Tips and tricks for beating the bulge this holiday season
- Take advantage of the holidays to go for a brisk walk once or twice a day with family members you rarely get to chat to… it’s a great way to connect or reconnect as well as being invigorating and good for your heart and body. Try leaving your phones at home too…
- Time is of the essence so try some high intensity interval training, a simple bodyweight circuit (like the one below- repeated 3-5 times at 50-60seconds per exercise with 10 second rests in between exercises) will take 20minutes and leave you feeling fabulous and energized!
- Push ups
- High knees
- Tricep dips
- Enjoy the extra time with your partner, children, or friends by getting active outside – many towns have ice skating rinks set up outside, or just take the frisbee to the park, or go sledging if the snow does come… being outside is a great mood lifter and feels so much better than being in front of the TV after a heavy meal. If the weather keeps you inside put on some music and have a dance off!
- Pre-think your likely alcohol consumption before a big party if you want to avoid piling on unnecessary pounds. Perhaps choose long drinks over wine, and alternate your vodka, lime and soda for just lime and soda, or opt to be the designated driver if you want to be careful and not under pressure from others to overindulge.
- Pre-thinking also helps avoid food pitfalls and allows for some healthy damage limitation. If you know you like to eat your bodyweight in crisps, ask for the crisps to be switched for olives. If you know the meal is late and you will feel ravenous, have a healthy snack at home before you go out and you will be much less likely to overeat. If you are visiting friends or family take a contribution that you know you will be happy to eat – hummus and veggie sticks instead of crisps and salted peanuts.
- Check out a restaurant’s menu online and choose ahead of time, with your brain and not your belly! When you get to the restaurant you can concentrate on enjoying the company and not be tempted by the dish of the day. Think of the whole experience as nourishing –the great company and pleasure of sharing with loved ones, rather than focusing on the food alone… savour it all.
- Eat slowly! There’s no need to feel you are depriving yourself, we all know there is an abundance of ‘seconds’ at festive meals- tell yourself you can go back for more if you are still hungry but slow down and enjoy each bite… you will get more pleasure from it, eat less and feel more comfortable afterwards.
Claire – Retreat senior PT & nutritional coach