We wish you a Happy Fitmas!
It’s officially the season of overindulgence, when many of us devour tins of chocolates, mountains of mincepies and quaff festive fizz like it’s going out of fashion. But the gluttony can lead to serious January blues. Here’s some advice from local health and fitness experts on how to make merry, savvy-style. . .
Kate Iceton, personal trainer, nutritional advisor and lifestyle coach
“My top tip for Christmas is to remove the scales! Scales are particularly inaccurate around the festive season where high salt, increased alcohol consumption and less activity leads to fluid retention and extra pounds on the display. This leads to guilt and increased comfort eating and the cycle continues. Opt for having a healthier January and go by your clothes then.”
Sarah Craske, owner of F45 Training Cambridge Station
“1 Plan your workouts for early morning so you don’t get distracted through the day and talk yourself out if it. Also it will set you up for feeling great for the whole day.
2 Book classes in advance and book something fun with a friend so it isn’t a chore; also your friend will give you another reason to go.
3 Walk lots! Christmas walks are the best and we need to keep moving. At Christmas it’s too easy to sit in and get cosy. Get fresh air.
4 It’s fine to eat more and treat yourself but also plan in those January fitness classes to get you back on track quickly; don’t let it slide into February.
5 Drink lots of water and get good quality sleep. Sleep is the most important factor in feeling good about yourself and having motivation to workout.
F45 is open in December so come and do a workout with us.”
Claire Forrester, osteopath and owner of The Form Practice, Hardwick
“Remove temptation; just don’t buy those unhealthy foods in the first place, so it’s not sitting in the cupboard whispering your name. Instead replace those sugar and dairy loaded chocolates for a healthy (and ridiculously tasty) option such as Keep It Raw Ombar Centres Bars (Coconut and Vanilla is our favourite!). If you really can’t resist the temptations then instead of reaching for the Rennie, have a healthy alternative such as my absolute favourite doTERRA DigestZen essential oil to hand. One drop rubbed on to your tummy provides almost instant relief from pain and bloating.”
Jermaine Lee, personal trainer, Bourn Golf & Leisure Club
“Here’s my tips for holiday maintenance! Try and stick to your fitness regime over the festive period or at least tweak it for those times when you can’t get into the gym. I suggest bundling up and heading out on a brisk walk. It’s a great way to clear your head after the whirl of social engagements Christmas brings, and will burn off some of those extra calories too!”
Adam Swift and Danielle Crida, founders of Your Best Self Nutrition
“‘Tis the season to be jolly. But it’s also the season to eat and drink too much. All is not lost, however. Here are some quick and easy ways to mitigate the effects of over-eating and drinking.
1 Take control of what you eat and drink when you can, choosing nutrient-rich low-calorie foods such as zesty smoothies and spicy soups. Drink plenty of water and herbal tea.
2 Move your body. Keep active every day, even if only going for a walk. Do some exercise while you watch television.
3 Have a go at making this festive recovery smoothie. Whizz up 75g of frozen blueberries, a knob of ginger, the juice of half a lime, a tablespoon of nut butter, 60g of spinach or kale, 75g of frozen pineapple or banana, two dates and 500ml of coconut water or water. Your body will thank you!
Visit yourbestselfnutrition.co.uk for more top tips
Tracey Buckell, personal trainer at BoxxHiit Fitness, Newmarket
“The social engagements leading up to Christmas can be daunting for some. Here are a few ways to stay on track with all those parties and festive celebrations.
1 Stay hydrated . . .drink plenty of water throughout the day.
2 Squeeze in a 'quickie' (20-30 mins of exercise, from a brisk walk to a HIIT workout. Resistance bands are a big favourite of mine).
3 To help with the food indulgence, I recommend intermittent fasting after a big night out, plus fill up on the good stuff – water. Eat plenty of proteins and healthy fats to keep you fuller for longer, and this will prevent energy dips and reduce sugar cravings.
4 On Christmas Day, go easy on your portion size, fill half your plate with veggies then the rest with the other goodies. And stop eating once you are FULL!
And most of all have fun!”
Tony Begovich, owner of Milan Fitness, Cambridge
“Here are my realistic tips to look after yourself during December while still having fun and getting into the Christmas spirit.
1 Give yourself a target to compete 2 hours of exercise per week – If you set a realistic target, you will be more likely to continue exercising over December when a lot of people take the whole month off.
2 Have 4 days per week alcohol free - With all the staff parties and social events, it is easy to get caught in the trap of drinking alcohol most days but your body needs time to recover.
3 Allow yourself 2 desserts per week - We tend to dine out more over Christmas, but try to limit the meals you consume by passing on dessert occasionally.
4 Drink a glass of water between alcoholic drinks - This is a good rule all year round. When you drink a lot, you tend to make poor decisions. Don’t be that person who becomes the hot gossip in the office after a Christmas party fiasco.
5 Don’t let Christmas day become Christmas week - After Boxing Day you should get back into your normal routine of good nutrition and regular exercise. Don’t let Christmas Day be an extended week rolling into New Year’s Eve.
6 Enjoy yourself - Remember that it is Christmas and you can’t just be eating chicken breast without the skin, brown rice and broccoli. Let your hair down and enjoy yourself but be mindful of the 80/20 rule, 80 percent of the time maintain good nutrition and exercise regularly, 20 percent of the time do what you want. Over Christmas it might be more like 65/35.
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More by this authorLouise Cummings