Celebrate the holidays without packing on kilos

I repeatedly get asked by my new clients, rather doubtfully, whether they will be able to avoid weight gain through the festivities. My answer remains the same — there’s no doubt about it. Remember it’s not what you want that’s important, it’s how badly you want it. I understand their concerns. They’ve all struggled to reach certain fitness goals, and the festivals are a collective situation where it’s often difficult to exercise individual choices. You have greater food options, family and friends around, a more relaxed environment at home, and it’s not exactly helpful to your fitness goals. The key here is YOU. The key here is also NOT deprivation but moderation. I have listed a few tips below to help you stay away from the festive kilos you can easily avoid.

To prevent gaining weight during the festivals, it’s important to plan ahead. You must decide what’s important for you, keep the focus on your health and maintaining balance even as you enjoy the festivities. Your belief system drives your thoughts, choices and actions. Most people believe and expect to gain weight during the festivals. And that is what they end up doing just the same. Your belief system can work for you or against you. Revise your belief system to stay healthy and in shape.

Be mindful and don’t get carried away with unnecessary pressure to eat whatever is being offered, don’t deprive yourself either, just keep in mind portion control. Mixing many food types together can tax your digestive system. There will be tendency to eat frequently and even when you are not hungry. This can play havoc in your whole system. Listen to your body and eat only when you are hungry. Try to stick to your regular meal times and portions.

Take the focus off food this holidays. Get-togethers should not just be about stuffing yourself with food and drink. Unhealthy culture and trends can be replaced with conscious healthy choices. You can decide on group activities like flying kites, cycling or hiking trips, swimming, etc. Even if turns into a food fest, focus on socialising rather than just eating.

Stop emotional eating if you are so inclined. Easier said than done but very possible. Address your problems with solutions, not food. Comfort eating is a huge battle and people are more prone to it during the holidays. Every time you reach out for the bowl of peanuts, a piece of meat or some sugary stuff, think about it. You are taxing your system with unwanted food which suffocates your digestive system and the feel good factor vanishes before your food has even had a chance to reach the stomach. Look out for excessive salt, sugar, oil and carbonated and artificial drinks.

Rethink your workout routines. It’s likely the gym is closed or you can’t make the time to get yourself to train. Exercise is mandatory for your body to stay at its best shape both externally and internally. Plan smart, if you don’t have the time for a full workout session, it’s okay, get in a 20 minute session instead of nothing at all. Do body weight circuits or Tabata. It gives you more result in less time. Your body is used to the exercise you give it and suddenly changing your routine completely and adding

richer foods will only throw you off balance. You might think that holidays are a time to rest, relax and just indulge in good food. That is how it should be but don’t do it in exchange for extra fat.

I am also aware of the common understanding to let go and work off the extra weight after the holidays. I fail to understand when you know you don’t want the extra weight, why put it on again to take it off again… It’s a vicious cycle and very unhealthy for your general health and wellbeing.

In conclusion, I hope you choose to make this festive season all about family, fun and healthy choices. TOP TIP — don’t go off exercise entirely; get 20 minutes at the very least.