Without doubt Christmas has to be one of the greatest times of year. Spending time with family and friends, everywhere is decorated and sparkling with lights. The last thing you want to do is stress or worry about how not to undo all the hard work you have done in the past 11 months! Whilst your health and fitness goals are a priority it is also important to find a balance between celebrating and sticking to your diet and workout routine.
There are plenty of ways to enjoy every part of the season without throwing your goals out the window. Here are a few of my tips for staying on track during the Christmas period.
When you sit down for dinner reach for the vegetable dishes first. Fill your plate with veggies and lean proteins before piling on the stuffing and sweets. Also make sure you drink plenty of water throughout the meal to keep you hydrated and feeling full and satisfied.
It’s totally fine and expected, that you will indulge over the holidays. It’s just important to remember to enjoy your favourite treats in moderations. Remember my 80/20 rule!
Pastry based nibbles are the thing to stay clear of. Sausage rolls, quiches, vol-au-vents, spring rolls and flans, are all usually highly calorific.
Swap: Ease off the mini sausage rolls (54kcal) and instead opted for the less fatty cocktail sausage instead (40kcal).
Avoid: Anything that has been deep-fried, for example battered prawns.
Swap: Mini vol-au-vent filled with cream cheese and prawns (195kcal) for pieces of toasted pitta bread topped with prawn and low-fat soft cheese (85kcal). This will lead to all the flavour, but with less than half the calories.
When choosing your accompaniments for your cheese be careful. French Bread and butter or a handful of cream crackers will double the calories. Consider breadsticks, crispbreads or water biscuits and use grapes, celery and fruit to fill up on.
Swap: If you are unable to resist the cheeseboard, thenby making a few simple changes can help to ease your conscience and your waistline. Bire (75kcal per 25g serving), Camembert (75kcal per 25g serving) and Edam (82kcal per 25g serving), all contain less calories than Cheddar (105kcal per 25g serving), Stilton (105kcal per 25g serving) and Red Leicester (100kcal per 25g serving). However, if goat's cheese is on offer then go for that everytime (62kcal per 25g serving).
Wine: Try mixing white wine with soda water to halve the calories, or alternatively opt for either a dry white (116kcal per 175ml glass) or a glass of red, as these contain fewer calories than sweet wines, which come in at around 170kcal per glass.
Lager: Easy to remember - the higher the alcohol content the more calories the larger contains. A pint of Carlsberg holds around 182kcal, whereas a pint of Stella Artois would be 246kcal.
Beer: The style of beer can be the key here. A pint of draught mild will have around 136kcal per pint, Boddingtons bitter around 170kcal and Guinness nearer to 210kcal.
Spirits: Light, white spirits usually have fewer calories than darker ones.For example 175ml of vodka and slimline tonic has 88kcal, and a vodka with half a can of red bull around 112kcal. However two pub measures of brandy (35ml) register more than 140kcal.
Besides hitting the gym there are plenty of ways to stay active outdoors during the Christmas period. Family walks, taking the kids to the park, teaching them to ride their new bike then running after them when they get the hang of it!! 😃 Just because its not ‘structured’ exercise it still counts! You just need to move a bit!
No Gym Access?
Bodyweight or a quick HIIT workout that uses minimal space and equipment is perfect. You need not to spend hours in the gym to benefit from a workout. Keep your speed up and intensity high and in 20 minutes you can easily earn that slice of pie!!