Christmas this year, is going to be a little different to normal with festive lunches and Christmas parties mostly cancelled! This is a great time to get ahead of the fitness game and start working on healthy eating, feeling stronger and fitter so that you have the energy to enjoy the festive season. Why wait until the traditional New Year’s Resolutions. Think how great you’ll feel if you start now!
It’s not too late to start to get in shape for Christmas! A few small changes now can make all the difference to your health as well as your waistline, and the sooner you start, the better. Surely, at Christmas, it’s better to be already on your journey rather than sat at home wondering when to begin. With that in mind, it is possible to lose a few pounds and inches in the run up to Christmas. You are also more likely to make healthier choices over the festive period if you are already in that mindset.
As a guide, your waist should measure half or less than half of your height (eg. Someone who is 5ft 5in should have a waistline of 33 inches or less) and making a few changes could quickly see a difference.
Let’s start with breakfast. Try to include protein with your breakfast such as eggs as this will keep you fuller for longer, and you’ll find that you are less likely to snack before lunch. Try poached eggs on a slice of wholemeal toast or scrambled eggs with smoked salmon. If you like cereals, be mindful of portion sizes as it’s easy to get carried away. Shredded wheat is a great choice. Other things you can try include, 0% fat Greek yogurt with berries, porridge, smashed avocado on toast or egg pots – these are made using eggs mixed with any fresh or frozen vegetables and a little seasoning and baking in the oven at 180° for 20-25 minutes. This is a great way to use up leftover vegetables, saving on waste too.
If you do need a snack between breakfast and lunch, try to pick healthy choices. Cut out sugar in hot drinks and ditch the biscuits. This alone can save up to 300 calories!! It’s surprising isn’t it? Try a small protein ball or a piece of fruit which should satisfy your sweet tooth.
If you have a packed lunch try lean meat such as chicken or eggs with salad (add crunchy seeds, herbs and olive oil and lemon or soy sauce to taste), rice salad using brown rice which is really filling, a healthy homemade vegetable soup or leftovers from the previous evening’s healthy dinner.
Dinners can be healthy stews, curries, chillis or stir frys, just be careful with the extras such as naan breads. Try to have brown rice instead of white and watch portion sizes. Have fresh fruit afterwards if you need something sweet.
Try to limit carbs. This doesn’t mean cutting down! Most of us tend to load our plates up with rice, pasta etc so this is more about eating the correct amount. We need to eat carbs as it’s our body’s main source of energy, fuelling the brain, kidneys, heart and central nervous system. We certainly don’t advocate cutting any food group out of the diet! Try measuring out the amount that you should be eating. You’ll probably get a shock. The difference between what you should be eating and the large portion on your plate adds up to extra calories, that you probably don’t need.
Drink plenty of water. Our brains cannot distinguish between hunger and thirst so more often than not we eat thinking we are hungry when we should be drinking to quench our thirst.
Try reading our blogs on healthy meals:
Include some exercise in your new routine such as walking or jogging alongside some strength training. This is very important to build and strengthen muscle and to stop everything sagging! Try our W Fitness circuit which gives you a full workout in just 30 minutes!
So, with a few tweaks now, you can feel healthier, have more energy, sleep better, and lose a few inches in time for Christmas and beyond! ????
Caroline & Hannah xx