For the last post of the year, not 8, not 9 but 10 tips to stay fit during the festive season!
In the most part of the year I use several lame excuses (I have a long list), but between Christmas and New Year’s Eve, I don’t even need an excuse 🙂
How Could You Stay Fit at this Time of the Year?
Honestly, why would you say no to all these treats offered to you during the holiday season? Especially if you did enough efforts to get in shape and stay fit during the year?
It’s part of the tradition. We spend hours eating and sharing with our loved ones. Some cakes take weeks to be prepared, how could you say no to your mother-in-law? 😉
It’s a warm spirit. It’s about sharing presents, good time and good food. Period.
So you end up overindulging in sweets and you compromise months of efforts 🙁
So here is what I do: 10 tips to stay fit during the festive season. For me it’s a good compromise: I get the most of the festive season and I am not falling too far off track.
Resist the Treats!
1) Be selective. Eat only your top favorite treats when you have the choice, and politely say no when they are offered, even by your mother-in-law 🙂
Or say yes, but give them discreetly to the dog 🙂 Think of how many times you said yes just to be polite! Remember: it’s your body, your health, your efforts to lose the extra weight that will come with these treats, so you don’t have to have them all 🙂
2) Always prefer homemade treats . Many recipes are delicious and healthy. Find a good book (another great Christmas gift idea).
3) If you didn’t have the willpower to resist once, it doesn’t mean that from that point on, you lost *definitely* and you can now indulge anything. I hear that so many times: one slip up in the morning becomes a day off… and with one day off, you might as well skip the whole week! You see what I mean: it’s not “all or nothing”.
4) Now the easiest and cheapest tip I know for weight loss: drink lots of water! I do it consistently since years and it works wonders. Pure water, when you feel hungry, instead of grabbing a piece of cake. After a glass of good wine, instead of a second one, drink the same amount of water. Before lunch. It’s amazing how it regulates your metabolism and your appetite. It helps detoxing your body. Especially during this season where we typically drink more alcohol.
5) Adapt your training routine if necessary (because it’s getting cold and dark) but keep up with your plan. Switch to evenings to lunchtime if you want but don’t get too far off track. You would have to pay the high price later.
6) You know I love running. Well, I love the fat burn results you get from running 😉 During the festive season, you have less opportunities: usually your training buddies are not there, again it’s cold and dark so you would a superhero willpower to lace up and hit the road alone. What I do is switching to short, intensive workouts at home. I say at home but in fact I mean inside, it can be in a hotel room or when traveling to relatives. My preferred workout is an intensive leg training because it’s the most effective (due to the big muscle groups like the quads).
7) My preferred timing for these intensive workouts is before the heavy meals, you know, these special days where you already know that your weight will suffer 🙂 I know that 10 minutes of high intensity training will be followed by muscle recovery that will compensate the extra calories. And come on, 10 minutes only! Definitely worth it 🙂
8) The next trap in this period is that we sit for hours, day after day. So my next tip is not spectacular but quite effective: I take any opportunity to keep moving. I get up when we need something in the cellar, I go upstairs and downstairs as soon as something is missing, I go and grab things in the kitchen, well, you get the point: move more!
9) Play outside with kids. They have more energy in one day than us in one week 🙂 It’s getting harder to get them outside in our connected world but if you manage to start any old-fashioned activity that requires more than their thumbs, for instance playing with a ball or “catch me if you can”, you will see how many calories you will burn, just by trying to follow them 🙂
10) If you’re not the “running type”, you could go for a walk every day, in the fresh air. Even if brown fat in winter is known to burn calories, don’t expect the same results as with other classical cardio sessions (rowing, biking, swimming and the top one, running) but walking has several health benefits that I really enjoy with my family. We have more time, we talk a lot, and frankly I can’t think of a better way of getting your energy back after a long lunch or dinner. It’s not so demanding, compared to a workout (preparation, clothes etc), anybody can do it. If you have a goal in mind (visiting something or somebody) it becomes a healthy side benefit of a real activity. Plus it has an excellent effect on your stress and well-being. You see, no excuse 🙂
I remember that my first post this year was about motivation and goal setting. In all modesty, it was a “high-level” contribution 😉 It’s not what you think, I’m not being pretentious here, I said “high-level” because it is supposed to set the frame for the whole year. You have to see the big picture before thinking of details.
Now the tricky part: it took me years to apply it and to get results.
Why is it so easy to set goals and so hard to achieve them?
Because it’s about change.
And change comes only with action.
You can have all needed information, you won’t change until you do it.
Change is about doing, not knowing. You may “know it all” and still be stuck, year after year.
You can change and stay fit only when you know what to do, how to do it and when you start to apply it consistently. Day after day.
That’s it for the last post of 2016.
Time to wish you Health, Peace, Love and Happiness in 2017 🙂