Christmas is without a doubt, my favourite time of year. It always involves too many snags on the barbie, too many ice cold beers, and an extra serve of pavlova and cakes. Temptation by the bucket-load in anyone’s language!! Staying in control over the festive season doesn’t mean you have to give up on all the fun stuff. It’s more about keeping focused, so you can rip into the New Year feeling great and looking sharp.
Here are a few simple tips of mine, to keep you on track and in control:
1. Let loose a little – just not on the belt
Yep, you can indulge, it’s Christmas! Just try and stick to smarter choices rather than going nuts on every meal or BBQ. Stick to whole, unprocessed foods – think prime cuts of quality meats, premium fruit including peaches, nectarines, cherries, mangoes, berries, nuts, and lots of summer vegetables and salads. You can still eat like a king without loading up on the lollies, desserts, chips and other things that will put you in a sugar-coma and make it 10 times harder to get going again when the new year kicks in.
2. Plan ahead
Here’s the big one – mental preparation is the key. Be on the front-foot when going to functions where you’re not in control of the food being served. Go to these parties with the mindset that you’re going to have fun (not be a calorie counter) but make better choices than you have before. So instead of filling up on bread, chips and beer, hunt out the great protein and meat dishes, and load up on the variety of salad and vegetables on offer (as well as a few coldies).
3. Space it out with H2O
Set yourself a limit on alcoholic drinks and space them out with a water in between to reduce the calories, reduce the hangover and stay in control.
4. Be accountable
Christmas is about relaxing, so be realistic and set achievable goals. My tip – for every extra beer I drink over Christmas, it is an extra 30 crunches, 30 push-ups and 30 second planks holds during my next workout. An extra three beers equals a fair bit more hard work which really makes you start to think about how much you really want those extra drinks. I’ll have the beers, guaranteed, but I’ll also do the work the very next day.
5. Tomorrow brings a new day
If you end up having a bit too much chocolate or just too much to eat on any given day, it’s important to leave that behind you, and know that every day is a brand new one. The worst thing to do is mentally avoid thinking of what you’re consuming, and postpone it all until “after Christmas”, as you want to feel fighting fit over the summer holidays and into the new year.
6. Sweat it out
Go for an extra walk or run, and build up a sweat through exercise after you’ve gone off the rails a little at a social event – it’s a good reminder to stick to the program next time. It’s a lot easier to put down a piece of cake than it is to smash yourself through more crunches or planks.
7. Unleash the big kid!
Us Aussies are blessed with Christmas in the sun. So get amongst it, and test out Santa’s new gifts. Kick a footy, go for a spin, get out the cricket bat, hit the waves with the kids and their new boards, and make the most of this awesome quality time with the family. It will keep you pumped, and motivated to maintain your goals for health and happiness into the New Year and beyond. After all, isn’t that what Christmas is all about?