How to get through the Christmas period without the “guilt”, the worry and the extra kilos and still enjoy yourself
We have all been through the Christmas season enough times to know how things are likely to pan out. Around November the social events start ramping up. We skip dinner and our good intentions to make it a quiet night disappear after two or three drinks. We then proceed to eat our own weight in canapes and drink many more drinks of the non-water variety. The next day over a big fry up some of us feel guilty about our night of excess and sad about our lack of control and bad headache. Others of us are prepared to throw caution to the wind and deal with the fallout in late January. People in both camps will inevitably do it all again and again.
What most people have in common during the “silly season” is that 1. they eat and drink more (even taking into account the missed meals) 2. the food and drink they are consuming is less nutritious than usual, with a higher calorific value 3. they have more late nights and less sleep 4. they train less often 5. when they do train they train with less intensity as they feel sluggish and tired. Does that sound about right?
The solution! Simply be mindful that you have an event coming up and in the lead up make an effort eat nutritious food and avoid the junk, the sugar and the excess. Keep it simple and eat to fuel your body – avoiding anything too fancy. Get a few early nights when you can. Before you go out have a good dinner. Arrive feeling like you have already eaten. If it is a dinner party then make sure you have had a good lunch that day and a healthy afternoon snack. Make your first drink a big glass of water and then every second drink should also be water. Other than that have a good time.
The next day get straight back to the “straight and narrow”. Just because you have some nights or days that are out of the ordinary – no need to give up completely.
The other big tip is to keep up the training when you can. And train extra hard when you do make it to training. Put in that extra little bit of effort. If you are doing resistance training and HIIT that’s even better.
It is unrealistic to think that you will be slimming down over the Christmas break. It is totally achievable however, to have a good time and avoid a large weight gain or drop in fitness – eat well most of the time and keep up the training.