THE FESTIVE SEASON is kicking in fast, the lights are now on, the trees are slowly but surely going up and it won’t be long until we are well and truly back in to the Christmas vibe.
Generally speaking around this time of the year you will see the gyms quite busy again and a lot of you are really now back in the swing of things after the summer months. But coming fast around the corner is a festive period of good food, late nights, parties and alcohol.
Of course, the priority should be to enjoy the festive season.
However, that doesn’t mean you should treat December as a write-off when it comes to looking after your health, fitness or lifestyle goals and wait for a clean slate starting all over again in January.
Some of you spend enough time chasing your goals looking after your health and fitness all year round and now shouldn’t be the time to let that hard work go to waste - there is definitely something in one of my favourite saying which is 'Consistency is Key'
Here are my top tips on how to keep you going over the month of December with the goal to try keep it relatively healthy so you won’t feel like you’re starting all over again in 2019.
Have a plan and stick to it
December is a month with a lot going on. There are going to be parties and get-togethers almost every night over the festive break for many. And for most social gatherings tend to involve late nights, alcohol and fast food.
Now is the time of the year where you should enjoy yourself but pencil in and choose the gatherings you go to — you don’t need to be attending every social event, I'll say It again... you DON'T need to be attending every social event! On top of that, plan out a training programme and the days you plan to maintain your workouts. - or Check out my 21 Day Active Holiday Plan to take all the guess work out of it!
Get out early and move when you can
Many of us will spend a lot of December nights watching sports, Christmas box sets or Netflix. What I suggest is to leave some time to get up and move.
This could be anything from a walk, run, or even get a home workout in. What helps me in December is training early in the morning and getting that job done first thing — if you leave it until later you probably won’t get around to it and more than likely something is going to pop up later in the day.
You don’t necessarily have to force yourself out to the gym nor do you need to do this everyday but aiming to try move, stretch or get a little sweat on a few times over the festivities will make everything that little bit easier when you return back to your full routine in January 2019.
Don’t deprive yourself
After all, it is Christmas.
Now is a time to be realistic with your lifestyle choices in December. This is a time of the year where you should and can afford to cut loose a little. I have talked about having a realistic approach when it comes to your nutrition and I have always felt that having a 80/20 realistic approach is something that always works in the long run.
Let yourself a little loose at this time of the year and go with a 70/30 approach as realistically there is going to be far too much nice food around (and seriously who can resist some trifle haha, well I can't). Enjoy it but just don’t go overboard.
Get the simple things right
At this stage we should know a lot of the simple basic things. It’s the basics I always try and remind my team about and the reason is because these are the things that work. Believe it or not it’s the basics and simple things that really are the little BIG things.
Here is a little checklist that can help you keep accountable over the month of December:
- Keep a bottle of water with you and drink at least 2.5 litres during the day.
- Aim to get at least 7-8 hours of sleep each night.
- Give yourself a goal of exercising at least 3-4 times a week in December.
- Aim to get enough protein in your day - ask me how, I can help you.
- Continue to stay on track with your food prep. For the month of December we can easily loose control of our meals, prepping our food or even getting that weekly shop in. My advice is to still use those one or two hours of the week sitting down planning your shop and weekly meals.
Here is an example below of a quick snacks which helps me satisfy my sweet tooth over the course of the week.
- Apple or carrot and nut butter
- Energy smoothie with cacao and rice malt syrup
- Rice cakes with peanut butter, sliced banana or blueberries, cacao nibs
- Natural Greek Yoghurt (like Chobani or YoPro) with chocolate protein powder
These are just a few snacks that I use in my week to keep hunger at bay while still feeling like I'm having a sweet treat.
Keep accountable and be mindful of ALL that you eat and I have no doubt that you will maintain your fitness and dress size over the holiday period.