It’s the holiday season, and the burning question from our members here at Fit to Last is…”How do I get through the holidays without undoing months of hard graft?’
Fear not, here are 3 tips designed to help you enjoy the holidays without feeling mountains of guilt and regret come 1stJanuary.
1. PRE-LOAD TO FEND OFF THE “FEEDERS”
An effective way of controlling the quantity/quality of food you consume over the holiday season is to ‘pre-load’ before going out to visit friends and family.
Part of the challenge with holiday over-indulgence can be fending off “feeders”. You know the type…”oh go on just a little slice”.
Before visiting someone’s house, eat at home first. This way, what you decide to fuel up on will be your own choice. Also, you’ll be less likely to be tempted to consume the types of foods you would rather avoid.
By eating before your visit, you will have already topped up with the food you want to consume, thereby feeling satiated (full) before visiting someone who may not have the same nutritional priorities as you.
Visiting family and friends over the holidays is one of the most enjoyable parts of the festive season. By eating the food you want to consume before you arrive, you can enjoy the experience fully without feeling guilty about it.
2. EXERCISE EARLY IN THE DAY WHEN YOU STILL OWN IT
Just because you aren’t working doesn’t mean you won’t be busy. With social commitments and impromptu visits from friends and family keeping you on the go, finding time to exercise can become harder than when you’re actually at work.
But very rarely will you have a social event early in the morning. For this reason, if you plan to exercise early in the day you’re more likely to complete the workout. Take control of the day while you still own it and get that training in – besides feeling better through the day, you can enjoy that ‘smug’ feeling from training early!
3. IF YOU DRINK ALCOHOL, START LATER IN THE DAY
Alcohol consumption is ubiquitous during the holiday season, with the pre-breakfast champagne and orange juice a popular choice.
If you want to preserve the svelte frame you’ve worked so hard to achieve, delay the indulgence.
The reasons are three-fold:
- Alcohol stimulates appetite: studies have shown that alcohol consumption prior to a meal increases the food consumed during that meal by up to 24%. The same study also identified an increase in savoury food consumption.
- Additional calories: The combined increase in calorie consumption of alcohol and salty foods creates a double whammy in terms of weight gain. By delaying drinking until later in the day (i.e. after you’ve eaten) you will decrease the likelihood of overeating by drinking before the meal.
- Alcohol disrupts sleep: one of the additional issues with ‘starting’ earlier in the day is the hangover comes on later in the same day. This makes the process of falling asleep at night more difficult. You may fall asleep faster, but as your body is processing alcohol you won’t achieve the deep restorative sleep that your body needs.
Have a fantastic holiday season and see you in 2019!
ABOUT JAMES STARING
James Staring is a personal trainer based in Clapham, London. His methods have featured in publications such as Your Fitness, Hello, Healthy, Daily Mail, Closer, and many more. After giving up smoking and entering the fitness industry in 2009, James has focused on his passion to help others transform their health and fitness. However, James is convinced that most people struggle so much more than they need to in an effort to improve their fitness. Through his company, Fit to Last, which he runs with his partner, Ali Page – James has helped hundreds of men and women make small adjustments in their daily habits to transform their fitness and to love how they look and feel.