Updated: Dec 20, 2018
It's the time of year that many of us find ourselves doing a Vicar of Dibley-style Christmas lunch crawl before we've even reached the day itself, but it's okay...because, Christmas.
Even if we do plan to hit it hard in January (like the rest of the world) deep-down we know it would be better if we didn't have to start all over again, or repeat all the hard-work we put in over the year.
Below are a few of our favourite tips and tricks to ensure that we maintain as much as we can over the Christmas period, and the best bit is, you don't even have to say no to all the good stuff on offer over the holidays!
1. Know your BMR (Basal metabolic rate)
Chances are with all the hardwork you've put in at the gym, your BMR may have changed. Before the Christmas period, why not check in with your metabolism and calculate exactly how much energy you burn in a resting state? You can use this online tool to help you work it out - https://www.calculatorpro.com/calculator/katch-mcardle-bmr-calculator/
Once you know this number, you can keep an eye on your overeating during the Christmas period and even perhaps make it to the gym a few times to make up for any over-indulgence!
2. Keep one eye on your macros
You may not want to be thinking about your marcos (balance of carbs/fat/protein) intake over Christmas, but it's a good thing to keep in mind if you're trying to maintain your current fitness levels. Here's a starting point:
1 gram of protein per pound of body weight, per day
1.6 grams of carbs per pound of body weight, per day
0.35 grams of fat per pound of body weight, per day
Ensuring you don't go overboard on some foods, can make all the difference in ensuring that you don't lose too much muscle over the Christmas period.
3. Cheat meals
Cheat meals can help us to stay on track without feeling like we are missing out, but don't let a cheat meal turn into a cheat day! Don't fall into the common trap of overeating several times per week and feeling like you have to go into a deficit for the rest of the time to make up for it. If you go slightly over on one day, then go slightly under the following day, and it balances out. But try not to go too crazy! This method of dieting will not help you make progress in the gym. You want to keep a balanced and steady intake of food to ensure you keep progressing in training.
Try to keep your goals in mind and by the time January rolls around, you'll be halfway there already.
4. Eat slowly
Don't binge just because you think you will give it all up in January - eat slowly, really take notice of the flavours and enjoy every mouthful. Slow down and cherish the opportunity to take a break with friends and family. By eating slowly you're more likely to notice when your body is full and not when the entire box of Celebrations has gone.
5. Try to do some yoga or cardio exercise over the break
6. Enjoy yourself!
Last but not least, a caveat. Christmas is about relaxing, taking time out and enjoying yourself. Don't stress about food or fitness - it's not the end of the world if you can't quite keep up with your regular routine! There's plenty of time for that in the new year...
Have a lovely Christmas!