K’mon, admit it!
You know exactly what I’m talking about here. The holidays come around and before you know it, they’re over and done with, and you find yourself with unwanted ‘gift’ of a little excess ‘Christmas Blubber’. So here are just a few (admittedly obvious) tips that you might find useful if you don’t to start the New Year feeling like a cross between Kris Kringle and the Michelin Man.
- Watch your Alcohol intake: this one will sneak up on you. You might be pretty disciplined with all the other stuff on this list, but you’ll be seeing people you may not have seen for a while, and the midst of all that catching up, somehow your glass is always full. By all means enjoy yourself, but remember: everything in moderation. You’ll be glad you skipped all those ‘empty calories’.
- Mind your portion sizes: it might seem a bit obvious, but if you’re going to be attending more than one party, those calories really will start to pile up. Just pace yourself a little. If you eat slowly, you’ll find you feel much more satiated. Don’t fall into the mentality that yuletide gluttony is somehow mandatory – that is a surefire way to end the year sporting a pot-belly!
- Go easy on the gravy: I know; gravy is one of the best parts of any Xmas dinner. I personally love making gravy as much as I love eating it. But think about what goes into gravy. It’s basically a whole tasty load of extra fat and carbs. Also, you don’t really need all that much to flavor your turkey and roast potatoes. Just be aware is all I’m saying…
- Ease off on the sweets: I shouldn’t have to say too much about this one; out of everything on a typical Xmas spread, it’s the amounts of refined sugar that are really the most counter-productive to your health and fitness goals. Sugar is a drug, which combined with a happy, friendly environment like Xmas, will sneak up on you and bite you in the behind. You don’t need to finish off every single mince-pie on that platter!
- Think Veggie: When you think Xmas dinner, you’re probably not spending that much emotional energy craving the Brussel sprouts, are you? It’s ok, I get it. But just because it’s the holidays, you shouldn’t be skipping out on your greens. Brussel Sprouts, in particular, are a pretty good option because in addition to all the nutrients in them, the fibre content will aid digestion. Remember, every time you sit down to a plate of meat and potatoes, you should ideally have some vegetables on that plate with them. I’m not trying to talk anyone into going vegan for Xmas, but just keep try and keep on top of it.
- There’s nothing wrong with a little low-impact exercise: now, I’m not suggesting you run a marathon or hit the weights room over the jolly season; although if you want to do that, I wouldn’t stop you. What I’m suggesting is that you perhaps consider going for a walk, having a kick-about in the garden; there is no reason to turn into a couch potato, and you might find that going into the holiday with a positive attitude might help to set you up for success in whatever your fitness goals for the New Year might be.
by Arthur Rutt