How maximise your health this Christmas

It’s December, you’re concerned about how maximise your health this Christmas. You’ve had 3 work lunches with drinks this week, you have your partners christmas party this weekend and you’re seeing friends on Sunday for a pub lunch. Christmas and the whole month of December is not conducive to a healthy waistline, wallet or getting your 8 hours sleep.

Not all hope is lost however, here is our 3 options to how we can deal with this month and all its pitfalls:

Embrace it be Jolly

If you care about your health and you manage to maintain a very consistent training schedule in the month to the rest of the year then sure, take the time to enjoy yourself, see friends, help yourself to that extra mince pie and start your christmas morning with a glass of champagne.

We can suggest this because you’ve earned it, family members, coworkers and friends don’t commit to the 4-6 training days a week that you do, they don’t prepare their food for each day of the week and your choice to go for a slimline gin & tonic instead of 5 pints of beer at a friend’s birthday party back in June never occurred to them.

It’s important to take time to decompress and engage with friends and family around you, food and celebration is a big part of life and will help you feel grounded… the way this will make you feel by the end of the month will have you begging to restart your meal prep in January no doubt!

Sensible choices, doesn’t mean sprouts only

If December hit and you aren’t exactly where you want to be with your body, you know you’re energy levels are messed up when you go off track with your diet or maybe you’ve just worked really really hard to remove “bad” food choices form your diet and you’re worried about moving backwards with your health.

This is a much harder choice than the “embrace it and be jolly” method, a selection of simple rules should hold you in good stead though!

Move- Keep up with your training regime and speak to your coach about increasing the amount of “easy aerobic” work you can do in the month to offset some of the higher calorie choices you’ll make.

Protein first– Buffets are a staple of the christmas season, go for turkey and the meats on the table first.

Greens second- Once the satiating protein is covered try and fill up on your plate with an assortment of green vegetables, any other vegetables are a second choice if no greens can be found.

Hydrate and stay full and healthy– Keep driving adequate amounts of water and normal food, this will help you fight the temptation to go for unhealthy options.

This second option is damage limitation, it allows you to be a part of the fun and party but not totally slide back and lose a lot of your progress you’ve made.

Calorie control  for better health 

Similar to “Sensible choices, doesn’t mean sprouts only” this is about not sliding backwards, less of an overall healthy approach perhaps but if you’re looking to control your physique calorie control is king.

There is a large number of calorie count mobile apps available now days, My Fitness Pal being my personal favourite due to its simple to use design and large library of food choices available.

Over all this approach relies on you not going over your predetermined calorie allowance… simple right? The main drawback of this is you will often end up eating higher calorie and more nutrient sparse food choices, so this should be viewed as a short term solution and a “means to an end” for the holiday season.

Summary

Whatever option you choice I suggest you stick with it! These are all acceptable choices to make for different reasons, the important thing is you enter into the decision in a adult, rational and realistic manner. Food/alcohol are emotional issues for many and we find it hard to be objective, if you’re in doubt of the best approach for the season then consult a coach and create a balanced and personalised plan.

Want to explore more ways to stay healthy this festive period?

Why not check out our previous post How to Stay Healthy During the Holidays” 

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