Christmas is a time for celebration and for people to enjoy eating and drinking the things they love. But overindulging in decadent festive treats can leave us feeling bloated.
To help keep weight gain at bay this Christmas but still enjoy your favourite treats, Sports Nutritionist, Jess Hillard from Warrior shared her top tips for avoiding excessive weight gain, one of which involves exercise.
The key with exercise around Christmas is not to neglect it, said Jess. She continued: “Keeping up with your daily exercise routine will ensure that not only are you keeping active, but you are also burning any extra calories you might be taking in this festive season.
“It doesn’t have to be your usual intense workout that you might be doing year-round, light exercise will do. Wrap up warm and step outside with the whole family for a Christmas Day walk. Get out in the morning while the turkey is in the oven for some fresh air and get in those steps. This is not only such a great family bonding experience but also allows you to move your body.
“Even a 15-minute walk could be beneficial, a short walk is better than nothing.”
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While Christmas isn’t a time to worry about your exercise routine, Sam Gregory, Trainer at F45 Stratford, also offered exercise advice for counteracting the damage.
He said: “Although Christmas is not a time to worry about your exercise routine, there are easy ways you can counteract the damage. For example, I would recommend you adapt your training regime by opting for a morning cardio session on an empty stomach, as depleted state interval training burns significantly more body fat than training after you’ve eaten.
“You could also try taking part in a HIIT class, that will help you burn around 800 calories in a short space of time, like at F45.”
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Jess and Sam offered some other tips, from making good food choices to which alcoholic drinks to choose.
Make good food choices
Although you might be starting your day with a mini piece of chocolate from your advent calendar, it doesn’t mean the whole day needs to be a write off.
Jess said: “You can make good food choices where possible in order to ensure you are not ruining all your hard work. This does not mean that you cannot enjoy your favourite treats, but you are more likely to be craving sweet foods over the festive season as your body is having more of it than it is used to.
“If you struggle to make healthy choices in the lead up to Christmas, try stocking up on healthy options so you have them readily available, like the new Warrior Protein Cookies (RRP £17.99 for 12 cookies from https://teamwarrior.com). These are packed with 15g of high-quality protein and only 2.8g of sugar, so you still get to enjoy the taste of indulgent cookies, whilst being nutritious too.”
During this festive season, we are more prone to snacking and eating excessively, whether it’s indulging in food we wouldn’t usually eat or having three plates of Christmas dinner.
Jess said: “While this shouldn’t be demonised, it is good to eat slower and recognise when you are full – rather than getting yourself into an uncomfortable state.”
You need to remember that during the Christmas period, you are going to drink and eat more than you usually would, and you’re probably not going to get the eight hours of sleep you would like, said Sam.
He said: “This should not fill you with dread, as you’re going to be dancing and smiling more than you would if you were asleep, and you’re going to be having the fun you deserve. It’s called the festive season for a reason, so give yourself a break and enjoy yourself.”
Stick to the spirits
Everyone knows the festive period is about eating, drinking and being merry, and there’s no reason why you shouldn’t, said Sam.
He advised: “To combat the effects, I would advise you to stick to the spirits and low calorie mixers. Though, this is obviously not as good as not drinking at all, it’s definitely a better option than 10 pints of lager.”
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