We are now fast approaching the holiday season, which means more and more of us are going to be resigning ourselves to the fact that we can kiss goodbye to our waistlines and slender figures for a few weeks, as most of us really let our hair down and go slightly over the top. The holidays are not only about being around your friends and family members, they are also about stuffing our faces until we feel physically sick. Yes, holiday food is delicious, there’s no denying that, but if you’re trying to get in shape, or at least, maintain your physique somewhat, you may find the next few weeks very difficult. We all deserve to have fun and unwind during the holidays, but this doesn’t mean we have to eat every single item of junk food in sight. There are many people out there that diet over the holidays, that still manage to have a fantastic time, without undoing all of their hard work in the gym. If you’d like to stay leaner and healthier this Christmas, here are some handy tips to try out.
Don’t forget your veggies
During the holidays, you will probably be invited out to meals, and over to friend and family members for dinner parties and such like, and that’s on top of the epic turkey dinner many of you will be enjoying on Christmas day. Just because you are eating something non-diet-friendly however, that does not mean that you have to neglect what does your body good. Whether eating at a restaurant, a cafe, somebody’s house, or anywhere else, make sure you get plenty of vegetables on your plate and inside your stomach. Vegetables are low in calories, they are very nutritionally dense, they taste great, and they’re a great source of fibre, so they will also help to fill you up. The many vitamins and minerals contained in vegetables will do your body a whole world of good, so during this holiday season, don’t be found guilty of neglecting your veggies!
Cut back on the alcohol
As well as unhealthy, yet delicious, junk foods, the holiday season for many people, also involves the consumption of copious amounts of alcohol, and from a health and fitness perspective, that is one of the worst things you can do. Alcoholic beverages are the very definition of empty calories as they are high in calories, yet they offer virtually no real nutritional value to your body at all. What’s more, the alcohol itself is a poison and the beverages are often filled with sugar and other artificial ingredients that do you no good at all.
Train as normal
Over the holidays, a lot of people often give themselves a break from the gym, and if you feel like you would benefit from a break from the gym, then by all means give yourself a break and enjoy your time off. If however, you feel at a loose end if you aren’t training, then simply continue training in the gym like you would normally. Bodybuilding, and any other form of health and fitness for that matter, is a sport that benefits hugely from consistency, so taking time off is more likely to put you two steps backwards and that is obviously not ideal. If you are able to do so, and if you are happy to do so, for the few weeks over the holidays, simply continue to train as you would normally.
Make healthier choices
In terms of healthy eating and healthy living, the foods and drinks that you consume are down to you, and you alone, so only you can hold yourself accountable. This means that if you are dining out with your colleagues, for example, and you find them all purchasing typical holiday-style foods, though you may be tempted to follow suit, if you are truly dedicated to getting yourself in better shape, and getting fitter and healthier, it is down to you to select healthier alternatives when dining out. Instead of a festive turkey dinner with all of the trimmings, you may wish to go with grilled salmon and veggies, or perhaps a chicken salad and such like. Everywhere you go you will be provided with healthier options, but as we say, it’s down to you to decide whether or not you wish to purchase them.
Enjoy yourself and don’t sweat the small stuff
The holidays are all about having fun and enjoying yourself, so if all of your friends have invited you out for a meal, but you’ve turned them down because you’re worried you will ruin your diet, stop and ask yourself if one meal would really be that bad? As mentioned, you can still go out and make a healthier choice, or you could simply say ‘what the heck’ have a night off from the diet, enjoy a delicious meal with great company, and simply get back on the diet the next day. Too many people beat themselves up mentally through guilt when they break their diets or slack off from their training slightly, when in reality there is no need to do so at all. You can always start again the very next day, and you can always work that little bit harder the next day as well.
Increase your cardio
If you do anticipate yourself consuming more calories than you would ordinarily consume, you can still minimize the damage done by increasing your cardio to help burn off those extra calories. Cardio burns calories, is fairly easy to perform, and can be adapted to suit a whole variety of people and their own preferences and circumstances. If you have been out for a meal the night before, and if you did eat more than you intended, by simply performing a strenuous cardio session the next day, you can undo all your wrongdoings the night before.