Now I can never resist doling out some advice so for those of you that may be worried about Christmas weight gain derailing your progress then here are some easy pointers to help:
- Don’t sweat it! Christmas is supposed to be a time of fun and relaxation; you are going to eat more than normal so you might as well enjoy it! Don’t let guilt spoil your holiday!
- Focus on the food! When you actually look at a Christmas dinner it is a perfect meal: decent slab of meat, loads of veggies and some potatoes. Keep your focus on the main meals such as this and the boxing day ham. Splurge here and you’ll be less likely to eat the entire tin of celebrations!
- Give your dinner some attention! If you take a role in cooking the dinner, no matter how small that is, it will connect you to the food in a much greater way. Such meals are meant to be enjoyed so be mindful with your eating. Concentrate on how good it is, don’t just wolf it down and move to the next dish!
- Time your carbs! Take a quick refresh on my blog post about carb timing and implement these principles and you will really limit the damage that can be done. Start your Christmas morning with a creamy coffee, go for a carb free full English for brunch and then eat your dinner and the treats in the afternoon and evening. You’ll feel more alive for it and your waistline will thank you. Eating chocolate for breakfast is likely to see you sleeping through dinner!
- It’s not a competition! Even if your grandparents have lavished you with a stocking full of sweet treats it doesn’t mean that you have to eat them that day! Enjoy some and save others, they will make a nice post gym treat for your new year’s workouts.
- Look after your stomach! If you’re going to be putting down more calories than usual then be proactive with your stomach rather than the typical reactive tactic of chewing down Boot’s entire supply of gaviscon. Taking a probiotic prior to eating, taking some time between courses and having a small glass of water between can all make a big difference to your absorption of the food. If you do end up in a food coma clutching your stomach then peppermint tea can be a lifesaver!
- Relax! As we know from previous posts Cortisol can be really problematic for our body composition so stay chilled! Christmas is supposed to be a time of relaxation but so often descends into family fuelled stress. Take a step back and recognise when you are getting stressed so you can do something about it. Your muscle mass and your loved ones will thank you!