By Martin Ebner
With Christmas fast approaching, boundless year-end social events, hangovers, mince pies and mulled wine are soon to become an almost daily occurrence. With so many temptations on your plate, there is without a doubt an overwhelming inclination to throw all your healthy eating habits and fitness routine out the window until the new year. Thankfully, with our top tips, you don't have to! You can still have fun whilst maintaining your health and fitness intact over the festive season.
Eat Before heading out
By eating before going out, you're far less likely to be tempted to overindulge in Christmassy treats. If you don't have time for sit down meal, grab a healthy snack like a handful of almonds, a yogurt and a piece of fruit.
Go on, treat yourself a little
Don't punish yourself with thoughts of "should i, shouldn't I" It's Christmas and you should absolutely grant yourself a treat here and there. By allowing yourself the foods you enjoy in moderation, you're far less likely to go overboard and eat the whole Christmas cake during a moment of weakness.
Avoid Skipping Meals
As desperate as you may be to make up for the excessive consumption of treats the night before, don't skip meals. When you skip a meal, your body reverts back to it's caveman ways by slowing down the metabolism. When you do finally feast, your body will be more likely to store that food as fat to safeguard you from starvation.
Workout first thing
Exercising whilst everyone is still sleeping is the most effective way to maintain your fitness routine. There's less temptation before everyone else wakes up and you'll also avoid the all too often remarks like "come on, it's Christmas time".
Build some muscle
Instead of allowing the surplus of calories to go straight to your waistline, take advantage and hit the Weights. Excess calories, when coming from a reputable source can help fuel your workouts and aid recovery, giving you a more athletic physique just in time for Christmas.
Stick to a routine
Regardless of your now busier than usual schedule, you should stick as closely as possible to your daily eating and exercise routine. If your schedule simply won't allow for adequate meal prep and gym time, keep your meals simple and your workouts time effective. HIIT workouts take half the time and can be done anywhere at anytime.
Take advantage of winter sports
Yes, it's cold outside but no, you don't have to reduce yourself to after eights, Netflix and the sofa for the entirety of the advent calendar. Use the winter weather to your advantage and learn a new sport or hobby. Go sledging, ice skating, skiing and snowboarding. Hell, even building a snowman or having a snowball fight will help burn off a few calories.
If you know it's going to be impossible to stick to your current exercise routine, sit down and set out more pragmatic fitness objectives. It's ok to do less exercise over the festive season and by setting yourself more realistic goals, you'll be far more likely to stick to it.
Drink in Moderation
It's evident that you're going to have a cheeky dabble here and there, just don't go banana Schnaps. If you have a big night out planned, try to alternate between an alcoholic drink and a glass of water. You won't drink as much and your hangover will be less likely to keep you out of the gym.
Hydration hydration hydration
Water can satiate your appetite and flush out nasty toxins from the body. By staying hydrated over the festive season, you'll look and feel better and you'll be more likely to perform come exercise time, allowing you to burn more calories in the process.
To summarise then: Eat before heading out, treat yourself, avoid skipping meals, exercise in the morning, build muscle, stick to a routine, enjoy winter sports, be realistic, drink alcohol in moderation and stay hydrated.
There you ho ho ho. Wishing you all a Merry Christmas from Ebylife.