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Thursday, 18 December 2008

10 ways to beat the Christmas bulge

My mum makes without doubt, the best roast in the world. I will argue with you about that until Christmas 2009! As for the Rhubarb pie and custard. Good Lord....

But I also know I need to be controlled.

I prepare myself by training double hard in the weeks leading up to the feast and keep it going THROUGHOUT the Christmas week.

Yes it is possible.

I'm going to give you 10 things to make sure you do over Christmas to dramatically reduce the after effects (the depression, the flabby bits, the lethargy etc)

One of them is an actual 10-12 minute bodyweight session to do on Christmas morning!

1) Don't cook for an entire army

Why do you cook enough for 20 people when there's ten then complain about the left overs? Plan carefully and cook more than enough without going stupid - if it's there you'll eat it and you know it! If it's not you'll find you don't actually miss it and Christmas is still awesome!

The same applies to buying chocolates - by mixed nuts and dried fruit instead (dried fruit is still high in sugar but better than chocolate filled with caramel!)

2) Every third drink, have a pint of water

This is a highly effective tool for family get-togethers and Christmas parties! No one will give you grief and if they do you'll be able to go and wobble their jelly-belly in the office on January 5th.

Yes it's always the chubby ones who take the mickey.

3) Make best choices

The fruit salad over the cheesecake.

The small glass of mulled wine to sip over the 6 pack of lager

Extra lean turkey over fatty sausages.

Boiled potatoes over the roasties.

4) Schedule cheat meals

You know Dec 25th is going to be cheat meal time.

December 31st probably will as well.

Maybe squeeze one more in over the festive period.

Plan them in, expect them then expect to be good the rest of the time.

If you try to freestyle it and decide as and when required, you WILL crack!

5) Stick to your exercise plan

You might not get on in on Christmas Day but the rest of the days you should still be able to perform a good session.

If you're away from the gym routine get some bodyweight training in - short, hard, intense, no more than 20 minutes. That way you won't feel guilty that your missing out on any of the fun - you can do it before everyone else is up!

You need to plan exactly when you will exercise otherwise there will always be unexpected things cropping up to corrupt you!

6) Don't deprive yourself but don't pig out

I tell my clients that if they've worked hard and achieved good results, they DESERVE to have some extra stuffing and a bit of cake!

Just be sensible. It's not as hard as you think!

If you try to go full on and say no to everything, you will either get miserable, feel left out or end up caving to a huuuuge binge. None of which are good for you.

7) Steam your vegetables

Roasting veg causes them to soak up lots of the fat from the meat so steam them and save yourself and your family hundreds of calories!

8) Use a roasting rack for the meat

Again, avoid the soaking of cooking fat into the meat. A simple roasting rack will elevate the turkey over the fat dripping off chopping hundreds of calories from your meal!

9) Do some exercise BEFORE lunch

People tend to go for a walk after lunch to 'burn it off' when they're too full to make it a decent effort (or they fall asleep as the body shuts down everything else bar the digestive tract!)

Take everyone out while the meat is cooking for a brisk walk, or if you can go for a quick run or bodyweight blast outback.

This will increase insulin sensitivity and elevate your metabolism before you eat thus forcing all the sugar you eat into you muscles rather than having it floating in your blood stream ready to be depostied where you don't want it!

10) Do one of these on Christmas morning

5 or 6 rounds with 45 seconds rest. This will take around 12 minutes max but make you feel much better about shovelling that chocolate cheesecake in your face!




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