’? Breaking your usual habits, giving into temptation and resuming in the New Year may seem like a good idea at the time, but before you know it you’re 5 kgs heavier, left feeling guilty and unmotivated.
The key is maintaining your training schedule and establishing a healthy routine. Feel like you don’t have time? Our FitazFK programs only require 18 minutes of your day. Even squeezing in a couple of HIIT sessions could make all the difference!
Find a Christmas Buddy
Holding yourself accountable during the silly season is one thing, having a friend to assist you with this is another. Making a plan to exercise together three times a week and changing up your workouts will keep you on your A-game together and have you feeling fresh AF this Christmas.
Remember to keep it simple this silly season! By following our top tips, you’ll survive the the chaos of Christmas with your sanity (and waistline) intact.