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.

It tastes better than it looks!

It tastes better than it looks, I promise.

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.

Your eyes are probably bigger than your belly.

Your eyes are probably bigger than your belly.

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.

Drink up!

Drink up

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).

A banana a day keeps the doctor away...?

A banana a day keeps the doctor away…?

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.

Why wait until the new year? Grab those running shoes!

Why wait until the new year? Grab those running shoes.

Good luck everyone but most importantly, have a great Christmas!

8 Comments »

Leave your response!

  • grumpy third year
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    To sum up, just live a healthy and balanced lifestyle as you would every other time of the year.
    I don’t want to criticise the author, but this article just seems a bit pointless. It covers stuff that everyone already knows.
    Editors, give your writers a bit more direction towards original content please!

    Reply

    Melissa Hume
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    Calm down ‘grumpy third year’, not all of us find it that easy to live such a healthy and balanced lifestyle at Christmas! Where’s your Christmas spirit? :)

    Reply

  • @tarpeyta
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    An article that would be better aimed at school kids not adults…Not even any science here to back up any of these ‘tips’

    Reply

  • Edward Jones
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    1 is complete nonsense. Skipping breakfast does not send you into “starvation mode”; your body would be a pretty worthless machine if it started dropping efficiency after 12 hours of no food — how would our ancestors have survived? It’s all in the head that you feel weak or distracted etc. (this study, which is one of numerous, agrees http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/3661473 A drop in metabolism wasn’t recorded untill 60 hours).

    In any case, it doesn’t really matter; I’m disappointed that stuff like this even gets posted in the tab. Christmas is a time for enjoyment and to relax and spend time with people that you love. It’s arguably the one time of year you shouldn’t be thinking about this sort of stuff. Maybe this should have been posted in the new year, when people typically try and change their lifestyles for the better?

    Reply

  • Man Vs Food
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    Christmas is all about piling on the pounds; we need a reason for all the gym related new year’s resolutions!!

    Reply

  • realist
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    What a pile of absolute crap. whoever wrote this is a moron. These are things we all know but do u actually think anyone is going to do this over Christmas u imbecile!! Enjoy ur sprouts and carrots washed down with ur water in Christmas day!! idiot. what’s for dessert, a 10 mile run?!
    stop counting calories and do us all a favour and get a fringe

    Reply

  • realist
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    What a pile of absolute crap. shoddy writing aswell. whoever wrote this is a moron. These are things we all know but do u actually think anyone is going to do this over Christmas u imbecile!! Enjoy ur sprouts and carrots washed down with ur water in Christmas day!! idiot. what’s for dessert, a 10 mile run?!
    stop counting calories and do us all a favour and get a fringe

    Reply

  • Swoleman
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    This is the kind of swole hate men receive.
    Embrace the bulk and lift big.

    Yours Truly.
    Swoleman.

    Reply