Christmas Tips and Goal Setting
Some simple tips below for Christmas. One of the best ones is timing exercise to make way for or burn off indulgences. This is a great year round habit.
Lots of people gain a few pounds at Christmas and burn about half off it back off leaving a tiny winy bit = which accumulates over the decades and as with all things end up being about 10kg by the time we are in our 60's for many people.
Starting your goals early is a great idea. Mostly goals are constantly updated reinforced and affirmed daily to help them tick along until we become unconsciously competent. We should end up doing what's good for us without even thinking about it. However we all know that doesn't always happen.
The secret - the brain always wins. I'll leave that one with you and discuss it in more detail soon.
I wrote a long piece on behaviour change here - It's worth going through if you are always back to square one after fading once you nearly get there.
What the best way to prepare for the excesses of the festive season?
Try and get ahead of the game by being stricter about food and drink and upping your exercise levels before Xmas. The festive season is a time for family and friends, so be sure that if you want to do some exercise you’ve negotiated it with your partner. Going out for a run on Christmas morning won’t seem so neglectful if you’ve cleared it beforehand! Any extra exercise puts you in credit and means that you will have room for an extra pieces of cheese and cake. You’ll sweat out the toxins from any drinking you may have done the previous night.
You can actually start now with a good drive from now until Christmas you could lose 2kg of fat by then.
What the best food plan?
In the holidays I like to get clients to use intermittent fasting more. So try and go until 2/3pm before your 1st meal.
If you train in the morning which is a good idea you can have a protein rich breakfast afterwards then fast until supper time.
On Xmas day keep to the one big meal and a little turkey sandwich before bed. To be fair it’s a day which should really be the best treat day of the year.
What are the best Xmas days snacks?
Make sure you have some healthy snacks at hand in case the turkey ends up taking too long to cook. Have some raw vegetable crudites cut up and ready to go: carrot, cucumber, peppers and celery, with a tub of hummus or a pot of cottage cheese, and some nuts: walnuts, brazil and cashews.
With nuts generally, get ones that are already in their shells as having to crack open the shells will slow down your eating of them, rather than getting a big handful of ready salted peanuts and throwing them back. Choose natural nuts rather than salted or roasted ones.
As much as possible, avoid these deadly Xmas foods outside of the 1-2 days you've allowed for Xmas excesses - eating these for the whole of December can happen: Biscuits, confectionary, sausage rolls, pastries and mince pies... Keep them real or plan some sprints for the day after.
What would you suggest for Christmas Day breakfast?
A great breakfast is smoked salmon and scrambled omega eggs, a true omega 3 extravaganza! Keeps you nice and full as well and a good base for a glass of champagne.
What about alcohol?
The key really is to enjoy alcohol in moderation, drink plenty of water in between courses, and go for a walk after lunch. If you are going into a situation where there will be a lot of drinking, then drink lots of water before and after the event.
If you can drink water during the party then do so. Light aerobic activity will sweat some of the booze out the following day but this only works if you’ve drunk enough water before hand. So if you are going to do some exercise the following morning then make sure you drink lots before you do. You can also use a sauna to sweat the booze out afterwards.
It’s the parties and socials before Christmas which really add up. To doing more exercise to balance these out makes sense.
What are the best drinks to choose?
Spirits with lots of diet mixers and white wine spritzers. Try and avoid beer, especially lagers. Support your liver if you are going to drink a lot – milk thistle and dandelion is a good supplement - or get a liver formula from a health food store. Egg nog is probably the worst drink for gaining weight.
I use my metabolic optimiser for liver support and lowering inflammation after a few beers - works wonders for me.
Is it ok to eat Xmas pudding?
Yes, but leave out the brandy butter – have a little low fat fromage frais, instead. Leave a big gap before you have your dessert. Generally, you’re pretty full after a roast dinner and all the trimmings anyway. Often, I’ll wait a couple of hours before having pudding or dessert. It helps prolong the meal and also balances insulin levels.
Can we have cheese?
Of course - but have another long break before having your cheese. Eat the cheese with celery grapes and apples rather than crackers.
Finally, what is the one thing that I could do to ensure I don’t put on fat?
Go for a run - or a brisk walk - on Xmas morning and Boxing day morning – start your New Year’s resolutions a bit early
Struggling for Xmas pressie ideas?
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