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 ten tips on how you can avoid a blow out this festive season…
1. Opt for protein sources first
When you serve up your plate of goodies on Christmas Day which foods do you choose? Well, nearly all of our ambassadors swear by filling up their plates with lean protein sources and salads first, and for very good reason!
- Protein makes you feel fuller for longer and can reduce hunger, winner!
- Increased thermogenesis, protein requires more energy to break down and turn into stored sources than carbs and fats.
By choosing protein and leafy greens, your body will be well fuelled and full enough that you won’t want to indulge in too many treats later on.
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!
Anna Davey recommends going for a walk or hitting the gym in the morning before the buffets and staying active throughout the day. There's nothing like a game of beach cricket to burn off the calories of Christmas lunch. Lara Gya loves making exercise social, why not opt for a nice walk or bike ride for your Chrissie catch up with friends? This way you can enjoy a nutritious brekky or smoothie after instead of downing cheese and biscuits over wine.
3. Avoid arriving hungry
Another easy way to ensure you don’t have a blow out is making sure you eat before heading off to a Christmas party.
Nicole Frain says “we all know that going to the supermarket hungry is a bad idea, going to an event hungry is just the same!”. Make sure you have a protein-rich meal before heading out and you won't be feeling as ravenous when the Christmas pav arrives in all its glory.
4. Don’t be a yes (wo)man
This is Ella Martyn's advice, she says “pick your key events and learn to say no to others”. The festive season is the busiest time of the year and we all find ourselves running from one event to the next, so saying no to a few will not only help you stay on track with your goals but it’ll save you time (and sanity) too!
Chris Eldridge agrees with this mantra, he says “Sometimes having the willpower and ability to say no, is the real saviour of our Christmas blowouts.”
5. Keep up your training where you can
Our resident powerlifter Sam Schepis recommends keeping up with your training but at 50-75% the amount and frequency that you normally do. He says “Focus on compound movements at maintenance volume, maintaining progress requires significantly less training stimulus than people typically think!”
Pro bodybuilder James Newcombe suggests finding yourself a consistent and accountable training partner for the holiday season. The biggest failure to programs is adherence, so getting someone who will help you make time to train is key to staying on track with your fitness!
6. We repeat, step away from the food table
We know that platter looks really good and ohhh that pudding looks divine! But socialising around the table filled with goodies isn’t going to make it easier to refrain from overindulging.
Chris Eldridge says hanging around the food table will make you more inclined to eat more and possibly make some poor choices too!
7. 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!
8. 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."
9. 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."
10. Priortise sleep
Last of all, the holidays are a really busy (and tiring) time of the year so don’t put sleep on the backburner as your body still needs time to rest and recover.
Bridget Freeman says “when we’re tired our bodies want to ingest more calories and our willpower is depleted”. So catching enough zzz’s is just as important during the Christmas period as any other day!