Gaining weight over the holiday period doesn't have to happen! If you follow a few of the tips below you won't have to make a choice between celebrating the festive season and maintaining your fitness commitments.
Thanks to ATP’s Personal Training Coaches for these tips on how to stay in shape over the holiday season.
JQ’s Tip: Plan your workouts for the week and put it in your calendar.
Remember that some exercise is better than none. If you can’t fit in a gym session, do a bodyweight workout or take a walk. Even if you’re feeling rough (hangover anyone?) you’ll feel better after some exercise, just do something easy and once your blood starts flowing you’ll probably get more into it for a better workout!
Jeremy’s Tip: Exercise with your family.
My favourite way to avoid losing my gains is by staying active and making sure I get at least 30-60 minutes outdoors everyday, preferably in the sun so that I keep your vitamin D levels up. I recommend staying active with a brisk walk, running if you like it, or swimming if you have a condo pool. And of course keep up the gym whenever possible because resistance training is always the best kind of exercise.
We don’t need to necessarily limit our food intake at family occasions, but if you have had a big meal, go easy on the next one or the next day, and try to encourage the whole family to go for a walk with you after your meal, that way everyone benefits from your dedication to your health!
"Rather than drink beer, or even wine, try vodka or other strong spirits with low-calorie mixers. This doesn't include cocktails as most are loaded with sugar."
Pete’s Tip: Booze or comfort food, but not both
Of course over the holiday period you are likely to drink more than normal, whether it’s at holiday parties or at home or bars with family and friends. I avoid stressing my body doubly using the following rules:
- Never combine drinking alcohol with junk food, or meals where you are stuffing yourself
- Don’t forget that alcohol itself is very calorie dense, so you can’t ignore those calories when adding up your total
- Rather than drink beer, or even wine, try vodka or other strong spirits with low-calorie mixers. This doesn’t include cocktails as most are loaded with sugar
- Don’t mix alcohol and caffeine – you’re not 19 years old, you need your undisturbed sleep for your body to process and detox the alcohol
Wei Hong: Front load activity, back load calories
My best practice to help me stay in shape over Christmas is front loading activity and back loading calories. At the start of my day, whilst my motivation is at it’s highest, I like to direct my energy towards being active. Usually this incorporates some steady state activity coupled with a workout. This is what I refer to as ‘front-loading’ activity – doing it early on in the day.
Paired with this I like to back load my food which means eating most of my food late in the day. That way giving me fewer opportunities to eat and over consume on calories, whilst allowing those opportunities more scope to eat socially. To help with energy during this period of fasting I make the most of black coffee, electrolytes and essential amino acids. In other words make sure you get your exercise in before your food, because then even if you overeat at least your got a workout in, and you might not feel like it once you’re stuffed!
In reality this looks like:
- Waking up
- Walking or cycling to the gym (as my method of commuting)
- Working out
- Fasting through till afternoon
- Eating in the early evening’s
Chris: These tips apply all year round, not just for the holidays!
I recommend you take a photo of everything that goes into your mouth. Water, coffee, mince pies, sweets, meals, by the end of the day you might be surprised what you’ve eaten and realise how easy it is to discount little snacks that actually add up to a lot of extra food!
Get outside for three 20min walks every day – I did this by adopting a dog and this keeps us both happy!
Do something 4 times a week (at least 40mins) where heart rate is over 150bpm. This can be a gym session or cardio or anything that is high energy, but weight training is the most effective when it comes to getting and staying in shape.
Charis: Have a plan and stick to it!
My best tip for the holidays is to make sure that that you have a plan in place in advance. I go over this with all my clients when preparing for a vacation or holiday period because failing to plan is planning to fail. If you know in advance what you are planning to eat you can factor in when you should exercise, and make sure that you don’t have too many days in a row when you go heavy on the calories! Think of it like charging your phone – if you keep charging when it’s full you can damage the battery. With your body you can use exercise to discharge your energy stores before filling them back up with festive food!
Angelica’s Tip: Lose the all or nothing mindset
Just because you pig-out one day doesn’t mean you have to pig-out every day! Limit the days on which you indulge – for example save your ‘cheat days’ for when you have a party or gathering to go to, but keep your at-home days healthy.
The same applies to working out. Just because you miss one workout doesn’t mean you should pack it all in and give up! Just get back to it the next day and things will be okay.
"Make sure you get your exercise in before your food, because then even if you overeat at least your got a workout in, and you might not feel like it once you're stuffed!"
Erly’s Tip: Eat slowly.
“This time of the year parties and gatherings are happening left and right… After the 2020 we’ve have this will be the period when people are looking forward to socializing and catching up. One of the best thing we can do when enjoying parties is to EAT SLOWLY. This will allow your body to register that you have eaten enough calories and avoid over eating. Eating slowly allows your body to absorb nutrients properly and puts less stress on your gut during digestion and even helps prevent you from expanding your stomach which might otherwise make you eat even more!”
"Just because you miss one workout doesn't mean you should pack it all in and give up! Get back to it the next day and things will be okay."
We recommend our personal training programs as the best way to get in shape before, during and especially after the holidays! We can help you will all aspects of achieving a healthy lifestyle, from diet, lifestyle choices and habits, and of course exercise.
Everyone benefits from the experience we have to offer! You can get started now, simply complete and submit the form below. Or read more about what we offer for clients like yourself at the links below.
CHECK OUT OUR UNLIMITED HOLIDAY SPECIAL
We have had great success with our limited availability ‘unlimited’ package, so if you really want to get into your transformation with gusto you should get in touch as soon as possible to lock this in! AND OVER THE HOLIDAY PERIOD GET AN EXTRA WEEK FREE WITH EACH PACKAGE.
We know you’re going to have lots of questions, so we’ve tried to answer everything below!
This super value unlimited program includes the following:
- A comprehensive assessment of your body, ability and needs
- A nutrition program tailored to fit your lifestyle
- A training program that matches your current ability and will take you towards achieving your goals.
- Support, feedback and accountability outside of the gym.