What to do over the Christmas period

Posted by Ben Simpkins on December 12, 2016

With under 2 weeks until Christmas and under 3 weeks until 2017, we thought we would put together a short, sharp and sweet little list of what you should be doing over the next few weeks to ensure you start 2017 in the best possible shape. Obviously it is your choice and you can decide to ignore everything we write and just go wild, but we feel by giving you a little freedom and some little tips to stop you from going too far, you can enjoy yourself over the next few weeks and keep the damage to a minimum!

Christmas is a time for relaxing, reflecting and taking time out with your family, use the time wisely and think about where you are on your fitness journey, you may be starting out, you may be many months in or you might just be mentally preparing yourself to start in the new year. Don’t stress too much over the coming weeks, enjoy yourself but try to make the smart choices where possible.

1 – Keep active

Although it is tempted to curl up on the sofa and watch Elf on repeat, ensuring that you keep yourself moving around is pivotal to keeping you in shape, not only will it burn off excess calories you will also ensure your metabolism stays fired up and you keep your insulin sensitivity up . Avoid going into hibernation mode and missing the gym for 3-4 weeks. Do not just wait for January, keep yourself focused on what your goal is and ensure you keep moving and keep hitting the gym.

If you want to reduce your total training time over the next few weeks that is fine, just make sure when you do train, you hit it hard. Try to aim for at least 30 minutes of activity either at home, outside or in the gym.

2- Drink

This is going to cover 2 points, first of all your hydration levels and water intake. Secondly we will look at alcohol. So first and foremost ensure you stay on top of how much water you are taking in daily, it can become very easy to get caught up in the festive coffees, mulled wines and other fancy drinks that come out at this time of year. Try to keep yourself working through a 2L bottle each day. Ensuring you are hydrated will mean that you feel a lot better and more energised the next day but it will also keep any cravings at bay! So no need for that extra mince pie!!

Alcohol is a big part of any festive meet up, especially here in the UK, and I am not here to say go teetotal for the whole of December but chose your poison wisely, either stick to clear spirits like Vodka and Gin or stick to a couple of glasses of wine. This will help keep your calories down while allowing you to enjoy a drink with friends and family.

3 – Stick to your Christmas pudding

Obviously, you must keep a reasonable eye on what you are consuming and try to not to overindulge and binge eat. But while enjoying yourself try to keep it to just the family meals where you let go a little.

What you don’t want to do is to use this time of year as an excuse to start eating 4 mince pies at 10am or worse start changing your evening meals to takeaways like pizza. Once you get in the habit of eating badly it is hard to get out of it, so try to enjoy family meals over xmas and your work party but keep the rest of your nutrition on point as much as possible.

The best way to do this is by planning your days and meals like you should be doing any ways and ensure you don’t start skipping meals because you at too many pigs in blankets at the lunchtime buffet.

4 – Damage limitation

All of the points above are there to allow you to have fun and to let loose, overindulge and to take some time out from the seriousness of work/the gym. Please take this time to be spend it with loved ones, to clear your head and to set a plan for the next year, make sure you are focused on what you are going to achieve in 2017 so you can start taking immediate steps come January 1st, or the 2nd in case you are hungover from new year’s eve!

Use these tips to keep the damage at a minimum, make sure you train hard to counteract the excess calories that will happen, focus on keeping yourself hydrated to limit the urge to snack and make poor choices. Finally, make sure you enjoy your Christmas foods, and just the Christmas foods, don’t start introducing things you wouldn’t normally eat at any other time of year.

I hope this helps you out a little, we might look at putting a little, what not to do post together which will have some different content on than this so keep an eye out for that, otherwise we are still training our personal training clients in Clapham, Fulham and other South West London areas up until the 22nd so if you wanted to take a big action step today and set yourself up well before Christmas, hit the contact us button and send us a message. We will get you booked in at some point either this week or next!

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