It is probably one of the hardest times in the year to stay on track, eating properly and exercising enough. However, it is probably the most important in order to balance out the Christmas crap that gets eaten, and the much more relaxed attitude that everybody seems to adopt. I definately include myself when I say that. Christmas just seems to be filled with so many delicious treats, more meals being eaten as a way of celebrating the festive season with friends and family and more social arrangements meaning less time to hit the gym. I find it really tough as I love doing Christmas things, and always use it as an excuse to over indulge. By the time January arrives I always feel as round as a whale and so unhealthy in myself. It affects my skin and hair, naturally I put weight on and my level of motivation decreases rapidly. This year I have vowed to get the balance right, and not feel as bad this new year as I did the last. Obviously I am not going to be saying no to festive treats and perhaps not think about the gym as much, but I am going to try and do everything in moderation.
“Life is about balance and compromise”
I have put together a short list in my head of things that I am and am not going to do once December kicks in. This includes what I am going to eat, when I will exercise and of course all the excuses I am going to use in order to not feel guilty when having two Costa Christmas drinks in a day as opposed to one. As part of Blogmas I am going to share with you my tips and tricks for staying on track through December, as I always try to be realistic in the things that I share. It is going to be a realistic and manageable lifestyle for the next four weeks.
To begin with, you have to be true to yourself. My goal in life would be to get up at seven every morning and do my workout first, getting back from the gym at a reasonable hour in the morning. That all sounds perfect until I actually put it into practice… it would never happen. I can never get myself out of bed early in the morning purely just to go to the gym, and always make up excuses about the other things I could be doing. My aim through December is to go to the gym three times a week, and keeping active through the month. Let’s see how this goes…
The best thing for me to do when trying to avoid sweet treats and snacks is staying busy. If I amuse myself through the day I never have time to think about food. When I am working, I eat so much less throughout the day than on my days off… which always seems weird as I work in a chocolate shop surrounded by the most delicious treats. On my days off, if I am just at home, I snack purely because I am bored. I am constantly looking for food, as my body is mistaking the boredom for hunger – honestly it is a bloody nightmare. So my aim up until Christmas day is to keep myself busy on days off. Get Christmas shopping done, work more, run errands and meet up with friends and family. This way I have so much less time to think about food… as well as eat it.
Something that I have always found good for me is eating half of something. If I am out and want a sweet treat, I always justify it by just eating half and giving the other half to someone else. I have my three proper meals a day, so don’t eat just half of those, but when I am snacking I find this work. Ultimately you are eating half the calories, yet still getting the kick that you desired. Unfortunately for someone else this often means they are eating something, plus half of mine! C’est la vie.
I love going to the gym and staying fit, but over Christmas I don’t want to be spending hours there. I reduce the amount I go, and try to do short but sweet workouts. This year I am taking inspiration from Joe Wicks’ Instagram videos, where he completes hit workouts everyday. I don’t think I quite have the motivation to do it everyday, but three times a week is better than none. My plan is to go on a Monday, Wednesday and Friday and spend 30-45 minutes doing a hardcore workout in the morning. I am going to do some cardio as well as some exercises from Joe Wicks. Hopefully this should keep me healthy through the season and enable me to indulge without feeling guilty.
Getting Up and Getting On
The key for me is to exercise in the morning. Sometimes I like doing an evening workout, but I do find morning ones much more effective. It gets me up and out in the morning and gets it done and out of the way. From what I have read online and from fitness influencers, it is also much better for your body as you continue to burn calories throughout the day and it defiantly increases your metabolism. I find for my mind as well it is always amazing as I feel more motivated and positive in the day, and happy as I have got it out the way. I always reward myself with breakfast, such as poached eggs, which always makes me feel so good.
Sometimes when it is colder and dark, I also can’t really be bothered to physically go out to the gym. There are plenty of workouts that can be done in the comfort of your own home, that can be just as effective. They always take me less time, but are quick and burn a lot of calories. I just do simple exercises such as sit ups, push ups, squats and jogging on the spot. I do it continuously for about 15 minutes, to build up my heart rate and burn some calories. It is a nice treat if I can’t be bothered to go out, and is always better than doing nothing.
Something I love doing over the festive season is going on winter walks. Walking through woods and getting active in a much more relaxed way is always so enjoyable, and means that I get to spend time with either my boyfriend or family. My boyfriend and I don’t go for walks nearly as much as we should, but this Christmas I am determined to do more. I love spending the time taking in the scenery, wearing bobbly hats and scarves, and taking without the distractions of everything we have in our modern world. I also love the excuse to wear my bright red Hunter wellies!
My last point has to be to do with food. The best thing for me to do over Christmas is balance the bad food out with good. I am going to make myself homemade meals in the evening, and make sure I am eating a proper lunch. In the winter I love making soups full of vegetables and pasta dishes that I can eat for lunch and dinner. Winter to me is all about comfort foods that are warming and unbeatable. By making sure I have three meals a day filled with vitamins and nutrients, I am fine to say yes to a few sweet treats keeping in with the spirit of Christmas.
– good luck! –
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