Fitness Swaps for the Festive Season

‘Tis the season to be consuming – fa la la la la la la la la la!

It is a route that is easy to follow if you do not have a reason not to. The fact is, during the festive season it is really easy to pack the fitness plans in and replace them with long lunches, after work drinks, office parties and meeting up with family for a consumption fest.  It is the season to eat, drink and be merry – but will the waistline thank you for it later? The question is, with the way that food and drink is marketed to us where does this all stop? Why say no to certain food types? What can we do to enjoy ourselves but keep our health and fitness goals in check?

It is much easier to gain weight than to lose it – so trying these fitness swaps will help you balance your excess during the festive season.

Swap an alcoholic drink with water
It is really easy to drink too much alcohol during the festive season, which can be very damaging to the body both in terms of weight gain and general damage to the mind and body. Drinking a water every second or third drink will allow you to stay hydrated, keep your stomach full and reduce your hangover the next day.

Swap chocolate and sweets for fruit and nuts
With confectionery everywhere during the festive season opt for varieties of fruit and nuts and swap crisps for popcorn.

Move more
You’re likely to be out of your house, staying at friend’s and family’s houses. Burn come extra calories by going for a walk and exploring the area, getting some fresh air and picking up supplies from the shops. It is often easier to sit in front of the TV and vegetate. Perhaps try to fit in a gym session.

Feast to feel good rather than over consume
How many times do you over eat that second portion and pay for it comatose on the sofa?  Eat to feel content, drink a pint of water during your meal and eat slowly. If you come with the attitude of over consumption then that is exactly what will happen.  This mentality starts early in the season; in the office when people bring in cakes and chocolates, at office parties where food is being catered to you and then when you get together with your family. People without health and fitness plans are the ones who will be desperate to start a fitness regime in the new year.

Avoid finger foods and nibbles
With so much food on offer during the main course it doesn’t make sense to waste your appetite on junk food nibbles. Bear this in mind when planning your day. Eat a good high protein and vegetable breakfast and set yourself up to make better choices for the rest of the day.  Studies show that people who eat protein sources for breakfast make better and lower sugar choices for the rest of the day.

Eat well before the big day
Plan what the big days are going to be and don’t let yourself slip for the whole season. Tis not the season to ruin all your yearly gains so why behave like that? If you have a plan and strategise then your waistline will thank you for it.

After all of these ideas you still want to consume as much as you want?
As a learning experience track your food using MyFitnessPal and see your overconsumption. It is eye opening seeing how easy it is to over consume and the type of calories you’re getting. On big days such as Christmas Day or Easter Sunday you can easily consume in excess of 7000 – 8000 calories. WOW!!!!

Ultimately, the festive season is there to relax and have fun. But it is important that you’re not sabotaging your health and fitness goals at the same time. Showing certain amounts of self discipline will be accompanied with delayed gratification – a nice present to give to oneself.

Have a great festive season – and we’ll see you on the other side!