As December approaches, the month brings both joy and fear in us: a season of celebration, yet also a time of fear for those who are watching their scales and waistlines.
There are many things which cannot be avoided. Turning down invitations and not eating that delicious morsel bring up feelings of guilt.
So how can we enjoy the festive season while staying fit throughout the month?
Plan and schedule your meals.
This is not to say to starve yourself or saying no to invitations. This is about knowing what food will be served and plan your daily meals accordingly. For example, if you know you will be having a huge turkey dinner the next day, it would be wise to eat less oily food beforehand or after.
Downsize your portions.
One of the main reasons why people tend to gain weight during the festive season is due to the sizes of their serving portions. If you are lucky to be in charge of things such as bowls and plates, be sure to use smaller sizes. Simply by changing the sizes will change the way the food is presenting, making the portions look much larger than if the same quantity were served on a larger plate.
Take only one helping.
If you really must have that ice cream scoop, have it already! But limit yourself to having just one serving to satisfy your taste buds as a second helping may leaving you feeling guilt.
Ask if you can save it for the next meal.
If you are unable to steer clear of nagging authorities (such as your grandma) putting food on your plate, suggest to the people in question that you want to save it for the next meal. If they thoroughly insist you have that serving, usually by letting them know that you would end up waste it would do the trick.
Make alternative food choices.
Should you be one of the people who has a say in food choices, you can opt for healthier alternatives. For example, you can make fruit based desserts with less sugar instead of creamy versions. Searching through sites sites such as Yummly or BBC Good Food often have brilliant alternatives without cutting on the festive feel of the food.
Do jumping jacks and squat jumps for 3 minutes just before you begin your meal.
It sounds crazy, but by doing an intensive exercise just before a meal will jump start your muscles into believing that they are about to work for a period of time. In turn, this will allow your muscles to start putting the food into use by creating energy instead of simply storage. Any intensive exercise (which can be alternated non-stop) that works your entire body in the time space between 90 seconds to 3 minutes is enough.
Schedule an intensive workout the next day.
Given you have already eaten so much food, your body is bound to be brimming with energy that will allow you to do more. Use this opportunity to push your body into doing a more strenuous workout than your normal routine. You’re bound to feel great afterwards.
While there is a higher possibility of not being able to stick to your routine and planned schedule/diet during the festive season due to social obligations, following the above game plan should be able to help you maintain more control with your food intake and workout.
Share this with a friend who may find this article useful. What other tips do you use to maintain your fitness levels over the holiday season? Share with us in the comments below!