10 tips to help you stay fit ahead of Christmas

Make sure you're drinking plenty of water.
Make sure you're drinking plenty of water.

Christmas is approaching very quickly, and it’s so easy to pile on a few pounds, if you’re not careful.

The festive period can be hectic; there’s so much shopping to do, parties to attend and family members to visit that your training can get put on hold.

A lot of people believe they don’t have time to perform their workouts.

To make the matter worse, most people consume more calories at this time of year too, because of the luxurious foods on offer.

The supermarket shelves are full of festive treats, the cafes are selling their Christmas coffees and the Christmas markets selling fast food and mulled wine.

With that in mind, I’ve been helping my clients get prepared for the Christmas rush by providing them with these 10 practical tips to stay fit in the build up to Christmas:

1. Eat Before Heading Out

Grab something to eat before you head out shopping.

If you fill yourself up you’re less likely to overindulge when you’re out and about.

Skipping meals is not a good idea either, because you will only be forced to eat more later.

2. Avoid Skipping Meals

Don’t skip meals, especially breakfast!

Even though it can be tempting to skip on certain meals, believing that it will make up for the treats you consumed in the previous day, don’t do it because it will only lead to counterproductive results.

3. Eat Less And More Often

Distribute your meals evenly throughout the day, and do not eat everything at once.

Instead of having two enormous meals, have five small ones. Eat your dinner earlier and have a nice walk before going to bed.

4. Drink With Moderation

It is best to regulate your drinking since alcohol, sugary drinks or other juices will only add more calories to the ones you already eaten.

5. Be Active

You should still perform your fitness routine whenever possible and if you can’t do that, simply walk more, park your car some distance away from the store or just use the stairs.

6. Get Out Of The House

Make the holidays a family affair and plan outdoor activities where everyone is involved.

Even a snowball fight in the backyard will burn a lot of calories and will keep the children entertained.

7. Set Realistic Goals

You should set realistic exercise goals.

Aim to workout four times a week for 20 minutes.

Keep the workouts intense and that should enough to keep you on track over the Christmas period.

If you plan to workout seven times a week for one hour or more the chances are you won’t achieve it and you’ll end up disappointed with yourself.

8. Enjoy Yourself

Also make sure to set realistic diet plans!

Trying to restrain yourself totally from some foods will only make you eat more.

Feel free to enjoy the treats that you really love, but in small portions.

9. Drink A Lot Of Water

This can satiate your appetite as well as keep you hydrated at all times. And it will also prevent a possible hangover if you overdo it with alcohol.

10. Prioritise Your Workouts

Try to do them early in the morning while everyone else is still sleeping.

This way you will also avoid remarks like “Oh, come on! It’s Christmas …”.

So, there you go. Ten simple tips that will help you avoid gaining weight during the winter holidays, but will also allow you to enjoy yourself and have a great time with your loved ones.

Your trainer: Graham Low, owner of East Coast Fitness, is an award-winning personal trainer based in Seaham. The ex-professional footballer was nominated for the Small Business of the Year and Leisure Awards at the Sunderland Echo Portfolio Awards last year. Graham won the Leisure Award at the North East Hotels Association Awards while working as gym manager at Seaham Hall in 2012. For personal training, boot camps, small group training and online programmes email graham@eastcoast-fitness.com or visit www.eastcoast-fitness.com