Christmas is one of my favorite times of the year. I love walking around shops with the Christmas songs playing everywhere, all the market stalls are set up – it’s just a wonderful time! But, the fitness part of me is always a little bit nervous heading into the holiday season. There are so many extra calories everywhere, it’s hard to stick to a healthy diet and avoid putting on loads of weight.
As a consequence, every new year starts the same; it a fit of despair as you’ve piled on some extra pounds and feel bad about yourself. So, you’ll be pleased to know that staying healthy over Christmas is nowhere near as hard as you think. With just a few changes to your lifestyle, you can remain in good health and avoid gaining too much weight!
Cut down on the alcohol consumption.
I would say alcohol is the main reason people overdo it during the holidays. The mulled wine gets brought out, everyone has parties, and you start to drink more in the space of two weeks than you did through the rest of the year! It’s no coincidence that places like the ANA Treatment Center experience spikes in patients checking in after Christmas; loads of people drink far too much through the holiday season, and it damages them! Aside from carrying loads of empty calories, alcohol harms other parts of your body, so cut down on it this year. Choose non-alcoholic alternatives – like some hot spiced apple drink instead of mulled wine.
Walk as much as you can.
The hardest thing about this time of year – from a fitness perspective – is that it’s harder to work out and go to the gym. For starters, your local gym might close around the holiday period, so you physically can’t go there to exercise. Then, you may be really busy doing family things, so this limits the days you have to work out even more. To counter this, you should try and walk as much as you can. Take advantage of family days out to rack up your steps and burn loads of extra calories. Most people will burn around 2,000 + calories per day just from getting in 10,000 steps. This helps balance out those extra calories you’ve consumed from all the Christmas treats, so you’re not putting on too much weight.
Limit your treats per day.
Telling you to cut out sweets and chocolates is pretty much pointless as no one can manage this over Christmas! Instead, limit the number of treats you have per day. Instead of binging on sweets all through the day, limit yourself to just one or two little things. This stops you going way overboard and consuming loads of sugary calories, and it also makes your treats last longer as well!
Staying fit and healthy over the holiday season is all about damage control. Most people will put on a bit of extra weight, but this is manageable! What you don’t want is to enter January having put on so much weight that all your previous gains have disappeared. Use my advice, and you’ll find that staying healthy over Christmas is easier than you think.