The 12 Days of Fitmas*

Tuesday, 4 December 2018, By Alex James

Tips and tricks for conquering the festive season and staying fit.

It is that time of year... yes that's right… ALREADY! The Festive Season is here and for many of us that means Christmas parties, work events and family functions on OVERDRIVE.

Here are a number of tips for conquering this time of year.

  1. Be organised
    • The benefits: you can more easily become a creature of habit which will help to decrease stress
    • Make sure to add your exercise regime to your calendar or diary & STICK TO IT
    • Set a reminder on your phone when it is time to exercise
    • Plan ahead your meals. This will save you having to grocery shop more than once a week and you won't be stuck deciding what to eat
  2. Set yourself a festive season goal
    • The benefit: to keep motivated and on track towards long term goals!
    • Set your own weekly goals to keep yourself on track. These could include: preparing lunches at the start of the week; trying a new bushwalk; cutting out alcohol Monday-Thursday; fitting in an extra weights training session, etc.
    • Either write your goal on a piece of paper and stick it on your mirror or type your goal on your phone or laptop and make it your screensaver - Create a way to ensure you have no excuses!
  3. Do at least 20 minutes of physical activity every day
    • The benefit: The only bad workout, is the one you didn't do. Get moving!
    • This could be anything from walking the dog to swimming laps or to a simple bodyweight circuit in the comfort of your own home
    • Make use of jump ropes, resistance bands, exercise balls, and bodyweight exercises
  4. Make sure you have plenty of snacks high in protein and ready for on-the-go!
    • The benefit: protein keeps you fuller for longer, reduces those crazy 3pm sugar cravings and aids in the recovery and regrowth of muscle tissue.
    • IDEAS OF SNACKS: Yoghurt, can of tuna, protein bars, mixed nuts, veggie sticks with cottage cheese, apple slices with peanut butter,
  5. Avoid skipping meals
    • The benefit: by consuming 5-6 small meals each day you not only prevent yourself from overeating, you also keep your metabolism firing
  6. Find social activities that involve getting physical
    • The benefit: you have fun with friends while getting in exercise (talk about a 2 for 1 deal)
    • Some suggestions: Mini golf, ten pin bowling, bushwalks, swimming, stand up paddle boarding, backyard cricket,
  7. Watch the alcohol, juice and soft drink intake with all those Christmas parties and brunches
    • The benefit: prevent consuming excess sugar/alcohol which can be detrimental to achieving your goal
    • Use sugar free soft drinks if available
    • Add a splash of juice to water instead of consuming a full glass of juice
    • Before you go to the function, decide upon a limit of drinks you can consume that evening and stick with it. Telling someone your limit can help.
  8. Make use of accelerator days!
    • The benefit: accelerator days help fast track your goal
    • An accelerator day is when you halve your daily intake for carbohydrates for a day (for example, if your carbohydrate intake is 120g per day, halve it to 60g). I recommend one accelerator day per week, preferably on a day where you do little to no exercise as you may feel less energised due to the lack of carbohydrates.
  9. Swap naughty for nutritious
    • The benefits: enjoy delicious foods, guilt free!
    • Swap packet potato chips for homemade kale chips or roasted chickpeas
    • Swap sour cream for yoghurt or cottage cheese
    • Swap thickened cream for ricotta
    • Swap chicken wings or thighs for skinless chicken breast
    • Swap ice blocks for homemade fruit blocks (blend up a mixture of your favourite fruits and freeze)
    • Swap bagels for an English muffin
  10. Stay hydrated
    • The benefits: regulation of body temperature, takes away hunger cravings and assists with preventing muscle fatigue and migraines
    • Sometimes if you find yourself craving sweet foods - you could be dehydrated! So, before you reach for that candy cane or choc-chip cookie, have a glass of water.
  11. Eat a small meal before going out
    • The benefit: You don't over eat. Pace yourself.
    • At any parties or functions you attend, make sure to pace yourself with food.
    • Before going back for more food, wait 15 minutes.
  12. Be selective and control your portions when it comes to treats
    • The benefit: prevent yourself from overeating the wrong types of foods.
    • Remember: a cheat meal is better than a cheat day!
*Disclaimer: Individual results vary based on agreed goals. Click here for details.

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