Warm Christmas pudding with brandy cream, roast turkey with all the fittings… The temptation of Christmas time can really test your willpower.
Luckily our ambassadors have a trick or two up their sleeves when it comes to enjoying Christmas without compromising your health and fitness goals.
Here are nine tips on how you can avoid a blow out this festive season…
1. Go easy on the drinks
Believe it or not, alcohol packs in some serious calories and for that reason, the Bulk Ambassadors recommend taking it easy when it comes to alcohol at festive gatherings. After all, you don't want to waste your calories on drinks!
Maria Bond says a simple switch from Baileys and milk to vodka and soda can save several hundred calories over the course of the day, and best of all it leaves room for a second helping of lunch or some pavlova for dessert!
2. Stay active
Keeping the body moving throughout the festive season is the number one tip all our Ambassadors recommend. As you'll likely be indulging a little more than usual, it's great to put those calories to good use. Remember you don't need to hit the gym for a long session, a short workout is better than none!
Brodie West swears by morning training sessions, this way you won't put off your workout and still have time for social events in the evening. When spending time with family Anna Flanagan likes to go for a swim at the beach or playing a game of backyard cricket rather than heading into the gym.
Dave Napper recommends putting any extra calories to good use. Why not go after that elusive PB you've been trying to hit before the end of 2018?
When it comes to Christmas Day, exercise is also important. Kyle Williams always goes for a 15-minute moderate paced walk after big Christmas meals. In fact, Science shows walking post-meal significantly reduces your blood sugar levels and aids digestion, reducing the damage any overeating session will do. Yay!
There's nothing like a game of beach cricket to burn off the calories of Christmas lunch
3. Maintain discipline
When you're eyeing off that pav topped with double cream, remember your overall goals so you don't fall off the wagon altogether.
Thor of Oz, Andrew Lutomski, says he tries to maintain a level of discipline with nutrition and training throughout the festive season. Although you may find yourself at additional social events with the temptation to eat and drink more, that doesn’t mean you need to lose control by piling your plate high with calorie dense foods.
So take it easy, Christmas isn't a hall pass for your health and fitness goals!
4. Don't completely deny yourself
Everything in moderation! Sometimes indulging in a small amount of your favourite foods can actually help you stay on track.
Anna Davey says "Don't completely deny yourself of delicious food, it is Christmas after all and deprivation can actually end up causing blowouts. Just pair your treats with exercise. Go for a run before Chrissy lunch and be active throughout the day if you can by engaging in family sports."
5. Opt for protein sources first
When you serve up your plate of goodies on Christmas Day which foods do you choose? Well, Dave Napper opts for prawns and other delicious lean meats to fill up his plate on Christmas Day, and Ken recommends rich protein sources too and for very good reason!
- Satiety, protein makes you feel fuller for longer!
- Increased thermogenesis, protein requires more energy to break down and turn into stored sources than carbs and fats.
- Protein maintains fat-free mass and this is important especially around the silly season where we find we have an inverse relationship of food and exercise.
6. Start your meals with lemon water
Here's a great tip from our adventurer, Kyle. To avoid overeating, he recommends drinking 1-2 glasses of lemon water 15 minutes before your big meals. The lemon water will aid digestion of the big meal whilst reducing your appetite to limit overeating.
7. Plan ahead
According to Ambassador Ella Martyn you can have your cake and eat it too, it just requires some planning and a little sacrifice. She says "If you know where you're going for your Christmas party look up the menu ahead of time and track what you want to eat along with what you want to drink. Plan to 'save' some calories through the week to enjoy yourself!
Sam Paino is also a massive advocate of making smart choices. He suggests to "Plan in advance, work out what meals/drinks you will be consuming prior to the event and make the required changes that are appropriate to your current meal plan. Just make smart choices. Just because it’s Christmas doesn’t mean you need to feel like you’re on an episode of Man Vs Food."
8. Enjoy time with loved ones
That's Bridget Freeman's advice. "Fill your plate with delicious high nutrient/lower calorie foods first, take a great salad to share, focus on your social interactions more than food, don't have a scarcity mindset. You can get most Christmas foods any time of the year!"
And Sam Grachan's too. "Be mindful of your energy balance, it’s the time of year to wind down and take a break but not an excuse to be a pig. Time spent with family and friends is the most important thing. Cherish them, engage in conversation and laughter, not in an eating competition."
9. Balance is key!
Lara Gya is all for balance. "One bad meal won’t make you fat, and one good meal won’t make you skinny. I believe everything is to be had in moderation. In saying this; it’s always good to plan ahead as I find it always helps me to stay on track and prevents any unwanted binges or blow outs. Plan ahead, be smart, exercise daily and enjoy yourself! It’s the silly season after all."