Christmas – ‘Tis the season to be jolly, but sometimes it’s also the season of temptation. The extra splurging in the shops (sometimes for gifts, often treating yourself), the one too many Cadbury Favourites, constant desserts and overeating, or those extra social-events turning into extra alcoholic beverages (that Christmas party free wine and beer). But it doesn’t end there either; leftovers – pudding, pavlova, pies, loads of meat, it’s sure to be filling your fridge for Boxing Day or perhaps for the next few days.
Have no fear though, we have spoken to the experts as well as our members to help provide you with a list of challenges and how to overcome them – a survival guide to help you beat the silly season.
1. The challenge = Lack of time.
There’s no doubt Christmas is a busy time of year leading to a loss of your usual routine due to feeling time poor. Our typical habits are gone and it’s easier to stray.
“A lot of our members are family-based, there’s school holidays, people socialise more, warm weather, people tend to not want to make time for the gym but it doesn’t mean you should throw it all away,” Personal Trainer, Andrew Fletcher said.
“If I don’t keep my regular routine, I eat like crazy over the Christmas period. Not just at Christmas but for over 2 weeks,” Glenorchy Health and Fitness member, Adam Zolnierczak said.
Advice = “It’s all about discipline. I make sure I come in regularly and I eat healthier if I work out. Christmas I’ll eat however I want, but on Boxing Day I’m straight back in then I won’t eat the Christmas leftovers. It’s making sure I don’t let my routine slip,” Member, Adam Zolnierczak said.
“Time management is important, commit to a walk at least, just because you can’t make time for the gym doesn’t mean throw it all away. Stay active. Eating will also make a difference, if you have less time to be at the gym, watch what you eat,” Personal Trainer, Andrew Fletcher said.
“Be prepared, and if you are like me you would probably be getting plenty of exercise during this time through dancing and from all that partying. If you’re not I encourage you to try and find just 15-30 minutes to go for a walk or jog, or maybe you do some squats.” Jenny Storrs, Food Coach said.
2. The challenge = more social events and alcohol.
“The biggest challenge for me is hot summer days, yummy food and the temptation of drinks when around family and friends,” Glenorchy Health and Fitness member, Nate Fenton said.
“Trying to watch the amount of alcohol I drink, on Christmas holidays I go for it, there’s way more social events. I have 2-3 social gatherings a week during this time, Glenorchy Health and Fitness member, Em Fenton said.
Advice = “Stay hydrated, it flushes the liver out. If you are drinking all day. Drink one glass of water for every alcoholic drink. Help stop the pressure on the liver to break down fats and sugars, “ Member, Nate Fenton said.
“I try to keep a routine, I go the gym 3-4 times a week. Otherwise I make sure I still go for a walk,” Member, Em Fenton said.
“I make sure I have a normal and good breakfast and that I walk everyday,” Employee, Jemma Haythorne said.
3. The challenge = Trying to maintain a healthy diet.
“I eat too much chocolate, when I’m doing Christmas cooking I find it hard not to indulge and I’m often given presents from clients with chocolate,” Glenorchy Health and Fitness member, Amy Jamieson said.
“There is so many Christmas dinner parties and on Christmas there is so much food. The challenge is making sure I don’t overconsume one food group and neglect another,” Food Coach, Jenny Storrs said.
Advice = “I make sure I have been coming to the gym at least three times, came the last 3 nights. I keep as active as I can, and have also been going on walks after the gym,” Member, Amy Jamieson said.
“I love the Christmas season because there are so many beautiful and colourful food around this time of the year. The best way to stay on track is not be so traditional, don’t just have your turkey or ham and some roast potatoes and pumpkins. Include some fruits, some salad too. It doesn’t have to be lettuce tomato and onions. Try different salads, add some apple, some mango. Include all the fruits and vegetables you normally enjoy on the table. Planning and early preparation is key,” Food Coach, Jenny Storrs said.
What about post-christmas? Set a goal for the next day and do it.
“I make sure I eat a perfectly healthy balanced diet a week leading up to the event and after. This helps with returning to healthy eating. It means you’re less likely to fall off the wagon and decide to eat unhealthy food for the rest of the week,” Food coach, Jenny Storrs said.
Avoid “I already have been bad, I might as well just wait and return to my normal diet next week or next month,” she said.
“Christmas is only one day, so no need to worry too much about that piece of pie you eat. Just remember to get back to your normal eating habits the next day. The best way to do this is to plan ahead, plan your next meal,” Ms Storrs said.
“Christmas is time to give and to share with family and friends, so the most important thing to remember is not to be too consumed by what you should or should not eat,” she said.
“Don’t stress, be cheerful, just remember to get back to the gym the next day. Get back to the normal healthy eating habits that doesn’t include a bottle of wine and a few slices of pie, and remember to enjoy the day with your family and friends,” she said