Christmas Calorie Count

Before you’ve stuffed the turkey and stockings alike make sure your body is ready for the festive food this Christmas

With the Christmas countdown commencing I thought it fitting to base this article on preparing for the festive season. It’s easy to get caught up in the shopping, wrapping and partying in December so use November to concentrate on you and looking your best when it really counts.

Start with considering the most important subject of exercise; if you can get this right everything else should fall into place. Exercise in its many methods not only burns calories and re-shapes your body but it also gives you energy and drive to cope with the demand of the festivities.

I always advise partaking in cardiovascular and resistance training three times per week.

Cardiovascular session:
Should consist of thirty minutes of moderate exercise like swimming, walking, jogging or cycling. It should leave you exerted but not exhausted as, in order to burn fat, the body must be working aerobically. Research indicates that anymore than thirty minutes could be pointless in terms of minimising fat as after this period the body releases cortisol, which inhibits the process.

Resistance training:
I suggest splitting training into body parts and complete two sets of six exercises, for example:

  1. Alternate leg lunges x 60 each leg – add free weight not bar as your abdominal’s will work  harder to support you
  2. Squats x 60 – bottom low, chest and head up
  3. Bench steps x 30 alternate leg – add a free weight

Sticking to the same muscle group for two sets should achieve exhaustion and therefore quick, noticeable effects. The more lean tissue the body has the more fat it will burn at rest so it’s in your interest to concentrate on resistance training as much as fat burning.

Now, November is a good time if ever there was one to start calorie counting. Try to avoid any unnecessary sugar, trans and saturated fats; this will give you some room to play with literally, when the festivities kick off and the above are in abundance.

It is the perfect opportunity to drop a couple of pounds in preparation right now as four weeks of good behaviour should reward you with four to five pounds of loss, hopefully from your fat stores if you follow my advice. Yo-yo dieting is something trainers really frown upon, as the weight never stays off once normal service is resumed and especially not paired with overindulgence.

Once December is upon us my best advice is to plan. If you are out in the evening eating and drinking, limit your daily intake of calories to allow for the mishaps; eat protein salad and veg only as alcohol and rich food contains a lot of carbs fat and sugar.

As always try to drink two litres of fluid daily, which will not only keep you hydrated but aid the release of toxins via waist. Up this if you have been consuming alcohol as it causes electrolyte imbalance resulting in dehydration; this accounts for the majority of the hangover itself. Remember I am a fan of mint or lemon tea to cleanse the system every morning and try this shake to help pull it back in times of need:

– 1 large Banana
– 1/2 glass or milk or coconut water
– 2 tps of honey

Packed full of electrolytes lost to alcohol consumption and potassium needed to maintain your body’s fluid balance, this little pick me up should have you back in the room before you know it.

I deal with all sorts of nutritional, fitness and injury issues in my role so please feel free to contact me for any advice.