Posted by USN Ireland on December 22, 2015
Seasons greetings from USN! This is the time of year that it is very easy to lose your discipline and veer off track from those all-important, long-term fitness goals you’ve been striving for all year long. Follow these helpful tips and you can have your (Christmas) cake and eat it too if you simply strike a balance.
Here are 3 simple tips that I highly recommend you do to keep in shape over the festive period.
Tip #1: Keep Active
The one thing you definitely should not do over Christmas is to look at it as a holiday from all forms of exercise. Firstly, you’ll burn far less calories, leaving you with no extra room for that extra slice of Christmas cake. Second, as the old saying goes, the devil makes work for idle hands! More time not staying active means more time eating dense food and drinking alcohol and soft drinks!
This doesn’t mean that you need to be completely unsociable, but over indulging can only lead to one thing – weight gain.
Instead of putting a halt to training completely, just cut back a little on the intensity, with walking or swimming being the bare minimum.
Tip #2: Stay Hydrated
Water intake is vital to effective maintenance and improvement. As well as improving training performance, water will help you to stay in shape over the Christmas holiday.
One of the benefits of water is that it can prevent the overconsumption of calories as by drinking water you will feel fuller and therefore find it easier to deal with cravings and the danger of over eating. A good piece of advice is to drink 300-500ml of water 20-30 minutes before and after your meals to keep you fuller for longer.
Another benefit of drinking plenty of water is that it can actually alleviate any water retention from your body. The consumption of salty foods, snacks and sauces can cause your body to retain water, giving you a bloated appearance. This can be a real knock to your self esteem; especially if you’re trying to fit into a little black dress or your favourite shirt for a party. Staying hydrated and drinking lots of water can flush your body of this excess of sodium (salt) helping you feel trim with less bloating and softness.
Tip #3: Get your Fibre
An oft overlooked nutrient, and wrongly so, is fibre. This is a shame as fibre greatly helps to keep your weight in check. One key qualities of fibre is that it will keep you feeling fuller for longer, again meaning that you will consume fewer calories. You can increase fibre in your diet by eating at least 5 portions of fruit or veg a day, making sure to eat wholegrain foods or introducing legumes such as kidney beans, chickpeas or lentils to your diet.
Fibre also greatly aids your digestions and keeps you regular, allowing your body to excrete any waste and toxins built up more efficiently.
Due to the time of year and all of the festive cheer in the air it is highly likely that these toxins will build up with the social gatherings you’ll be attending and the mulled wines (or stronger!) you’ll be drinking, so keeping yourself regular is a must for a healthy gut and a flatter stomach.
There you go, three simple yet highly effective tips that you can incorporate over the festive season to keep you in check and remain on course with your goals. Don’t be the guys or girl battling to fight off pounds of wanted body fat in the New Year. Be the one who flies into the year with a bang and ready to smash your goals.