Tips To Stay Fit For Christmas

Tips To Stay Fit For Christmas

Christmas is right around the corner and many people end up ruining their usual diet. However, they are a few who end up gaining some extra pounds too. Various studies and research show that many people gain extra weight during the holiday season that starts from Thanksgiving Day and ends at New Year celebrations.

Excessive eating is the major reason for the additional weight gain. However, it is even due to the lack of physical exercise and activity. Many people leave aside their daily fitness routines during holidays as they believe there is not enough time for doing any kind of workout. Plus, there are the guilty feelings during the holiday season, as most of the fitness centres and gyms are packed with fresh members.

Being Fit During Christmas – Is It Possible?

Keep in mind you can still enjoy the Christmas and New Year holidays and remain fit at the same time. Below are some of the major tips you can follow in the holiday season –

Eat Before Going Out

Before you head out to visit, family dinners or trips, it will be good if you eat something. This way, you will no longer be tempted to indulge in overeating or excessive eating as you have already eaten, and your stomach is full. Also, skipping a meal is not a good idea as you will end up eating more since you are hungry.

Choosing Treats

It is important that you choose treats that you eat in a wise manner. Keep in mind that you must select something that you can enjoy the holiday season and it must not be easily available all the time.

Never Skip Meals

Avoid skipping meals especially your breakfast. Now it might be tempting to skip certain meals, thinking that you can make it up for the treats that you consumed the day before, still don’t do it. This will end up in providing counterproductive results.

Drink Alcohol and Juices In Moderation

It will be better if you can regulate the amount of liquid you put into your body. Drinks like coke, alcohol and other juices will add more calories to the one that you have already consumed.

Try to Be Active

Keep in mind that you must do your fitness routine as and when possible. If you are not able to do it, then simply go for long walks or you can park your car at some distance away from the store or simply use the stairs rather than the elevator.

Be Out of Your House

Think about making your holidays a family affair. Just plan some outdoor activities in which everyone takes part. A simple activity like a snowball fight in the backyard will burn a lot of calories and keep the kids entertained.

Never Skip the Strength Workouts

To maintain the muscle mass of your body that you have worked hard, do your strength training regularly. Sometimes you might be tempted to do certain lightweights and simply cardio. However, you can burn more calories just by lifting weights.

Furthermore, the extra stakes you had as your holiday meal will provide you with some extra muscles. So, this is much better than gaining some extra fat.

Go for Realistic Goals

The major objective of your holiday fitness must be having realistic exercise goals. Just aim for at least half an hour each day and you will be happy when you get to that goal. If you are planning for one hour or more and not able to achieve it then you will end up being disappointed.

Enjoy Yourself

It is important that you have some realistic diet plans. Sometimes it is good if you restrain yourself from some foods which might end up in making you eat more. Also, enjoy having your favourite treats in small portions.

Consume A Lot of Water

Drinking water (a lot) can help to satiate your appetite and even make you hydrated all the time. Plus, it will help in avoiding all kinds of a hangover if you try to overdo using alcohol.

Consume Less and More Often

Make sure to distribute your meals evenly all around the day. Just avoid eating everything at once. Rather than having two huge meals, just have five small portions of a meal. Have your dinner earlier and go for a nice walk just before hitting the sack.

Prioritizing Your Workouts

Get your workouts done early in the morning when everyone is still asleep. This way you can avoid the negative remarks and vibes like “Come On! It is Christmas or holiday season”.

Since you have learned the basic rules and no-no to follow during the holiday season, now it is the time to know more about what you must eat.

What Not to Eat And Eat During Christmas?

The following are some of the diet plans you need to follow during the holiday season.

Go for Salads & Soups

It won’t be the best weight-maintenance tactic to skip lunch or breakfast for saving your appetite. Studies show that skipping breakfast and not eating until the afternoon might lead to binging later. Breakfast helps in providing the necessary energy intake and metabolic as well as endocrine response to consuming food later.

So, it is better if you stick to a reasonably sized breakfast plate filled with a good amount of proteins. This will make you feel fuller for a longer period and avoid the urge you must stuff your stomach later on.

Avoid Fast Foods with Snacks

When you are running errands, having no time to spare for a good meal, there can be a temptation to try the fries from the drive-through window. But you can avoid it with little preparation. Most dieticians recommend going for grab-and-go fruits like bananas and apples, carrots, air-popped popcorn, hummus, and a slice of light string cheese with a whole cracker, which are some of the healthy snack options.

Try for Good Protein

Like most nutrients, proteins help in maintaining a healthy weight as high protein-based diets can lead to better satiety. Also, they play a major part in the growth of healthy muscles. For your holiday lunch or dinner, you could go with some turkey, roast chicken or try the animal-free alternatives like beans, lentils, and quinoa.

