It's no surprise that gyms are packed out after New Years. With Christmas and New Years being a time where people typically over indulge on snacks and drinks, the tin of roses, the celebrations, special meals with family and friends. I get it, and i'm no angel at Christmas time. I don't pretend to keep my diet 100% on track all year round. But losing focus on your training and nutrition even short term can lead to muscle loss and fat gain.
The good news is that you're not necessarily destined to put on the holiday pounds. Follow these tips to keep on top of your fitness goals over the festive period.
1. Plan ahead with your training sessions:
Aim to plan out all your sessions a couple of weeks in advance. If you have travel plans and know you will be away for a few days structure your training sessions around them, increase the training intensity on those days and use the time away as rest days. Be proactive and take control of your schedule and don't leave your training up to chance. Make time to get your training in. This is crucial.
2. Get up early:
Over the holidays, we get time off work, but we have a lot more family commitments. Its easy to stay in bed and who doesn't love to sleep in. But our fitness goals are more important. Get up earlier than the rest of the family and get the training session done early if possible. That way you are free for the day to visit the relatives or do the usual holiday stuff.
3. Find a training partner:
It can be harder than ever to motivate yourself on the cold, dark mornings. Find a workout partner. A friend, a family member to workout with you and help you stay motivated. Make a deal to hold each other accountable. It's harder to skip a workout with the thought of leaving your training buddy hanging.
4. Workout. Gym or no gym.
Not everyone will have access to a gym over the holidays. If you are one of these people then you can still get a great home workout in using little to no equipment and just your bodyweight. A home Hiit session can be done in as little as 20-30 mins and leave you feeling like you just ran a marathon. Try one of my home AMRAP sessions below:
5. Resist binge eating and drinking:
It's Christmas. Sweets, desserts, cakes, crisps and drinks are everywhere. I won't ask you to deprive yourself of your favourite foods at Christmas time but just remember your goals and how hard you have worked throughout the year. Pick the food/treat you want to indulge in and limit it to one serving. Stop going for seconds or thirds. It's also a great idea to stock up a couple of somewhat healthy treats for the few weeks over Christmas. Protein bars such as Fulfil bars are delicious, come in a range of flavours (taste just like a regular bar), and pack 20g of protein. SNACK SMART and aim to keep the calories down.
Avoid fizzy drinks full stop. As for alcohol, enjoy a few drinks with friends and family if you feel like it but again don't binge. Alcohol is very high in calories averaging at 7 calories per gram. Remember excess calories = body fat.
Enjoy and Happy Holidays.