People on average gain 7lbs at Christmas. That’s absolutely fine if you’ve been feeling in control all year, and you are able to bounce back quick, but for so many women I know, this feels really stressful for them.
2019 may have been the year when you got into the best shape you’ve ever been in, or you may only recently have started to lose weight. You may have just gotten fit for the first time ever in a long time, so the thought of going back to where you were, fills you with dread.
I completely get this. When I had a bad relationship around food, I alway went back to square one at Christmas. And you know what the reason can be for this apart from the obvious?
That you’ve worked so much on the new you throughout the year. You’ve built in good habits around your routine, and slowly but surely you’re feeling in control. But the new you hasn’t experienced Christmas yet, so you’re only used to your old habits. You approach Christmas the way the old you did, and you don’t even really think about it.
You know what though? You can feel good over Christmas. You can enjoy all the lovely stuff, go out more, indulge more than you’re used to and still feel good in January. You mightn’t be exactly 100% the way you felt pre-Christmas, but you’ll be very close.
I know exactly what works, all you need are a couple of rules of engagement, a few simple rules that you can follow, and you’ll feel good, and more importantly, in control, over Christmas.
Here are my rules of engagement that work every single year:
- Take time off from working out: 25th, 26th, 27th and 28th. Get a walk in those days.
- Take time out from healthy food plan: 25th, 26th and 27th.
- Back fully on track with everything on the 28th.
4. Do Tabata interval training for 16 minutes, every day. I say every day because I love to exercise. It surprises me so much that people would drop this, as it’s the ONE thing that will leave you feeling more capable, in control and happy over Christmas. If you can’t bring yourself to do this, workout every second day.
Exercises like Lunges, Squats, Press-ups, Skipping are best for tabata style training. It’ll help blow the cobwebs away, and keep you feeling good. Nothing beats coming back into a warm house, cheeks rosy, after a workout in the cold, in the garden.
5. While doing tabata interval training, by virtue of the fact that you’ll be doing lunges/press-ups/squats, it means you’ll also be keeping your muscles! And by that I mean that you’ll be keeping up with your resistance training. And don’t forget it’s the resistance training that keeps your lean muscle mass, keeping your metabolism high.
5. Pick your one vice. Be it alcohol, or sugar or carby food, best not go hell for leather on all three. I like to pick one. So if you love sweet stuff over Christmas, don’t go over board with starchy carbohydrates. Pick your one favourite vice, and work at avoiding the rest.
6. Remember what it is that you want. I used to find myself eating chocolates because that’s what you do over Christmas right? Until I discovered that I actually feel happier when I don’t. Not everyone loves to binge out over Christmas on chocolate. If all of your friends/family do that, it doesn’t mean you have to be like them.
There are so many people out there who just don’t want to eat sugar over Christmas. This ties back into the new you thing I was talking about earlier. Maybe the old you loved that, but is it genuinely what you want these days? If it is, happy days, but think about it a bit more, before you automatically do it. Maybe you’ll find you don’t enjoy it as much as you used to.
Other small nutrition tips that can help: (only do this if you really want to stay as you are over Christmas)
- Avoid butter
- Eat lots of protein and veg
- Take the skin off
- Avoid potatoes
- Avoid dessert
- Avoid carbohydrates after 5pm
I hope this helps, any questions please comment below.