I’ve just arrived back in chilly England, no need for blusher with my pink frosted cheeks it seems! To say I was excited to come home for Christmas this year would be an understatement. I can’t quite put my finger on why but I haven’t felt this festive as an adult in a long time, and it’s going to make saying no to that 5th mince pie all the bit more tricky!
Home is in Surrey, a little town called Weybridge with my mother, and my dad is just 5 minutes down the road in Cobham. They may be divorced but they certainly agreed on loving the area they lived in – in fact, it made for a relatively smooth and convenient transition as a kid!
I do actually have a faint idea as to why I’m so excited this year. First off, being surrounded by greenery and doing chilly morning dog walks are something I always look forward to. Most importantly though, the chance to spend time with the family. It’s something you completely take for granted until that time is taken away from you. This year I’ve missed quite a few things, most importantly my sister’s engagement party – so to be in a room with everyone laughing and debating (as much of our time spent!) is something that warms me inside-out.
Onto the real reason for this post; Aiming not coming back from Christmas feeling like you shoved on a Santa’s outfit and have the energy of a sloth. Boy, do I know that feeling!
I’m an absolute sucker for ‘letting go’ on holidays, especially Christmas, and telling myself it’s fine because I’ve worked so hard during the year. Well frankly, I’m not actually going into Christmas as fit as a fiddle as I’d like this time round! Work’s been incredibly busy which is great but between blogging and training clients in the morning, I haven’t got the time-balance down as well as I’d like to. So, in writing this post I’m hoping to help you and I combat a few of those more calorific
It only takes a week of no exercise, wine and drinks every day, 3 course lunches and dinners and treats in between each meal to rack up an insane amount of calories. And don’t be fooled in thinking the cold weather will combat that calorie excess whilst it works to try and keep the body warm… my judgmenet error of Christmas 2015.
Quite honestly, I think everyone should enjoy, relax and let go to a pretty flexible degree over Christmas. But speaking personally, I also hate that feeling of arriving back home Jan 1st and doing that first gym session as if I haven’t exercised for 10 years. This year – it ain’t going to happen!
So how do we balance it out? How do we have our Christmas cake and eat it too? My game plan is as follows;
- Workout every day
You heard it right – every day! Not very balance friendly of me I know …
But it does do two things; most importantly it gets you out of ‘sloth mode’. The mode of, “I haven’t exercised and I’ve had a bad few days so I might as well finish the cake, serve it with both icecream and pouring cream and chase it up with chocolates, mini cakes, and mince pies. We’ve all been there.
But if you start your day with just 30 minutes of working up a sweat, whether that’s a morning run or quick home no-equipment workout, you’re going to feel SO much better for it, and likely make better food choices throughout the day because of it.
Secondly, let’s be frank on this one – It’s going to help combat the surge of excess calories consumed the rest of the day! 30 minutes, every day and I promise it’ll be worthwhile!
2) Pick lunch or dinner
I’m not talking skip on an entire meal or use a meal replacement for that matter. BUT, if your family is anything like mine, both lunches and dinners (and sometimes even breakfast!) will entail a
glass glasses of alcohol and never just the one course. There’ll be starters, there’ll be mains, with sides, and all the cheese the supermarkets have to offer. So pick and plan your meals – decide which one is going to be the healthier option so that you can freely enjoy the other with no guilt!
3) Get the family involved!
Don’t think that because you’re trying to keep up some level of fitness that you’ll miss out on time with the fam. Normally when one person is doing it, everyone else is inspired to do the same, and besides, it’s far more fun working out as a group!
Are there hills around you? Go for a set of morning hill sprints … A beautiful wood to walk in? Set aside time for a crisp boxing day walk!
OR, clear the living room furniture and give everyone a burpee and squat challenge! I’ll be posting 4 x indoor / garden workouts that are fun to do as a group on Saturday, so stay tuned for them and make sure you subscribe for instant post notifications :)
4) Choose your booze!
I would happily drink champagne and mulled wine throughout the entire Christmas period, but if we’re trying to make better choices, then this is a rather easy switch. Both of them are full of sugar, more so than regular wine, and the high sugar intake can lead to pretty rapid fat gain – the body loves storing it for a rainy day! One glass is fine but try not to make it the only drink throughout the evening.
Better options are spirits with soda water or slim line tonic. Did you know popular tonics like Fever Tree have their second highest ingredient as cane sugar?! A classic fever tree 200ml bottle contains the equivalent to 2 teaspoons of pure sugar! You could also go with plain red or white wine. It’s not perfect, but it is Christmas, and I’m definitely not scrooge!
5) Just be aware :)
They say knowledge is power, and when it comes to the pretty iced cakes and dusted treats, that couldn’t truer! I was about to dive into a mince pie a few days ago, until I checked the packet – to my surprise a rather whopping 250 calories per mince pie (It explains a lot). It made it pretty easy to pick another option less calorie dense and something with at least a touch of nutritional value. I’m not saying boycott all mice pies, but it does help to be aware of what’s in the things you’re eating.
I think that about sums it up! 5 ways to make Christmas a lot more well-balanced this year and will also result in both you and I feeling a hell of a lot better come the New Year! Hope you enjoy the post and please do message below with any comments or queries!