4 tips to staying healthy and fit over the Christmas holidays

A lot of people feel it's difficult to stay fit and healthy during any holiday season. With Christmas coming up, here are the top four tips to staying healthy over the Christmas holiday.

4. Stay Active

There are things to do over Christmas that don’t just involve a couch and a glass of wine. Try to stay as active as possible. Even play with your kids and their new toys as that is a low intensity exercises that burns fat. What’s not to enjoy about that?

3. Moderate the Alcohol and Don’t Mix with Food

Have a few glasses, but try not to over-indulge. Christmas booze is a big factor in holiday weight. If you’re a wine drinker, try adding a little diet soda water to your glass. Not only will it reduce your over-all calories but it will leave you a little fresher come the alarm the next morning. If you’re a beer drinker, try switching to bottles or having a drink of water in-between schooners. Not only will this reduce calories, but it will keep you nice and hydrated. Remember, dehydration is a cause of stress which can lead to fat storage.

There is also an effect that alcohol has on how you digest your food. Alcohol is a separate energy source to usual food containing protein, carbs and fats, and it contains its own calories. As you drink alcohol, your body senses it in your system and turns it into your primary energy source. As you drink, you burn the alcohol as fuel. Doesn’t sound too bad, until you eat hot chips at the end of the night and all the now unnecessary calories from fat and carbs are stored as body fat. I’m not saying it’s good to eat anyway, but at least you’d usually burn some of it off as you eat it.

It could make a big difference in how you look and feel come the New Year. Stay hydrated!

2. Keep Training

Training increases your daily calorie expenditure, meaning that more of the calories you eat over Christmas will simply be burnt off. If you stay in an energy burning state you’ll get away with eating more of the wrong things, having a massive impact on how you’ll look come January. You can of course tone it down in and around the key festive days, but try to maintain your fitness and muscle structure over the season by getting to a gym when you can (and maybe doing nothing anyway).

You can leave it to have to pick up the pieces in January, or maintain your fitness by attending maybe 1 or 2 fitness classes a week.

1. Train like you Eat

The one thing that can be said about Christmas feasts are that they can support the growth of muscle. You should know by now that muscle is the main variable in your metabolism, so adding some muscle in December will really help you stay lean and increase your fat loss efforts significantly come January.

I wouldn’t expect everyone to take it to this extreme, but some gyms actually allow you to train on Christmas Day and offer 24-hour access during this time!

By training muscles hard and burning all their stored carbohydrates you can eat loads of chicken, turkey, ham and stuffing guilt free. The proteins contained in the meats are helping regrow the muscle fibres you've just trained. The high GI carbs in the potatoes and stuffing etc are used to replenish my lost glycogen stores, instead of hanging around the body waiting to be turned into fat. It takes any guilt out of feasting, and actually serves a purpose. It’s a Christmas Miracle.

 

For more tips and ideas to keep you fit this Christmas, please contact the expert contributor for this article.

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