With Christmas right around the corner and a new year slowly creeping up on us, most, if not all of us, will be eating and drinking more than usual.
The holiday season is synonymous with alcohol, parties and indoor activities, as well as a whole host of other feasts and treats that can spell bad news for our waistlines.
The fitness gurus from CheckMeowt have gathered five must-do tips during this winter season to avoid ending up like a stuffed turkey in 2018.
Time your alcohol intake.
Because alcohol is often consumed more during social gatherings, it’s unlikely you’ll be able to avoid drinking over the holidays. Alcohol is laden with empty calories, and when consumed in excess, it can lead to weight gain. Your propensity to store fat increases not so much because of the surplus calories but because of the presence of alcohol.
As tempting as it may be, avoid drinking alcohol while eating and wait for at least one hour after you have eaten to do so. Not only will you give your body a chance to focus on digesting your food first, but you also might avoid drunkenly embarrassing yourself in front of your family, friends or colleagues.
Work out from home.
For the gym rats, the holiday season is a time when heading to your local gym is replaced by family commitments. In this case, performing a high-volume, high-intensity workout at home can at least keep you in check during these times until you get back to the gym.
Try the following circuits to ensure you’re burning through a significant amount of calories:
Circuit No. 1:
Perform as many reps of each exercises as you can in 60 seconds. When completed, rest for 15 to 20 seconds and move on to the next exercise, repeating for a total of five rounds.
Circuit No. 2:
Complete 10 sets of 10 reps of the below exercises with no rest in between.
- Jumping Squat
- Leg Raise
All in all, you will perform 100 reps of each exercise and will certainly have blitzed through any cheat meal you had over Christmas.
Drink plenty of water.
This is arguably the cheapest and most important of all the tips to consider. Water helps to regulate your body’s basic metabolic functions and will ensure your immune system is in top shape to handle all the festive antics you inflict on your body. It is also useful to drink a glass of water before a meal to avoid overeating as well as to stave off any early signs of hunger.
Aim to drink at least 1.2 liters of water (six to eight glasses) to help stay hydrated throughout the day. It’s very simple yet very effective.
Control your portions.
Christmas is associated with oversized portions that we often feel obliged to eat as much as we can. Besides, if we’re not completely crippled after our dinner, we arguably haven’t done Christmas right.
Despite this social tradition, controlling your portion sizes will ensure you’re still able to enjoy all your favorite foods in moderation. A simple way of controlling your portions is by using a smaller plate or bowl. This tricks your brain into thinking there’s more food than there really is and allows you to eat your favorite foods guilt-free.
A more sophisticated way of controlling your portions is to use the “hand portion” method. This technique involves using your own hands to measure the amount of food to eat.
- Protein — 1 palm-size hand
- Carbohydrates — 1 full-length hand
- Fiber — 1 closed fist
- Fat — 1 thumb
Plan your meals and snacks ahead of time.
If you know you’ll be heading out to a family or social event where there will be a host of unhealthy foods to choose from, it is always useful to carry around a healthy alternative you can easily reach for. You’ll avoid the temptation of opting for a Christmas-themed meal or treat when you have a fresh and cleaner option available to you.
Although you might raise a few eyebrows diving into your chicken, rice and broccoli while everyone is being merry around a roast, you don’t have to feel pressured into eating something you don’t want if it doesn’t bring you closer to your goals and objectives. Always keep in mind that it is your decision to be in the best shape you can be.