The festive period is a time when a lot of us enjoy a well-deserved period of indulgence.
From work Christmas parties to meals out with family and friends to delicious treats at Christmas markets, the festive season can be hard, perhaps impossible, for many of us to stay on track with our fitness and nutrition goals.
We have put together some top tips to help all of us enjoy Christmas whilst at the same time not sacrificing too many of those hard-earned gym and fitness achievements accrued throughout the year.
Before saying anything else, we have to point out that Christmas is a time to enjoy yourself, so, do exactly that without overthinking and worrying unnecessarily about what you’re eating and drinking! Christmas only comes around once a year, and after the past couple of years we all deserve to enjoy it.
For those of you out there who want to avoid straying too far from the fitness track, keep these following tips in mind.
Try to stick to your current routine as much as possible.
Throughout the festive period, sticking as closely as you can to your current routine will really help. If you go to the gym a couple of times a week, try to keep that up. If you can’t, maybe squeeze in at least one gym visit rather than not going at all. This will help you to keep one foot in your current mindset and will make it easier to get back to it when January comes.
Similar too with your nutrition. If you’re following a nutrition plan and have found a nice balance with your diet, don’t rip the whole thing up in the run up to Christmas. Of course, there will be days when you may need to adapt but on the other days stay as close to your usual routine as possible. You can also adapt your plan to suit the season by calculating your calories over a week as opposed to daily. Calculate how many calories you usually consume over an average week and try to stick to around the same figure throughout Christmas by consuming fewer calories at some points in the week to compensate for the times when you indulge.
Have a plan for getting back to your routine and get in your steps by making time for a walk!
Once Christmas has passed, try to ease yourself slowly back into your old routine. Start by tapering off the indulgence and begin to exercise again with a view to building back up to your pre-Christmas routine.
Put some dates in the diary for getting back into fitness whether that is exercising in the gym, going for a walk, or having a swim. Whatever your fitness thing is, try to make yourself get back to it.
We find that walking is a great way to start. Aim for 10,000 steps a day if you can.
When you do want to indulge, prioritise the healthier stuff first.
Despite everything, the traditional Christmas dinner is not the worst meal that could be on offer. In fact, it is usually rich in protein, particularly lean meat such as Turkey and it is also packed full of veggies.
Prioritising these delicious elements will make you much fuller meaning the temptation to overeat elsewhere will be reduced. Having said that, it is Christmas, so one dinner will not set you back!
Make healthier alcohol choices and keep drinking plenty of water!
It’s important to factor in the calorie content in alcoholic beverages, and remember, you don’t have to cut it out completely, just make smarter choices.
Instead of opting for a glass of red wine or pint of beer, try a slimline gin and tonic or glass of prosecco, both of which contain fewer calories.
Remember to also keep drinking water. Aim for 2-3 litres a day.
Try out our previous 4 tips but our 5th tip is simply to enjoy the festive season
There are loads you can do to mitigate overindulgence which will happen over Christmas and New Year.
That being said, with many people planning a health-kick in January, a few days of indulgence over Christmas should be enjoyed not worried about.
So, enjoy Christmas and then get back to it in 2023!