How to stay on track during the holidays

First off, Merry Christmas and Healthy New Year to you readers of this and other weekly columns that appear in the Stabroek News.

I would admit that this is the time to eat drink and be merry, but not to binge and potentially destroy the fitness gains you made during 2017.

The ‘season’ is well on its way. Christmas parties, gatherings and social outings usually mean going overboard on eating, and even more overboard on the alcohol.

But just because its December doesn’t automatically mean you have to ruin your progress and gain an unnecessary amount of weight. With that said, here are a few strategies that I like to implement whenever a special occasion looms and I know I’m going to splurge on calories.

1) Skipping breakfast for special occasions – this is probably the most useful tip of them all and has always worked well for me. If you know you have a big dinner or lunch to go to that will be filled with all the foods, then skipping breakfast can be a very handy tool to use so you can enjoy yourself later without the guilt.

Why? Well think about it, if you skip breakfast and save those 500 or so calories for later on, you’ll be able to enjoy yourself freely without spilling over too badly. This way you’re much more likely to stay around your daily calorie intake. This strategy can also be used the morning after your event to help give your digestive system a much-needed break.

2) Get a workout in – Getting to the gym early in the day can result in you having a lot of extra calories to work with (depending on the intensity.) Even if you’re actually on holiday and don’t have access to a gym, a light walk in the morning would also help out big time.

3) Log in advance – Whenever I have a big event or dinner to go to. I like to roughly estimate what I’m going to eat and log it into my food tracking app. Even though it’s a rough estimate most of the time, it will increase your chances of keeping things under control once you’re there

4) Focus on protein – Chances are if you plan on having a splurge, majority of it is going to be filled with carbs, sugar and alcohol. To help offset this, try focusing on quality protein sources throughout the day. This will help to keep you full and will stop you from spilling over too badly later on.

I hope this helps. Be sure to ‘gift’ this article to someone who needs some holiday advice.

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