Dec 13, 2016

Shannan’s Monthly Blog – December

It’s that time of the year again and with holidays fast approaching, you may already be starting to feel the temptation of the delicious food and lazing around that comes with it. Around this time of year, I’m often asked by my clients how they can maintain the hard work they’ve put in so far this year while still enjoying themselves over the holiday season. Remember it’s Christmas DAY, not Christmas Week or worse…Christmas Month.

You may be thinking that this is an impossible feat but I’m here to tell you that it is absolutely achievable! It takes a lot of willpower, but here are some steps you can take to ensure your fitness (and your waistline!) stay intact this holiday season.

1. Be mindful to prevent overeating. Eat a healthy small meal before heading out. Once you are out of your ‘controlled environment’, ensure that you take time to savour the food you’re eating. Take breaks between mouthfuls, assess your fullness level and how much more you realistically need to eat to get to your optimal fullness (and not feel stuffed!) You can still make good, clean food choices like fresh seafood, lean meat/turkey/chicken/ham, fresh fruit & veggies and of course AN ‘Xmas treat’.

Remember, at the end of your meal you want to feel satisfied and full, not over full and uncomfortable.

2. Don’t miss or skip meals. We’ve all been there, you’re rushing out the door trying to remember 100 things before getting to that holiday party then you’re in the car on your way there and you realise it: you haven’t eaten since breakfast and you’re now STARVING and plan on hitting the food spread to compensate. While I can definitely understand how busy the holidays can be, take the time to ensure you’re eating throughout the day.

One trick to try is having light snacks ready to grab and go. Think high protein, lower fat and low GI carb options, like: tinned tuna, leftover chicken or ham with cottage cheese or a low carb protein bar. That way you can grab a little something on your way out the door to take the edge off your hunger so you don’t overindulge at your party.

3. Be realistic. Don’t deprive yourself of the food you LOVE. During the holidays there are lots of foods available that you normally wouldn’t eat. For example, you know that you can’t resist your mum’s famous Christmas cookies, so go ahead and treat yourself. Just remember you are not a naughty teenager whose parents have gone away for a weekend. Pick your TREAT and enjoy IT. Treat not TREATS!

4. Upgrade your holiday cooking. Who says that holiday cooking has to be laden with fat? There are so many amazing clean cooking recipes available online as well as smart swaps for holiday favourites. For goodness sake we live in Australia, the greatest country in the world, and we’re spoiled when it comes to good food choices. Think fresh seafood, fruit, vegetables and lean meat.

5. Keep busy. Try shifting your focus from food to other events and projects. Instead of spending a day making baked goods get outdoors and get moving. Take the family for an active outing, game of sport, day at the beach, bike ride, swim or that long overdue spring clean.

6. Plan your workouts. Never go more than two days without training. This is crucial and the most important point above all else. Make sure you take time to plan your workouts in advance! Keep a calendar listing out the dates and times of your various holiday commitments and structure THEM around your TRAINING. Anytime Fitness is open all day and night every day, so there are NO excuses not to train! The holiday period will provide us with some cracking weather so rethink just hitting the gym and enjoy the outdoors too.

7. Re-gift those sweet treats. While I know that chocolates and sweet treats make a universally good present for most people, bear in mind that these treats are full of sugar and calories which can sabotage your waistline. Clean out your cupboards the day after the festivities. If you keep junk in the house you WILL eat it. Just make sure you don’t re-gift back to the person who gave them to you in the first place!

The holidays give you a chance to relax and spend time with friends and family, you shouldn’t deprive yourself to the point of not enjoying the season. However, by keeping these simple tips in mind, you can make sure that you stay fit and healthy well into the New Year.