Hello Everyone. Today’s article is a guest post from Fitbug.
As Christmas approaches, thoughts turn to free-flowing wine, Christmas pudding, turkey and a host of festive treats. But unless your thoughts also turn to your increased calorie intake, you could be spending January trying desperately to shed excess pounds in the gym. By implementing five relatively simple lifestyle choices throughout the festive season, you can manage your waistline without having to sacrifice your Christmas indulgences.
1. Include Alcohol In Your Calorie Counting
It’s important to remember that most alcoholic drinks are highly calorific, and not to include them in your daily allowance is inviting trouble. Just a few tipples here and there can soon add up to the equivalent of a hearty meal, and that could play havoc with your waistline by the time New Year arrives. Find a list of alcohol calorie content in advance of the festive season, and try to make sure you never take drinks without accounting for them. It may also help to equate each drink you have to an item of food. For instance, enjoying a pina colada will cost you more than 600 calories, and that is more than a Big Mac from McDonald’s. Even a large glass of red wine contains around 220 calories, which is roughly the same as a sugared doughnut.
2. Don’t Skip Meals
Some people have a tendency to ‘bank’ calories by missing meals – just so they feel better about gorging on festive treats at certain times of the day. This can be counter-productive, as it can cause your blood-sugar levels to drop. This can make over-eating later in the day more likely. And worse still, you’ll probably crave the most calorific foods available. Stick to your normal eating habits, and your body won’t need to make large adjustments. Eating a breakfast rich in protein and fibre should get you through the worst of your hunger pangs.
3. Use A Digital Fitness Tracker
Let’s face it; we all need some help and motivation when it comes to health and fitness from time to time. Using an exercise tracker will ensure that you are always aware of how much you’re exercising and the calories you’re burning off. There are some trackers that communicate with existing fitness apps to provide guidance and motivation when it comes to maintaining a healthy lifestyle. They include healthy recipe ideas, workout videos and a range of helpful information on exercise and nutrition. They also keep you updated on the progress you’re making in attaining your personal goals. In effect, you’ll have a personal trainer and dietitian in your pocket or on your wrist, which should help you to stay in shape at a time of year when temptation lies everywhere.
4. Get Your Sleep
You may not realise it, but losing just an hour or two of sleep due to a few late nights during Christmas can increase your chances of gaining weight. A bad night’s sleep can increase stress hormones, which makes blood sugar fluctuate wildly. The constant crashing of your blood-sugar levels can make you want to gorge on comfort food – and there’s plenty of that around at Christmas!
5. Drink Lots Of Water
Drinking significant amounts of alcohol can leave you dehydrated, which can cause a variety of health issues. Water washes away the toxins in your body, and it prevents the retention of fluids. You should always have a glass of water with your meals – even if it’s in addition to a beer or a glass of wine. This is because there is evidence to suggest that water can suppress appetite when taken with food.
A lot of people go into the festive season with every intention of maintaining their health and fitness regime, only to fall off the wagon pretty early on. With an activity tracker spurring you on, and a degree of willpower, there’s no reason why you can’t indulge without the bulge this Christmas.