The weeks leading up to Christmas are without doubt one of the hardest times of the year to stay fit and healthy; the temptation to stay indoors when it’s cold outside and the bombardment of unhealthy snacks and sweets available (not to mention alcohol) makes keeping up your fitness regime incredibility difficult.
Of course you are supposed to let your hair down and enjoy yourself at this time of year, and our guide will help you do this. All without compromising the hard work you have achieved so far at the gym.
Start the day right
Make sure you start the day with a healthy low calorie breakfast. If you know you’ll be eating a lot later in the day, then eating something lighter such as fruit, yogurt or a protein shake can really help keep the calories down.
Eat some healthy snacks
Occasionally swapping the mince pies for a festive orange or nuts can really make a difference in the long term, so it’s worth getting in some healthy alternative snacks to counter-balance the Christmas goodies.
- Cut The Calories In Your Alcohol
One of the main lifestyle changes around this time of year is that you inevitably end up consuming more alcohol. Whether it’s a work Christmas party, evenings in front of the fire, going on nights out and visiting friends and family (not to mention Christmas day itself and the New Year), alcohol seems to be in abundance everywhere.Now Simply Gym aren’t telling our members to abstain from drinking (far from it) but it’s worth knowing that not all alcoholic drinks have the same high impact on your waistline.Making smart substitutesOne of the most calorific drinks people consume at this time of year is mulled wine (containing a whopping 253 calories per small glass!) We recommend low calorie alternatives such as Ribena Winter Spice (which can be heated up like mulled wine, and only contains 13 calories per 250 serving). But if you really want to drink wine this Christmas, dry white wine contains only 83 calories per small glass.And for beer and lager drinkers, remember that one pint on average contains 180 calories. So a much better alternative to reduce your calorie intake this Christmas would be to switch to spirits and low fat mixers (such as diet Coke and slim-line tonics.) For example, a typical single vodka and diet coke only contains 56 calories.
2. Lighten your Christmas meals
Another lifestyle change at this time of year is the intake of food. You will be more likely to snack on cakes, chocolates and mince pies, and the portions of main meals will undoubtedly increase.
While calorie counting around Christmas is no fun for anyone, there are a few tricks to ensure all this extra consumption does not interfere with your goals.
Recognising when you feel full
Sometimes it’s worth noting when you’re starting to feel full. This is especially important during large meals as keeping tabs on how hungry you feel can help keep calorie intake down. Take a look at this scale (a rating of 5 or 6 mean’s you’re comfortable, so try not to go above this number):
1—Starving, weak, dizzy
2—Very hungry, cranky, low energy, lots of stomach growling
3—Pretty hungry, stomach is growling a little
4—Starting to feel a little hungry
5—Satisfied, neither hungry nor full
6—A little full, pleasantly full
7—A little uncomfortable
9—Very uncomfortable, stomach hurts
10—So full you feel sick.
So if you start to feel full, perhaps politely decline on that second helping (remember there will always be leftovers.)
3. Don’t forget the gym!
During the festive season your time may be limited, however short regular burst of exercise can really help you keep down the Christmas bulge (and make you look good for your Christmas parties!) Only 25 minutes of walking, 10 minutes cycling or 13 minutes jogging can burn a total of 100 calories. And remember we still run our short classes during the festive season throughout the day- perfect for the time deprived.
Take a look at our Christmas opening times below:
Wed 9th December: 6am–9pm
Thurs 24th December: 6am–4pm
Fri 25th December: CLOSED
Sat 26th December: CLOSED
Sun 27th December: 8am–8pm
Mon 28th December : 8am–8pm
Tue 29th – Wed 30th Dec: 6am–10pm
Thurs 31st December: 6am–6pm
Fri 1st January: CLOSED
Sat 2nd – Sun 3rd January: 7am–8pm.
Having the motivation to get to the gym may be reduced, the weather, social commitments and the lure of the sofa all add up, but bear in mind our gyms tend to be quieter at this time of year- therefore no queues for the machines! And remember you can always escape from the bad weather with us.
Wishing you a healthy happy Christmas,
from Simply Gym.