How can you stay fit and healthy over Christmas…
How can you stay fit and healthy over Christmas, not stress about food, not stress about the lack of workouts you can do and just enjoy yourself?
Christmas can be a frustrating time of year, especially if you’re trying to lose weight or trying to get fitter or healthier, but don’t think of it that way. We’re going to find a way now, got a few points here to help you overcome any of those stress and anxiety problems you might have over Christmas, enjoy it, and then still maintain ready for the new year and ready to kick on again.
Remember this flexibility is the key to sustainability. Your lifestyle shouldn’t fit around your health and fitness, your health and fitness and your nutrition should fit around your current lifestyle. And if you do that and you manage to master that, you will be well on the track to making sustainable progress for the long term.
The first thing I’m going to touch upon is don’t feel like you must work out. You don’t have to do structured workouts over Christmas. More than likely, your gym is going to be shut anyway. So that takes that out of the equation, but I don’t want you to stress about not working out.
Don’t feel like you have to do a 25-mile run Christmas morning or you have to do a Joe Wicks HIIT workout first thing in the morning on Christmas Day. You don’t have to. What I’m going to say is just be active.
Go for a walk after Christmas dinner or go for a walk in the morning. Take the dog out a few more times, maybe do a small body weight workout at some point over Christmas. But don’t feel like you must work out to burn off the calories you’re eating because Christmas is a small, minute period of time over the course of the year. It’s literally less than a percent of the course of the year, isn’t it? So, if you’re good most of the year, then these two or three days over Christmas is not going to matter. So please don’t stress about not working out. In fact, use this time to rest, recover, have a bit of a mental break from working out. And then when Christmas is done, you can start moving forward again and kicking on again even harder. But don’t stress about it, guys.
Next up, try and be as hydrated as possible.
Now, even if you’re going out on the drink, on the booze, try and be as hydrated as you can. So, whether this is having a glass of water before you go out for a meal or whether this is just topping up throughout the course of the day with water, please stay hydrated because it’s going to keep your energy levels high. And when your energy levels are high, you’re going to feel more motivated and you’re going to feel just livelier in general. If you’re dehydrated, you’re going to feel more tired, lethargic, and that’s not going to help the situation around Christmas. So, stay optimally hydrated and keep your energy levels as high as you can.
Next one, and this is a biggie, do not track your calories over the Christmas period. Now, the two or three days over Christmas, there’s literally no point in tracking your calories.
One, because it’s very difficult to track those. Imagine trying to track the calories in a turkey? Not that easy to do.
Imagine trying to track the calories in Grandma Jane’s Christmas pudding? It isn’t going to happen.
So, forget about it. Don’t stress about it. Take that out the situation completely. And what I would say is in the days leading up to Christmas, maybe track and log your calories there, see where you’re at with your food there. The days after Christmas, so from the 27th onwards, go back to tracking calories, of course you can. But those three or four days over Christmas, around that time, there is literally no point because it’s going to be stressful, it’s going to fill you with anxiety, and it’s not going to serve any purpose. And it’s just difficult to do. So don’t track your calories there, track them before, track them after, that’s absolutely fine. Like I said before, Christmas is such a small time of the year. If you are good throughout the course of the year, these two or three days does not make a difference at all.
Next up, aim to keep your protein intake as high as possible because protein helps keep us, feel satiated, which is a fancy word for saying, helps us feel fuller for longer, which means you’re less likely to overeat. But it’s also going to help your muscles and body repair and recover while you’re not training quite as hard and as intensely as you were prior to Christmas.
So, protein intake, try and keep that up as much as you possibly can, whether this is lean meats or protein shakes or whatever it is that you get your protein intake from, try and keep it high throughout the course of the Christmas period.
Next up, is aim to eat as much nutrient dense foods as you possibly can. Yes, you’re going to eat sugar. Yes, you’re going to eat more fat over Christmas. Of course, you are. But if you just eat sugar and fat over Christmas, you’re going to feel awful. You’re going to feel lethargic, sluggish, very, very demotivated, and you will put on quite a bit of body fat if you do that.
Now, what I’m going to say is, eat as much nutrient dense food as possible. Be smart with this. We all know what healthy, wholesome foods are. Aim to eat as much of that as you possibly can and fill yourself up with that rather than filling yourself up on high sugary or high fat foods. And if you do this, you’re going to feel much better, physically, and mentally, but after Christmas, you’re going to be in a far better place to move on again and keep kicking on with your training and your nutrition. So nutrient dense foods, make that a priority.
Next up is just get back to normal as soon as you can. After Christmas and Boxing Day and maybe a day or two after that, get back to normal as much as you can. So, get back to your normal eating, tracking your calories, being active, getting workouts in, staying hydrated, all those cool things, do that, and you’ll be well on the road to getting back to normal as soon as possible.
The last thing is guys, just please don’t stress about it. The Christmas period is meant to be fun. It’s enjoyable. It’s time to spend time with friends, family, loved ones. It doesn’t happen very often. So, enjoy Christmas. Enjoy that period of time in your life of the year and then get back to normal after that.
Do not stress about missing workouts or overeating food. These two, three, four days, it’s a small percentage of the year. It’s less than 1%. Do not panic about it. Rest of the year, by all means, you can do what you want in terms of your nutrition. You can really kick on harder. You can take your foot off the gas, do what you want there. But this Christmas period, as a trainer to you guys, I’m going to say, please don’t stress. Don’t get anxiety about it. Just enjoy it, have fun, get drunk, eat loads of good food, do a little bit of walking, a little bit of activity, then get back to it.
And that’s a sustainable way of living, guys. It’s not an unrealistic way of doing it. If you’ve got any questions, please let me know. I’d love to help, but use these tips over Christmas and see how you feel, and then get back into it for the new year.