Don't let Christmas destroy your healthy regime
Claire Kane gives her tips to staying on track over the holidays
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"The key to staying motivated is to keep your mind on your goals"
It’s the most wonderful time of the year (bingbongbingbong), there’ll be much misletoeing and… It’s easy to get carried away over the Christmas period; bursting into song at in appropriate moments (not just me, surely), temptation of festive drinks, the lure of that tin of Roses that has been perched atop your Kitchen sideboard for a month now, longing to be eaten, and let’s not forget the urge to just plant yourself on the sofa and watch TV all day, every day until the new year guilt sets in. It’s difficult to stay motivated, but it’s definitely not impossible.
Take a read of these tips for staying motivated over Christmas; you can do it!
Takeaways have become somewhat of a modern tradition during the festive period. We spend so much time running around, getting things done that we, quite rightly, like to treat ourselves to a night away from the oven. Obviously you don’t want to feel left out when the whole family is getting a takeaway, and the good news is, you don’t actually have to. It’s Christmas eve, you’ve a day of eating ahead of you and the last thing you want to do is throw away all your pre-christmas work before a sliver of turkey even passes your lips. That’s why I recommend you order smart! Thai food is the healthiest take away option, and arguably the most genuinely delicious. The best of the best? Poached salmon and Asian Greens from Camile Thai; a real treat and you won’t have to feel left out when every else is ordering out.
Incorporate exercise into Christmas traditions
We all have different Christmas Traditions with our friends and family; there is no reason some kind of physical activity can’t be incorporated into some of these traditions. If you have a family day out, why not make it a trip to the ice rink? Coordination skills depending of course! Why not make your trip to town a little more active by walking everywhere? On Christmas day, get that food digesting with a brisk family walk. These aren’t high intensity activities but it will keep you moving on days you might otherwise spend
Write down your goals
The key to staying motivated is to keep your mind on your goals. What are you aiming for, fitness wise, over the next couple of months. Whether it’s to lose a stone and a half by April or to up your weight on a deadlift by 30kg in a couple of months, if you keep these in mind, you will be less likely to throw too much caution to the wind when it comes to your progress. Best practice would be to write down your goals and keep them somewhere you can see them every morning. This will refocus your mind on what you have been working towards.
Remember the effort of starting again
Most of us have given up somewhere along the way and found that starting again is harder than starting in the first place. Do you really want to go through that again? Remember how hard you have worked to get to where you are today and how hard it will be to start over again. While it’s very much recommend that you let loose a little over Christmas, there is no need to throw everything away, not when you have worked so damned hard to get there.
Ignore people’s remarks
The fifth and final tip is without doubt, the most important. One thing I quickly learned when I changed my habits was that people seem to think it’s ok to pass remark on everything you eat in a negative way. This is rife during the Christmas period; when everyone else is tucking into their mince pies and you opt for hummous and carrots, don’t be surprised if you get a few remarks thrown your way. Things like ‘let loose, will you’ or ‘would you not enjoy yourself’ are commonplace, and all you can do is to ignore them. What you eat and how often you decide to train does not affect their lives, only yours. It’s none of their business whether you choose to go for sparkling water and lime in the pub one of the nights over Christmas. Nor is it their business if you decide to order something healthy on the menu; it’s yours and you should feel comfortable in whatever decision you decide to make when it comes to your body, food and exercise. The quicker you learn to ignore what people say and think, the easier it will be to maintain, or even improve, your progress during Christmas.
Whatever you goals, just remember that other people shouldn’t impact what you decide to do during Christmas time. There are always alternatives for unhealthy options and there are plenty of opportunities to get some kind of training done, even if they gym is closed, or miles away. Have a wonderful Christmas, and if you don’t stay motivated, don’t feel guilty; life runs in cycles and that includes motivation, fitness and healthy eating.
[Claire Kane is a qualified personal trainer with a certificate in sports nutrition. She currently runs a no-fad, no-frills health and fitness blog voltafitness.co, which you can browse for tips and advice on getting fit and staying motivated. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram for meal ideas and motivation @Voltafitness]