6 Ways To Stay Fit Over Christmas
There's only one thing worse than getting socks for Christmas and that's undoing all of your hard work in the gym and the kitchen in a whirlwind of mince pies, Pavlova and brandy butter.
Foolproof your health and fitness while still enjoying the holidays with these 6 practical ways to survive the silly season relatively unscathed and not get a shock when you step on the scales come January!
1. Food swaps
Swapping traditionally unhealthy foods for their healthier counterparts is the easiest way to cut calories. Swap roast potatoes for baked sweet potatoes, cherry-flavoured candy canes for fresh cherries, custard for Greek yoghurt. Check out how many calories are in your favourite Christmas foods and just how long it takes to burn them off!
2. Stay active
Don't quit just because it's Christmas. Use the break in your routine to mix things up and challenge your body in different ways. Try a different class on the holiday timetable, schedule a sunrise power walk each morning, climb a mountain, explore your holiday destination on foot, take the kids to the park, break up your beach time with a quick soft sand sprint session. You won't regret it when you start the New Year off fitter and healthier than you ended it.
3. Choose your booze wisely
Avoid a calorie hangover this Christmas and cut excessive consumption of wine (yes, the mulled variety as well!), beer, champagne and sugar-laden cocktails and pre-mixes. A recent study warns that party-goers could consume an extra 4000 calories on alcohol in the lead up to Christmas alone. Stick to vodka, soda and lime instead!
4. Get enough sleep
It's no secret that a lack of sleep can lead to bad food choices and cancelled workout plans. While the occasional late night here and there won't do much damage, it's the flow on effects of back-to-back sleepless nights that can lead to hormone imbalances, a messed up metabolism and weight gain. Do the right thing for your mental and physical health over the holidays and get at least 7-9 hours of shut-eye a night.
5. Pace yourself
Portion size is very important when it comes to tackling a bountiful Christmas spread. Step one: Choose a smaller plate as it will trick your mind into thinking you're eating more than you are. This can help you feel fuller sooner so you eat less! Step two: Eat slowly and chew your food. This will give your brain time to catch up to the sensation of feeling full, which means you'll be less likely to overeat!
6. Stay hydrated
When you're out of your normal routine it's easy to forget about filling up your water bottle and staying hydrated. Remember to drink at least two litres of water each day. Keep things interesting by adding a squeeze of lemon or lime or chopped up pieces of your favourite fruits! Alcohol will dehydrate your body too, so if you're planning on having a few cheeky beverages, make sure you have some water in between each one.