Christmas / Holiday Season Survival Guide

**The Fit Stop – Group Training & Personal Training St Kilda**

It’s that time of the year where everybody has a million and one social engagements, party’s and functions which can’t be avoided. I recently read somewhere that most people put on an average of something like 2kgs over the Christmas holiday period and NEVER lose it. Add that up over a few years without addressing it and that’s a substantial weight gain.

Now if you’re reading this then there’s a good chance you don’t want to be one of those people, so it’s going to require a little bit of discipline and planning on your behalf to minimise the ‘damage’ of the next months festivities.

If you don’t want to be the norm and give in to the fact you’re going up a notch on your belt to welcome in 2013 – then you have to do things that ‘normal’ people aren’t doing right? Of course.

I’ve put together a little Christmas holiday’s survival guide for you, there’s nothing revolutionary here, just a few little tips to stack things in your favour.

Unfortunately, as much as i’d love to,  I can’t show you one simple way to avoid putting on a lot of weight over the next month or two, but I can show you many ways to avoid putting on a little bit of weight. Add them all up and you’re in good standing to come out the other side unscathed.

 

Here goes:

 

 

Know Your Good Foods


Not all ‘Christmassy’ foods are bad, in fact there are some great healthy choices that you’ll find at most Christmas functions. Just like always try and stick to ‘real’ foods, and stay away from the processed, man made stuff. There’s usually some great quality protein foods like turkey, seafood and leg ham on offer, and feel free to go back for seconds or thirds on the salads.

Know Your Bad Foods


To avoid putting on any weight, you need to know which foods will cause weight gain. You’ll be bombarded with puddings, candy canes, biscuits & dips, and various forms of chocolate over the next month. Watch you don’t catch yourself picking at these things, often people will do this and think ‘having one’ won’t hurt. Just know that one will likely turn into two, and two to three etc etc. Make up your mind what you’re going to allow yourself to do, set your own boundaries and stick to it, if you leave it to circumstance before you make up your mind, you’ll find many ways to rationalize bad food choices.

Choose Your Alcohol Wisely


No alcohol is going to help you out, but it’s pretty much a given that at least some drinking is unavoidable. Your best option from a weight management and health point of view is Vodka, soda water, and lime. This will have the least calories and will also mean you’re drinking a glass of water with every alcoholic drink. Watch the beers, wines and champagnes for the sugar content along with the alcohol, and PLEASE stay away from spirits and soft drinks mixes (like bourbon and coke for example). Alcohol plus a ton of sugar is horrendous for your body composition, and is one of the best ways to slowly kill yourself…

Maintain Your Training Schedule


 

Your normal working schedule is probably right ‘out of whack’, and it tends to throw everything else out along with it. Now, more than ever is hugely important you don’t skip your training sessions, in fact it’s a great time to INCREASE your training frequency. If you know you’ve got a social engagement on a particular day, it’s also a  great idea to schedule a training session on THAT day beforehand. After a high intensity training session your body is going to handle food and store nutrients a lot differently, and your metabolism will be revved up – take advantage of this. Don’t use this as an excuse to eat badly though, you still want to stick to good food choices.

Know Your Battles


 

There’s bound to be some spur of the moment socialising which is hard to plan for, but you’ll also know about many of the big engagements well in advance. Make a pre-emptive strike and be exceptionally good on the days leading up to it, eat better, train more, etc etc. Mark your calender with all the functions you have booked, and plan your super good, healthy days around them. Preparation is key!

Don’t Go Anywhere Hungry


If you’re hungry, you’ll do almost anything to rationalize eating something. Before you attend a function and put yourself in a situation where you have less control over what you eat….eat a big healthy meal you’ve prepared yourself. This will mean you don’t have to rely on what’s available to save yourself from dying of hunger, and you’ll have A LOT more self control to make better and rational food choices that are in line with your goals.

Offer To Bring Some Food To Help Out


 

It’s common to bring your own dish to a party, offer (or insist) to bring one of your own along. You’ll be helping out which is great, plus it gives you an opportunity to make a healthy dish which is in line with your eating plan. At least if you bring your own food, you’ll know that you won’t get stuck with no healthy alternatives.

Utilize Mini Workouts


Don’t let time, or lack thereof be your down fall. Even if you’re struggling to find a whole hour to schedule in a training session, you can do your own very effective ‘mini workouts’ on your own in 10-15 mins. If you’re a Fit Stop client you’ve no doubt done one of our bodyweight circuits, here’s an example you can use

– Jump Squat or Squat – 30 seconds
– High Knee Sprinting on the spot – 30 sec
– Mountain Climbers or Star Jumps – 30 seconds
– Burpees (can even add a push up down the bottom) – 30 sec

Rest 60-90 seconds. Repat 3-5 times.

If you do this with adequate intensity, this short 10–15 minute workout is a highly effective, very metabolic and extrememely good ‘bang for you buck’ way to keep fit and strong and ensure you’re getting your workouts in. You could randomly do this a couple of times per day opportunistically when you get a spare bit of time.

Mentally Prepare For The Peer Group Pressure

 

You can have all the best intentions in the world, but when your friends, family and work colleagues get in your ear it’s hard to resist. I know If I go somewhere with friends and try and have just 1 or 2 drinks, it’s all downhill from there. Know that there may be some tough times ahead if you’re trying to be good, but use the tips from above to stack the odds in your favour and commit to being disciplined. Know your goals, what you want and WHY you want it, and use that as your motivation – know and prepare for the fact that it definitely won’t be easy, but it will be worth it.

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