Chew and Eat Slowly

When the options for appetizers are endless, it might be a tough task to eat slowly. However, it pays off if you pace yourself. Keep in mind that the quicker you eat, the less time the body must register being full.

If you end up eating slowly, it will decrease the energy intake among meals for healthy women as well as men. So, just slow down and take some seconds to savour each bite of the baked brie or the scoop of the spiced nuts.

Fill Your Plate with Good Fibre

By snacking on veggies and other major high-fibre items like legumes will make you feel fuller and longer. Studies show that if your plate that has a good amount of vegetables and fibre is great for curbing hunger and provides the required energy. The best part is you can provide the vegetable platter a second chance with something like a tasty and healthy dip

Avoid Eating Mindlessly

Most people eat meals while multitasking. This might lead to mindless overeating. Various studies show that removing visual details regarding how much is eaten while having a meal will increase the amount of food consumed.

Go for a dedicated time of 20 minutes to fully chew, swallow and enjoy the meal. It will be a meaningful and restorative break in the day while avoiding excessive consumption.

Indulging in Little

If you deprive yourself of your favourite holiday treat, it might lead to an unplanned binge, when the stress levels are elevated. There is no harm in treating yourself a bit in the festival season but follow the basic rule of moderation.

Make Room for Healthy Fats

Reducing the amount of oil and butter will reduce the number of calories. But not all fats are bad. It is important to have certain fat in our diet as it provides the necessary energy. Also, these fats will absorb vitamins like D, A, E and K. Also, fat makes us feel full. You can try polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats from nuts, avocados, olive oil, etc. By combining a fat with fibre which is dipping veggies in guacamole will help in increasing the power of the fat and will make you feel full.

Get Rid of Added Sugar

Holiday cookies, pies, and cakes can be tempting. However, you do realize that added sugar will increase the chances of getting cardiovascular disease and obesity. Studies have shown that consumption of added sugar is the major reason for cardiovascular diseases among most people in the USA.

It will be better if you stick with sugar that comes in natural forms like veggies, fruits, and whole grains. If you have the craving for desserts, then go for a small plate rather than loading with a full plate one.

Exercise Routines to Follow During Christmas And Holiday Season

Let’s check out the exercise regime you can try for the holiday season.

Simple & Small Exercises

First try for a small exercise routine which might be like running 45-sec warm-up, up and down the stairs. Else you can run on the spot, lifting your knees high. Go for 5 minutes in the round one and take a minute break. Then do the round two of this exercise and take a one-minute break, followed by round three.

AB Bike

Another interesting exercising is the AB bike. In this exercise, you need to grab the fitness mat and then lie down on your back. After that put your hands just behind the head, along with the elbows pointing outwards. Then you need to place your feet, making sure that your knees are bent at a 45-degree angle.

After that start cycling, and your elbows must touch the opposite knees with each stroke. Just make sure to change each of the legs until you have touched each at 25 times.

Make sure you don’t cycle too fast. The slower you do this exercise, the more results you will get.

Mountain Climbers

In this exercise, you can use your fitness mat too. Here you need to adopt a push up position. So, it means you need to make your face turned towards the floor, arms stretched manner and hand level must be in your chest and shoulder’s width apart.

Also, make sure your body is somewhat in the plank position right from the shoulder to the heel and get your hands and feet a bit apart. So, in this position, you are supporting yourself right on your toes.

Once you are ready, start the mountain climbing. So, how? Well, just raise your left foot right off the floor and try to bring your knees towards the chest. Make sure that you tense your core and allow your arms to support your body weight. Continue to repeat this exercise with your right leg and foot.

Planning For 2020

The best plan you can have for the new year i.e.2020 is to follow a healthy diet and healthy weight. This must encompass all the increasing household food security and remove hunger.

In the new year, your goal must be to consume a variety of nutrient-filled food among all the food groups. Foodstuff like fruits, grains, low-fat or fat-free milk, veggies, lean meat and other major sources of proteins should be what is on your plate.

Most importantly, lower the intake of trans and saturated fat, cholesterol, as well as added sugar and alcohol. You must make sure that the new year of 2020 is something that you can look forward to while being healthy and active. You don’t want the year 2020 to be filled with activities where you end up visiting the doctor all the time and getting admitted to the hospital.

Living a healthy and fit lifestyle will really improve your chances of having a long life and being disease-free.


Saravavan Nadarajan (Vanan)

Vanan, fitness expert and leader at EzFit Singapore, specializes in holistic training—home-based, boot camps, and corporate fitness—with over a decade of industry experience.