Nothing says “hello winter” like cancelling your plans at the gym because you had to wake up 20 minutes earlier for an arm work out with your de-icer, and opting for your dressing gown over lycra. These cold days, and dark nights can make it so easy to lose all motivation for looking after our bodies, and deciding to sack off your goals to sip a cheeky baileys (or four) because “it’s christmas”.
Yes, it’s easy to go into hibernation with our health goals, but let’s think about the bigger picture here…
Do you want to spend this December feeling sluggish, bloated, and unmotivated to move, or would you rather enjoy the festivities feeling healthy, energetic, and body confident?
How about if you could be living like a health goddess but still have that Christmas spirit?
Well, here’s exactly how! I’m here with some christmas healthspiration just for you with my top 10 tips to keep healthy, fit and festive this December!
- Plan your meals ahead and make them warming, and nutritious. Make a family meal planner and fill it with foods that you’re going to love this December. At the start of each week write out your breakfast, lunch and dinner, and stick it on your fridge! Keep the ingredients fresh, seasonal, and healthy. Starting the morning with a nutritious breakfast will help keep you on track for the rest of the day. I love preparing a warm porridge bowl, with grated apple and cinnamon, topped with a sprinkling of walnuts. Fill your lunches and dinners with seasonal vegetables like carrots, parsnips and butternut squash, to keep you feeling fuller for longer.
2. Don’t drink your calories. Gingerbread lattes, Black velvet hot chocolates, and Toffee nut frappacino’s found in your favourite coffee shops are loaded with sugar. Did you know that the Gingerbread coffee frappacino (Grande) at Starbucks contains 68.4g of sugar? Drinking this is the equivalent to eating nearly three mars bars! Cut the calories in your cup by asking for your drink with a sugar free syrup, skimmed/soy milk, and without the cream.
3. Lay out your gym outfit the night before. Having your running shoes, and gym clothes ready and waiting for you to slip on when you wake up. If you’ve already chosen your gym outfit and set your intentions the night before to get up and seize the day, you’re more likely to make it happen! Start your day with a workout and you won’t creep into the habit of letting those dark nights stop you from making it to the gym!
4. Keep hydrated. Did you know you feel 40% less thirsty in the cold than when you are in the warm? Hydration is just as important in the winter as it is in the summer for our body and our skin. So keep a water bottle with you or sip on some herbal teas to keep warm! You can also download the Daily Water drink tracker app to alert you with reminders to keep sipping throughout the day.
5. Take a daily vitamin supplement. Taking a multivitamin on the daily will make sure that you have enough vitamin D to make up for the lack of rays we’re getting this time of year and extra vitamin C to make sure our immunity is holding up strong – and we’re ready to fight back that dreaded winter cold if it catches us!
6. Get fit, fun and social all in one. Plan fun active outings that you can do with your family and friends. Whether that’s walking to explore a christmas market, taking a picturesque hike or going iceskating – embrace the season and burning calories couldn’t be easier.
7. Christmas Do Gate. If you’re looking at your calendar to find you’re going to multiple christmas do’s with christmas dinner’s left right and centre, why not opt for something less calorific on the menu? Besides, wouldn’t you rather enjoy the real deal on the 25th and use these occasions to get adventurous and try something different? Swap savoury pastries for a warming soup or ice-cream for sorbet.
8. Overeating and under eating. Be mindful of knowing when you’re ‘full’. Of course christmas is the time to enjoy lots of amazing food, but remember that feeling of being too full or bloated can spoil your christmas spirit! And of course, don’t starve yourself for knowing that you have a big feast later in the day; stick to eating regular, nutritious meals, leaving space for the treat, so that you avoid the temptation to binge as a result of starvation.
9. Get some headspace. Christmas shopping, busy schedules and winter blues can leave us feeling anything but festive. Keep your head in the winter game by practicing meditation. Try out Headspace (downloadable app) for some free daily meditation to release any stress.
10. Keep Balanced. Don’t deprive yourself of treats left right and centre. After all, December only comes once a year and it’s here to be enjoyed, so allow yourself to enjoy every moment! Remember that it’s ok to enjoy treats 5-10% of your week if you’re eating healthily and exercising daily. Have a cheeky tipple, but don’t over do it and enjoy your Christmas Dinner guilt free. After all, you deserve it.
December is my favourite time of the year to celebrate and enjoy and I want you to feel epic over Christmas holiday season too! I hope that these tips will help make things easier to keep feeling healthy, fun and festive right the way through to 2018!