Are you secretly worried about staying lean over Christmas?
That all your good work getting in shape over the past few months is going to be wasted by the time Christmas dinner is finished?
That you’ll be looking like a giant stuffed turkey by the time 2017 arrives?
Stop stressing. Christmas time only happens once a year so you should eat a muthaf*ckin’ feast, get drunk, be merry, and make a fool of yourself.
BUT if you also want to…
Here are my 5 simple steps for doing just that.
We all want to eat till we feel like a balloon at Christmas, let’s be honest. There are so many treats on offer that we’re like Hungry Hippos munching whatever comes our way.
Best tip I could give you is to give the chocolate, desserts, and all the sugary stuff in general a bodyswerve – and opt for the savoury foods instead. Cheese and crackers is a much better option for your waistline than double chocolate gateau.
Yeah cheese contains fat but that fat serves a purpose, being used by the body for tasks such as hormone production and supporting the immune system.
Sugar on the other hand is dead calories and excessive amounts are converted into stored bodyfat.
If you intend on eating enough to feed a small village on December 25 alone, then it would be a good move to have a mini fast afterwards.
By that I mean extend the break between the last thing you ate on Christmas night and your first meal of December 26 to between 14 and 18 hours. (Basically skip breakfast the next day).
Two reasons for this. Firstly, it will give your digestive system a well-needed break. Secondly, this mini fast runs down your body’s glycogen stores and your body is forced to turn to bodyfat for fuel. (Meaning your belly looks less like Santa’s).
Repeat this each day over the Christmas and New Year holidays and you’ll have no worries about piling on weight.
Too much booze is a bad idea in general for countless obvious reasons I don’t need to shout about. But some are worse than others.
Beer, for example, is heavier on carbs and calories. The majority come in at over 130 calories – and some of those have as much as 24 carbohydrates. Not good news for your belly.
Wine is the next best option with around 100-150 calories per 5 ounce glass, and only around 5 carbs. The benefit of wine is that it contains the antioxidant resveratrol, which studies have shown may be able to lower bad cholesterol while boosting good cholesterol.
The number one option would be to drink spirits such as whisky, gin or vodka – but not with sugary mixers! Sipping these drinks with a little soda water, or with some ice, is a much healthier alternative.
One serving of vodka has around 95 calories and zero carbs, while gin has 110 calories and zero carbs.
Stuffing your face with food and alcohol over the Christmas period means there’s much more chance you’ll end up dehydrated. Even slight dehydration can affect your mood, energy, and leave you feeling like crap.
It can also lead to you craving sweet foods (one of the reasons we all eat junk food when we’re hungover).
The answer? Have the odd glass of water with your meals and in between your drinks. Also, down a pint of h2o before you go to sleep…your head will thank you for it the next day.
Vegetables are naturally low in fat and high in fibre. They’ll also provide you with essential vitamins and minerals that junk food robs your body of.
They’re also alkaline forming, meaning they help bring the body back into balance when eating acidic foods like turkey, chicken and meat.
There’s usually plenty of roast potatoes, carrots, parsnips etc on the table at Christmas time. Load up on them.
As for the Brussel sprouts. I’d rather eat a sweaty sock.
Christmas and New Year is a time when we should cut loose and drink and eat plenty. Especially if you’ve been eating clean and training hard for months….so don’t hold back or feel guilty.
The five steps listed above will simply limit the impact of festive feasting and partying – and help keep you in shape.