The festive period is a time for family, love, and eating. But when you’ve worked so hard over the year to achieve your fitness goals – is it really okay to fall off the rails for a few days and enjoy heap loads of turkey and mince pies?
We hear horror stories of the ‘holiday fat trap’ where people gain an unruly 7–10 pounds during Christmas and that all our hard work will be thrown down the drain. It leaves us thinking that we can’t truly enjoy the holidays because we can’t enjoy the grub.
It’s safe to say that eating your Christmas lunch and enjoying few sweet treats over the festive period won’t deflate your hard-earned muscles or make you stack on the pounds. Each year, the average person puts on 1-2 pounds over the holidays – and that’s not something to be afraid of. If you’re already physically fit and dedicated to a healthy lifestyle for the rest of the year, you’ll most likely fall victim to nothing more a little bit of bloating.
In reality, it’s not what you eat on Christmas and New Year; it’s what you eat on the other days in-between. It’s pretty standard to indulge in a feast on the big day – that’s why we call it a feast; it’s a day of celebrating with food! There are only so many calories we can consume in one day, but if you continue to feast for a further two weeks into January, then the pounds will certainly start piling on. We’re looking at around 340 other days of the year to manage our health and fitness – these are the days that will really make the difference.
Develop a Strategy
- Don’t waste calories on the foods you’re not really bothered about. Christmas time can offer an overwhelming amount of food – some of which you don’t see much of for the rest of the year. With that in mind, it is easy to get carried away eating foods you don’t really care about just because you don’t have it any other time of the year. If you love turkey, mince pies, and pigs in blankets – then enjoy them! But don’t eat that questionable fruit and nut cheese just because it’s there.
- Don’t binge. With so many flavours and favourites lying around it can be easy to fall into a binging session which ultimately results in guilt, discomfort, and some serious bloating. Enjoy the odd sweet thing here and there, but set yourself boundaries. And remember, those Quality Streets are for everyone…
- Don’t neglect exercise. It might seem difficult as your local gym will more than likely close for a few days over the holidays but that’s no excuse. Just keeping moderately active i.e. going for a brisk walk or doing things around the house is better than eating an entire bag of salted peanuts infront of the telly. If you’re going to be eating a little more than usual, then make sure you’re still moving too!
- Enjoy. That’s right, Christmas comes around only once a year and putting your strict diet plan and fitness routine to bed for a few days won’t have any major consequences on you what you’ve achieved. Don’t let your fear of putting on a couple of pounds ruin your Christmas!