How to avoid the pitfalls of over indulging during the festive season
The holiday season is upon us and your diary is probably full of catch ups with old friends; work parties and dinners with extended family! It can be a nightmare to navigate a healthy diet around this time so we’ve come up with some practical tips to really help you stay happy and healthy during this wonderful time of the year!
Firstly, let’s talk about why we need to continue on our health journey during this festive season: As the saying goes you are what you eat and we are seeing lots of coverage in the media about disease and how what we eat can fight or cause it.
We don’t want to be dramatic, but it is a good starting point to remember that it is really important to maintain a healthy balance of good foods at all times during the year not just for summer when you want to look good in your swimwear!
It is even more important, during the winter months, when we are more prone to picking up bugs and other ailments, that we sustain the volume of good nutrients to help our body fight off any kind of infection.
So, here are our top 6 tips on how to stay healthy and fit during this year’s festivities:
Tip 1 – Use the 80 / 20 Rule
You are out with your work colleagues or friends, it is a party and the free drinks are flowing, how on earth do you stop yourself from over indulging? Why not try the 80 / 20 rule.
For any occasion you can apply this and it can help to stop you from completely over indulging. Make sure 80% of your food and drink intake is healthy and nutritious during that day. Pack in your super foods like broccoli, spinach, eggs, berries etc.
The other 20% choose wisely. If you want a desert then don’t opt for starters or that glass of wine.
If you would rather a few alcoholic drinks, try the lighter versions avoiding wine and beer which are calorific and always space your drinks with a glass of water in between to stay well hydrated and help to reduce the effects of your hangover the following day!
If you are still not sure what foods are really healthy, check out our Beginners Guide to Healthy Eating.
Tip 2 – Set Realistic Goals
On The Six Pack Revolution Programme we believe small daily disciplines are key to long term results, so it doesn’t matter where you are, you can always find time for a few daily press ups and squats. They are just a tiny part of your 24 hour day so why drop them over the holidays?
We do advise, at this time of year, that you set some realistic objectives. Don’t try and do a 2 hour workout when you have family staying over, as this is impractical. It is so important to find a good balance of family time and a little bit of time for yourself. So, whether it is a spare half an hour a couple of times a week to pop to the gym or to do a home workout, don’t underestimate the positive impact this can have on you, both mentally and physically, to keep you on track and feeling good over the festive season.
Tip 3 – Stay Hydrated
We can’t stress enough how important it is to keep drinking your water. You may be in a fantastic routine at work, but it can sometimes slip when you are out of your routine on holiday and catching up with family and friends. Keep your water bottle full and take it with you where ever you go. Not only will it help suppress your hunger and stop you from nibbling on all the goodies in the cupboard, it can also help prevent a hangover if you do over indulge.
Water is also great for fighting fatigue and can aid fat loss, hence the saying ‘the more you drink, the more you shrink’ (and just to be clear we don’t mean alcohol!) So keep yourself topped up with water throughout the day and this will always have a positive affect on your body.
Tip 4 – Enjoy Yourself
A little bit of something will not affect your long term goal. Trying to restrain yourself totally from the temptation can have the reverse affect, making you eat more. It can also make you feel pretty rubbish after you have consumed that box of Quality Street or that whole bottle of champagne. Feel free to enjoy small amounts of the treats that you really love, just keep those portions small and we always say; everything in moderation.
It is important to remember that the festive holiday isn’t the whole month of December, it is actually just a couple of days, so try not to get caught up in the mentality of ‘oh well it’s Christmas’ weeks before the actual event, as a whole month of over indulging can have a huge impact on your body and only move you further away from your goals.
Tip 5 – Eat less and more often
If you have been through The Six Pack Revolution Programme, then you already know that this concept works. Even during the holidays it is quite easy to sustain. Keep your portion sizes down. Instead of having two enormous meals, have 6 small ones.
If you are going out for dinner, it is not a good idea to refrain from eating all day just because you know you may over indulge at dinner, in fact this will have the opposite affect as your body will switch to fat storage mode.
Ensure you eat regularly throughout the day, then choose wisely, have either a starter or a dessert, not both. Enjoy a glass of wine with dinner, not a whole bottle, look for healthier options on the menu, these can be just as delicious and filling. Just by making these small changes can have a big impact.
On Christmas Day, you don’t have to eat everything on your plate. A perfectly balanced meal is a palm size portion of turkey/meat, a hand size portion of lovely vegetables, cooked in your healthy fats.
If you want to be super healthy you could swap your roast potatoes for sweet potato roasties. Although, if you have been mindful of what you have eaten over the month of December, now is the time to enjoy those few extra niceties!
Tip 6 – Make your workouts work for you!
You may want to lie in, it’s the holidays so why not. A rest can be just as good for the body, giving it time to relax and recover.
But an early morning workout before the family are awake can also really help set you up for the day, so whether you decide to head to the gym or workout at home, what’s important is you do what is right for you.
It doesn’t always have to be about smashing out a workout, don’t underestimate what a lovely family walk in the woods or a bike ride will do for your body and mind; fresh air, some light exercise and precious family time all rolled into one.
There you go, 6 simple tips that will help you avoid gaining weight, feeling sluggish and generally help you stay healthier during the festive season!
Happy holidays everyone!
If you are interested in really seeing amazing and healthy results in just 75 days, then join our January 2020 wave of The Six Pack Revolution.
The Six Pack Revolution is a 75 day transformation programme, where we coach you on fitness, mind-set and nutrition.
Founded by Scott Harrison, the programme includes everything you need to get you into the best shape of your life. You’ll learn how to cook delicious recipes, and complete daily and weekly fitness challenges within a group of like-minded people, all looking to achieve the same outcome as YOU!
All our Six Pack Revolution coaches have been through the programme. They started where you are today and are proof that the programme works, and proof that anyone can do it too!
One of the best things about The Six Pack Revolution is the support network. You’ll get to know your new fitness family through a private Facebook Group. This is ‘The Hub’ where others in the group share their experiences, results and tips on overcoming obstacles.
We believe in you, and can’t wait to welcome you to the revolution!