Staying Healthy Over the Holidays

posted Jan 8, 2015, 6:59 PM by Rebecca Smith
Throughout the year we’ve all worked really hard to achieve our goals and improve our health and fitness. This year we’ve lost over 600 kilos!! So, here is a guide to celebrating the holiday season without sacrificing all of the progress you’ve made and still have fun.

1. MONITOR YOURSELF – either using a food diary or an app on your phone record everything that you are eating and any activity you do over the Christmas period. Research has shown that by monitoring our behaviours or having someone else monitor us, we are more likely to adhere to good behaviours, for example eating better foods. Without having to record what you are eating there is minimal thought going into it, you are hungry and just want to eat something, or it looks nice and you want to try it? However, when you have to write it down the thought process becomes a bit different; ‘is that going to look good in my food diary?’ ‘Is that going to throw off my caloric intake for the day? ‘Am I really hungry, or just bored?’ ‘Do I really need this?’ Therefore, recording what you are eating evokes a thought process allows us to make better, conscious decisions.

2. KEEP MOVING – you have worked too hard to gain your strength and fitness to have it reversed over the Christmas period. Our muscles and our bodies are constantly adapting to the stresses and loads that we put on them. When you stop working your muscles and adding load, for any length of time, they start to adapt to less load and less work. This results in a loss of strength and muscle size. Therefore, to maintain your strength and fitness over Christmas it is important to keep active. If you’re staying at home over the Christmas period keep up with your regular workouts, and if you know you’ll be eating a little bit more over Christmas add in some extra workouts. Check with your PT for our open hours if you are unsure and would like to keep us company. Alternatively, if you are going away ask your PT if they can write you an exercise program that you can do while you’re away.

3. AVOID TOO MUCH ALCOHOL – alcohol is a killer when it comes to weight management, especially over the silly season. We tend to forget that alcohol contains calories but 1 gram of alcohol contains about 6.8 calories, which is a lot compared to carbohydrates which contain about 4 calories per gram. Therefore it I very important to monitor the amount of alcohol you are consuming. Some things to try include holding your drink in your non dominant hand, this promotes slower drinking as you have to concentrate on your coordination to have a sip; have a maximum of one alcoholic drink each hour, and have a drink of water or mineral water between each drink.

4. BE PREPARED AND SELECTIVE – prepare yourself by having something healthy before going to a function to avoid overeating unhealthy foods while out. It also helps to have something in your stomach to absorb alcohol. Be selective of what you are eating while at the function, for example try to avoid finger food, if there is a buffet survey the options before joining the line and only get what you selected when you surveyed. It is okay to treat yourself and try foods that you wouldn’t normally eat, you just have to ensure that you are monitoring how much you are having and making sure it doesn’t blow out all of your calories for the day. To avoid overeating eat slowly by putting your cutlery down, or sipping water between each bite, this is beneficial as it takes a few minutes for our brain to recognise that we are full and when we eat fast we eat beyond the point of being full before we can register that we’ve had enough.

Laura
Personal Trainer Narellan
Difference Personal Training Narellan & Camden
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