Here’s how to avoid that holiday weight gain

Don’t let the holidays wreak havoc on your waistline. Keep your fitness and healthy eating on track.

We are all guilty of overindulging during the holidays – and who can blame us? A big part of the season involves eating out, spending time with friends and family and rushing around as we make plans for parties and trips. Simply put, our fitness routine tends to take a backseat and counting calories becomes a futile exercise.

But while we may be forgiven for momentarily letting our guard down, there are still ways to ensure that we’re not fully neglecting our health while still enjoying the festivities.

Small steps

“During this time of the year, we find ourselves so busy finalising travel plans, finishing up with tasks at work, buying and wrapping gifts and crossing everything off our checklists that we forget to prioritise our healthy habits,” says Nizam Mohammed, fitness coach at Muscle House Gym.

When it comes to food, it’s easy to over indulge as we enjoy seasonal specialities and are surrounded by temptations.

To combat this, try to eat small portions during the day and eat several hours before a scheduled dinner. Make sure to consume more fruits that are high in vitamin C such as oranges and kiwis, and drink more water, as you’re most likely to indulge in fizzy drinks later in the evening.

While exercising might be the last thing on your mind during the holiday season, it’s important to try and stay on track as even the smallest action can yield significant results.

“If you skip your morning workout, try to squeeze a workout in during the evening,” Nizam suggests. “If you’re feeling lazy, put on your favourite TV programme, roll out your yoga mat and do ten burpees, ten press-ups and 20 squats during every ad break.”

Even the most mundane of tasks can be given a bit of a twist to get your body moving.

“If you use your phone as an alarm clock, try to keep it away from your bed during the winter months. Having to get up and walk to your alarm to turn it off will make you more likely to get up and stay up,” explains Nizam.

Shake up your routine

For an extremely hot country, the shift in temperature can be a good motivation to venture outdoors, even for a quick stroll or a few minutes of running. Ask someone to go along with you during these leisurely walks to make it less tedious.

“If you commit to training with a friend, you are less likely to bail on your workout,” Nizam says.

“You don’t need to do every workout together, but committing to just two sessions each week will help you both stay on track.”

He continues: “If you’re used to exercising after work or in the evening, try to make adjustments and work out in the morning. At the end of the day, you’re more likely to opt out of exercising if you’re tired and full.

“Exercising in the morning gets your workout out of the way so you can relax at night, get cosy on the couch, or enjoy a night out with loved ones.

“Plan your workouts, no matter how minimal, and pencil them into your calendar and tick them off when you’re done. Ticking them off will give you a sense of accomplishment and will keep you motivated even if you don’t feel like it.”

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