10 tips to avoid weight gain this festive season*

Tuesday, 17 November 2015, By Jack Smith

As the festive season approaches there is more cause to celebrate a successful year, take a well earned break and catch up with family & friends. The christmas get-togethers, the office morning tea, the gifts of chocolate and alcohol add up quickly. All this hearty cheer can come with a hefty price: an unwanted gain in weight and loss in fitness, which can be extremely difficult to remove. On average most people will gain between 08-2.7kg through the festive season, whereby it can often take months to remove that added weight. But through smart planning and programming, there is no reason why this can be avoided. Here are the top 10 tips to navigate through the festive season keeping your health and fitness in check:

Plan all anticipated functions, events and parties.

Sit down and add into your calendar or diary all dates of note, this way you can plan which events you may indulge, which you may or may not attend, when you definitely can keep your nutrition 100% (including an accelerator day!) and when you can devote time to exercise. This structure will allow you to follow the plan, fitting everything into your schedule (work, play and exercise)

Set Yourself a fitness goal for the festive period

Training towards a big event or goal will always keep you more motivated and accountable to training, so find an event or challenge to be held close to christmas or in January, this way during the festive season your training habits will continue as you track towards your big goal. A running event or triathlon is a perfect challenge to complete, giving you a great sense of satisfaction once completed but also it will have kept you fit healthy and strong through the danger period.

Schedule extra training sessions with your PT or attend extra group exercise

Let's face it, you are likely to overindulge at some point during the festive season, so it is vital to not only maintain your training load, but also try to pick it up a notch to accomodate some over indulgences. Keep yourself accountable to this by booking in extra sessions with your personal trainer or committing to extra group exercise sessions whilst you are on holidays. The average daily intake increases by 500 calories through the festive season so it's vital to make sure the excess is burnt off.

Be Consistent with exercise

Too often people abandon their exercise and nutrition regimes completely over the festive season, only to set "New Years Resolutions" come January. The damage is done by the new year and motivation can easily waive when you see how much fitness and health you may have lost through inactivty, even whe it is only for a few weeks of partying. "The best workout is the one that gets completed" You may be away from your normal routine, gym or home but make sure you can get some sort of consistent exercise in!

Pick and choose your social events

There are many parties, functions, drinks and breakups through December but it's important to remember that you have the choice as to whether you indulge or not at these events. There may be one event in a week of 3 different parties you really want to enjoy, so why not choose to only drink at this function, but choose non-alcoholic beverages at the other 2? You don't have to completely overindulge at every event through December, but you can choose to be more mindful of intake at some rather than others.

Make smarter alcohol choices

It is wiser to choose lower alochol or lower carbohydrate beer, rather than full strength and choosing low or no sugar mixers with spirits can give massive benefits of reduced calorie intake during a drinking session. It's a great time to kick back and enjoy a drink with friends and family, but making slight changes to your choice of drink can yield massive advantages.

Incorporate an accelerator day into your week

On average, people will ingest an extra 500 calories/day through December, that can quickly add up to a large weight gain. By using an Accelerator day in your week you can save yourself from this. By using your schedule and planner from above, you can work out when the best days are to undertake an accelerator day that won't be hindered by social engagements, functions and hard training. Dropping your carbohydrate intake will help the body to burn the excess energy that it has previously been ingesting.

Say NO to the nibbles platter

Christmas platters or nibbles platters are often filled with energy laden dips, cheeses, processed meats and biscuits. You can ingest more energy from the nibbles before the meal than from the actual meal itself! Say NO to the nibbles OR choose a platter with a variety of fresh, healthy choices on it.

Fill the cupboards and fridge with healthy options

During December the supermarkets are packed with people shopping for Christmas supplies, we generally buy way too much stock and it usually unhealthy choices. By planning the grocery run you can ensure you don't overstock the house, which means you are less likely to over-eat and eat unhealthy choices at home

The Gift of Giving

Why not give a close friend or family member the ultimate gift for Christmas: their health. Purchasing a training program at Vision for a friend will not only give someone a great opportunity to change their life for the better, but gives you a better chance of getting ongoing results as involving your circle of influence will help your health & fitness goals. Also, why not ask your friends and family to purchase you new running shoes, workout gear or extra pt sessions rather than the standard alcohol and chocolates? This way you circle of influence can actually positively affect your health and fitness journey

*Disclaimer: Individual results vary based on agreed goals. Click here for details.

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