Christmas is a great time to eat loads of delicious food and spend time with friends and family, but it doesn’t mean you have to lose yourself completely – after all, you want to be in shape for that New Year’s Eve party, don’t you?
Here are some very simple tips to fight the muffin top this Christmas:
1. Never skip breakfast
If you’re looking forward to a big roast later in the day, you might feel like you want to ‘save yourself’ for it. Don’t! This will just put your body into starvation mode and your metabolism will slow down. Eating less in the morning doesn’t mean you can eat more in the evening. Instead, make yourself some porridge and liven it up with some fruit – try strawberries or bananas and raisins. Alternatively get some protein with some poached or boiled eggs either on their own or with whole grain toast.
2. Eat slowly
Eat your salad and veggies first, then your meat and you’d be surprised how few roast potatoes you actually have room for. Eating slowly helps you to realise when you feel full and means you’re less likely to overindulge and feel sick at the end of the meal.
3. Drink plenty of water
Particularly important over the Christmas season when we all tend to drink a bit more than usual, it is easy to forget to stay hydrated. Remember to try to aim for six to eight glasses of water a day or you’ll be stuck with headaches and hangovers – not a great way to spend Christmas. Try to drink a full glass of water before each meal and you’re less likely to overeat. You don’t want to feel bloated later on.
4. Watch out for salad dressings and gravy
You may think as long as you’re eating salad then you’re being healthy, but if it’s drenched in a shop-bought dressing it’s probably full of sugar. Either make your own salad dressing or just use some extra virgin olive oil. When it comes to gravy and sauces they often have a high salt content, so use in moderation.
5. Snack sensibly
To help avoid the temptation of mince pies, crisps and chocolate, you should plan to eat some healthy snacks throughout the day. Try a handful of unsalted nuts, a piece of fruit, or plain yogurt (but be careful: fat-free often means loaded with sugar and sugar-free loaded with fat).
6. Remember to exercise
It can be hard to stay motivated to keep fit when you’re at home – the gym is back in Southampton and your workout buddy is back with their family. But why not make it fun? Have a family trip to an ice rink, go for a winter walk or bike ride. If you and the family would rather keep it indoors, crack out the Wii-Fit. Sometimes though, if you feel like your family is driving you crazy and you need a break from it all, go solo – go out for a run, do a workout video or a bit of yoga – this may be your perfect excuse to get away for an hour.
Good luck everyone but most importantly, have a great Christmas!