It’s the most wonderful time of the year with plenty of food, drink and parties going down no doubt!
But there is worry in the air…
Worry about gaining weight.
Worry about losing fitness levels.
Worry about undoing all the hard work put in leading up to the festive period.
Firstly, let me say, lets not worry! After all, it’s only 3 days (inc bank holiday) and you will not significantly see any decline in physique, fitness or strength I am sure. Living our lives completely GUILT FREE and ENJOYING the foods we like is part of the parcel to a complete, happy, healthy and sustainable life.
I’m going to be eating, drinking and getting into the spirit that is for sure. BUT, it can be quite easy to think “sod it” and before you know it a few days being a little more “relaxed” with your food choices could turn into a full month of binge eating. This is where you may find yourself on the slippery slope to weight gain. Moral drops, guilt sets in, you start to regret taking that time off and eating certain foods, then you kick off the year feeling like you’re back to square one.
Here are 2 ways to help you on your way over Christmas…
#1 – JUST SAY NO
You have the power to say NO. In fact, saying no can be quite empowering.
I’ve spent most of my life learning say no when I want to. No to certain foods, meat in particular, no to drink when I’ve had periods “off it” so to speak or when I’ve been a little stricter with my diet. I’ve said no to certain people when I have felt what they had to offer wasn’t for me. I’ve even said no to current lifestyle choices such as work or relationships that I feel don’t contribute anymore.
Sometimes, it just comes down to saying no.
YES it can be boring and repetitive and YES sometimes your friends, family and loved ones will believe you may be missing out. But it’s also important to understand that YES you can still enjoy the festivities with that little bit more control over food and drink consumption.
Absolutely no one will be forcing certain food and drink down you and it’s important to understand that you have the CHOICE. Build strength in these situations and stand up for what you want to do. If you don’t want to drink or if you don’t want to eat chocolate, then don’t! It’s pretty much as simple as that.
BUT WHAT IF I DO?!
What if I want to eat and drink what I want?
This brings me on to the second point…
#2 FACTOR IT IN TO YOUR CURRENT ROUTINE
Now this is what I tend to do over Christmas.
I enjoy a beer, I enjoy a more relaxed approach when it comes to my diet. But I don’t want to gain too much weight or lose a significant amount of fitness either!
So I roll with the festive period. I allow myself to eat what I feel, but also amend my training schedule to fit.
You’re on a fat loss journey for example and have done really well leading up to the works do on Saturday. Weight has consistently been coming off and you want to continue to lose even though you know a night out with no doubt a lot of alcohol and food will probably be consumed and could potentially throw you off, what do you do to ensure you stay on track?
DO ADDITIONAL EXERCISE THAT DAY TO MAKE ROOM FOR THE ADDITIONAL CALORIES.
I know that if I’m heading out in the evening for a meal and a couple of beers that I’ll probably also go over my calories. Going for that extra walk, jog, workout or simply by eating fewer calories over the week will allow for that evening to take place “guilt free” because I’ll be staying on track with my long term goal.
Take a look at your calorie intake over the weeks and plan exactly when you’ll be going out.
If you have goals you are working towards and you have put in a large amount of effort prior to December to makes steps towards these goals, why allow a few parties, get togethers, additional drinks or meals completely knock you back?
Absolutely no one should enter the festive period in a panic. If you are, you simply don’t have a strategy going forward.