In the last 24 hours, London has had snow, mince pies are out, shops are playing Xmas songs. It really is beginning to feel a lot like Christmas but the one thing that usually suffers around now are people’s health and fitness goals.
It is usually a time filled with late night work parties, alcohol, rich tasty food and bitter frozen mornings/evenings. When that is all added up together it really does make it hard for you to get motivated to keep eating well and maintaining your fitness programme, especially if it incorporates running outside!!
So what is it you can do between today, Monday 11th December and Monday 1st January 2018, you have 3 weeks to ensure you start the year in the best shape possible so how are you going to make it happen?
1) Enjoy the next few weeks
It is a time for celebration, getting together over a roast dinner and a time to spend quality time with your loved ones, your diet can take a few days off to just relax and take it all in. Just make sure you don’t let a few days turn into a few weeks as then you have an issue. Overall a few days of indulging is a lot better than a week or 2 of constant grazing and thinking “oh well I will start in the New Year again”. Allow yourself some time off but make sure you are taking sensible choices.
Remember it is consistency that will change your body, if you consistently burn more calories than you take in then you will lose weight, consume more than you are burning and you will gain weight. Try to keep yourself at a good level of consistency over the next 3 weeks.
2) Careful on the parsnips
The Christmas lunch is quite possible the best meal ever, pigs in blankets, stuffing, gravy …….. I won’t go on. An item that pops up quite a bit around this time of year though is the roasted parsnip, they are a great veg to be eating but be careful not to overdo it on them as they have a high sugar content (That’s why they taste so great when they have been roasted) and try to fill your plate with as many other vegetables as possible
3) Take on a beverage
It is cold and you need to warm up so you are making/buying yourself a drink. Stay away from the festive coffees with a tonne of sugar, keep that hot chocolate in the cupboard and try to pick up herbal teas to keep you warm. Along with this it is vital to keep your hydration levels high as with all the little chocolates and snacks sat around the office and at home can lead to easy picking and constant grazing, before you know it you will have consumed hundreds of calories. Keep taking in water to make sure your body is not confusing dehydration with low blood sugar.
Find some time to keep yourself active, whether it is a home workout, at your gym or outside if you put on enough layers! Keep yourself doing some form of exercise even if it is only 2 times a week as this will ensure you are not going to lose lean muscle mass which you would have worked so hard for and it means that when you get back to your full programme in January then it makes it that little bit easier. I can promise you now if you do no exercise between now and January, that first session will wipe you out for the majority of that week with the WORST muscle soreness. Use the next 3 weeks to relax, but do not use it as an excuse to get lazy.
5) Be present
No don’t wrap yourself up as a present, I am sure you are awesome but I mean be in the moment. It is all too easy just to lose the day and not pay any attention to what is going on. Put your mobile away for the time you are with your family embrace being with them, have a laugh, play monopoly or some other board game and just have a great time being with loved ones. Your Xmas meal and present do not need to go on Instagram/Facebook the very second you get it. The pictures can wait, just take the day away from social media and be there, in person, fully focused on your loved ones.