By Hayley Westoby.
Yes, the festive season is upon us! For some of us, it is a special time to spend with loved ones. For others, it might be a nice break from work. Some view it as the season of ‘over indulgence’ which creates stress because we don't want all of our hard work of training and eating over the last 330 days to go to waste.
In the last 10 days my Instagram has blown up with ‘tips to stay lean this Christmas’ and ‘Christmas dinner workouts’ or ‘festive workouts’ so it's no wonder why people are utterly confused when it comes to staying on track. My message to you this Christmas is pretty simple:
DON’T FREAK OUT!
I have pulled together my key tips to assist in the festive non-freakout!
- Plan and take each week as it comes; look at your week ahead and plan which days you are going to stick to your meals and training and which days you can be more lenient. For example; if you know you are going to be at a work lunch on Thursday and a Christmas party on Friday - aim to keep Monday - Wednesday, Saturday/Sunday on track.
- Try and move every day; you don't need to be in a gym, you don’t need any equipment, you just need to move. Increasing your daily steps, or adding a home bodyweight workout can help you stay on track both mentally and physically.
- Stay hydrated; in Australia, as the weather gets warmer, hydration is key. Add alcohol into this equation and you need more water than if you were staying sober. Aim for a glass of water after each drink, and if you are planning on drinking - aim to have at least 2 - 3L before having a drink. Dehydration can lead to a number of things such as; overeating, fatigue, dry skin, muscle cramps, higher chance of kidney stones. Prepare by taking a big water bottle with you wherever you go!
- Don't deprive yourself; deprivation results in binging, by depriving yourself of everything there will be a point that you binge. By having the things you crave in small quantities, this decreases your chances of binging.
- Set small goals; Try and set a weekly goal, as opposed to focusing on your 6-week goal. Sometimes our goals can be very overwhelming which means we tend to lose sight of our end goal and it all seems too much. Instead, break it up into smaller bite-size pieces. For example, if you have a 10-week goal of losing 5kgs, each week it would mean you have just 0.5kgs to lose each week.
There's a saying that goes: "Extremes are easy. It is balance which is difficult to maintain." Or in other words, measured indulgence can actually help you stay on track. Allowing your body the things it craves helps mitigate excessive binging!
Long-term consistency will always outweigh short-term intensity. Whether it is the festive season or any other time of year, the best thing you can learn to do is give yourself a break when it comes to enjoying life.
This festive season, don’t freak out. Strive for balance. At the end of the day, it's your life, don't let anyone make you feel guilty for living it your way!