Festive tips to help you keep in trim
It’s December and the parties keep rolling. This is one of the hardest times of year for keeping fit. Cooler weather makes us crave comfort food, and that’s before you factor in the celebrations.
But instead of waiting until the New Year for another resolution to get fit or lose weight, how about trying to stay focused and keep the weight off while still enjoying the festivities?
Here are a few of my favourite strategies:
1. Calorie watch
The most important thing is not to overconsume calories. If you overeat during a meal, reduce calories somewhere else.
Sure, you could spend a few hours in the gym to burn more calories, but that is far less efficient.
It is quicker and easier to simply reduce calories elsewhere throughout the day.
If you have five big dinners planned this week, each of which will be accompanied by a fair few drinks, then try eating lighter throughout the day.
Having a high-protein breakfast will stave off cravings, skipping office candies and baked goods can save you 600 calories or more.
2. Get your workout
Training tends to fall to the bottom of the list when it’s cooler. The solution to this is simple — stop making excuses and get to the gym.
Sit down and map out these last few weeks of the year, add some training times to your diary and get it in.
If you’ve made an appointment with yourself, most likely you’ll make it happen.
Even if this is your busy season, my challenge for you is to get in at least four training sessions per week.
This can include weekends, when there is more time. Create a checklist, so you can log everything. If you’re really struggling, get a personal trainer to help motivate you.
3. Switch your drink of choice
The more we drink, the more calories we consume. Ideally, I would encourage you to lay off the booze, but that’s usually unrealistic for most. So here are few suggestions to help keep your alcohol levels down:
• Try to cap your night at three drinks. This can be hard when someone else is pouring, so get them yourself.
• Sticking to a 1-2-1 ration between alcohol and water, alternating between the two, spreads out the time between drinks and fills you up so you drink the alcohol slower.
• Stick to white spirits (gin, vodka), with low-calorie mixers. For those who prefer wine, go for a dry red as they are slightly lower in calories.
4. Prepare meals in advance
It’s especially easy to take your eye off the ball with food during the holidays, so having a healthy meal waiting at home will reduce the chances of you ordering out.
Another advantage of making your own meals is you can calculate the number of calories and estimate how many more you can consume in the evening. Try using MyFitnessPal app to help you.
The holiday season is not an excuse to go off the rails. All it takes is a bit more discipline and some clever use of your time. Stick to it and you may find you don’t need to make that New Year’s resolution after all!
Start now and B-Active for life!
•Betty Doyling is a certified fitness trainer and figure competitor with more than a decade of experience. Check her out on Facebook: www.facebook.com/B.ActiveForLife</i>
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