Yep – it’s that season of tide and joy. That time of year when no matter how much you try to avoid it you find yourself surrounded by mounds of festive treats, and the exercise plan starts to waver to make way for the multitude of Christmas parties and gatherings.
Its no surprise that we come out the other side with a few extra pounds and finding getting ourselves motivated to exercise just that little harder.
So what do you do to stay focused and to stay on plan over the festive season?
Over the last few years, as I find myself wanting to go to “out, out” less and less I am finding sticking to plan comes a little easier too. However, like everyone else I have my downfalls and I will no doubt reach for a mince pie or two over the coming weeks.
So I make a plan, to follow the following rules where possible:
Not every meal I have is going to be Slimming World friendly. There will be some exercise classes that I will no doubt miss for some reason or the other. What I will do is plan ahead. Plan for those meals that may cause me to eat things that I know are not good. And if I know I will be missing a class or two, I will work around it. I will ensure that I keep to my lunch time power walks and throw in a few more for good measure.
I know that for Christmas Day itself the rule book will go out the window. I will enjoy every bite possible. So in the lead up I will do everything in my power to ensure that I am making the better choices to account for that.
Become the Designated Driver
One thing I enjoy these days is my freedom to drive and get about. I also enjoy the freedom to leave a party whenever I choose to, to not rely on cabs and other people to get home. Becoming the designated driver gives me the flexibility to do so.
It also means that I limit my alcohol consumption and therefore less likely to be hungover – which could lead to over-indulging and the likeliness to miss training sessions and classes.
Driving keeps me in control. I still drink, though these days it mainly tends to be at home, controlled with dinner.
Eat before you leave!
If your social event involves more drinking than eating make sure you eat before you leave the house. Years of not following this advice myself has lead to many nights getting drunk at super speed and mornings spent pre ordering Dominos to cure the hangover caused by overindulgence. Eating before hand means you are also less likely to head to the kebab shop at 2am too – though I make no guarantees!
Make wise choices!
Yes – we are all going to eat our share of indulgent foods. But that does not have to be every meal for for the next three weeks. Make better choices. If you know you are going out for a three course dinner, make a better choice for breakfast and lunch. One indulgent meal does not have to lead to an indulgent day.
When you are out and about think about what you are eating. Can you swap those chips for a side salad? Do you need to have starter, main and desert?
Don’t skip breakfast!
Its a given. The golden rule. Leave the house with a full belly and you will be set up for the day. You will be less likely to snack throughout the day. There is a saying – “eat like a King for Breakfast, a Prince for Lunch and a Pauper for Dinner.” Reversing your meals so that breakfast is the biggest meal of the day will mean you have more time to digest your meal throughout the day and not go to bed with a heavy stomach! I personally hate having a heavy meal after 7pm, I always find in doing so I feel ill and wake up feeling rather sluggish and bloated the next day.
Load up on your Vitamins!
It goes without saying that fruit and vegetables should be the most important part of your diet. Getting your five a day is key and loading up with Vitamin C is vital – especially as the temperatures drop and coughs and colds are wide spread.
Load up with a mix of the two by preparing a Nutri-Bullet each morning or prepping healthy snacks to take on your travels.
I always have a box of satsumas on my desk and take a pot of crudities and hummus to munch on between meals.
Allow yourself the rest and cheat days!
Giving yourself a break every now and then will mean you are less likely to fall off plan completely. We all need those days of rest, make sure you plan them in. If you have a cheat day or a cheat meal so be it. Don’t beat yourself up about it. Draw a line under it, move forward and look to the next days plan.
Its an exhausting time of year. Give yourself a break. Its allowed!
Focus on the long term goal.
In the grand scheme of things the festive period is only a small portion of the year. Yes we become very indulgent, over excited and sometimes allow things to slide. However, it is short term. Think about the long term goal, how far you have come and where you want to go. Then make the next plan – the New Year plan – and get right back on the horse ready to keep going.
Whatever you are doing over the next few weeks to celebrate; enjoy yourself, relax, rest and remember to keep going!
Enjoy a happy, healthy holiday!