Christmas is just around the corner. If you have been working very hard this year to build healthy eating habits, make effort to train consistently, you may wish to keep up the good work. The truth is that lots of people put on up to 5lbs between Christmas and new year. The reasons are very simple:
Energy intake is more than energy expenditure
i.e. over-eating and not moving enough
With a STRATEGY in place, you CAN keep up with your fit and healthy lifestyle, and still have fun, enjoy food with family and friends.
Here are my top 10 tips:
1. Set a goal to maintain your current fitness, weight and eating habits. Believe it or not, having this goal in mind will motivate you to make better food choices and move more. Without this goal, it is much easier to let your habits go.
2. Plan your holiday schedule. Write down the dates and time for your planned Christmas parties. How many days in the week and how many times a day. What will you be doing when you are not celebrating? Use a planner so you can see clearly when the big meals are going to be. Then plan healthier meals the rest of the time. You can use the same planner to figure out the best time to fit in a quick workout or active time like taking a long walk.
3. Do not turn up to a party feeling hungry. Load up on protein, fibrous vegetables, or healthy snacks before attending. If the biggest meal is in the evening, make sure you have a good portion, balanced meal in the morning and afternoon.
4. At the party: fill your plate with lean protein, fibrous vegetables first. These food will fill you up. Then choose a sensible amount of starchy carbohydrate, fatty food and / or dessert that you enjoy.
5. Watch the portion size. Eat until you are 80% full.
6. Watch your alcohol intake. Set a limit on how much you allow yourself to drink and stick to it. Alcohol provides 7 kcal / g (carb and protein = 4 kcal / g; fat = 9 kcal / g).
7. Make sure you drink enough water. Thirst is sometimes mistaken as hunger. Also, watch out for liquid calories, e.g. fruit juice, smoothies, soft drinks.
8. Keep up with fitness. Aim to do three 20-30 min HIIT sessions per week. If you can, do this before big meals.
9. Keep on moving. Make an effort to go out for a 30-60 min walk every day.
10.Be a fit and healthy leader. Inspire your friends and family to make healthy, balanced food choices and stay active.
Wishing you a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!
See you in 2018!